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Unbelievable but true! The country that aims to become the first "smoking-free" country in Europe is revealed
Written by SOT.COM.AL 4 Qershor 2023
Sweden, which has the lowest smoking rate in the European Union, is close to the goal of being classified as a "smoke-free" country.
According to the World Health Organization, to receive this status, the level of smoking in a country must be less than 5 percent. Sweden is very close to reaching this level.
In public areas in Sweden, a country of 10.5 million people, it is not common to see people smoking cigarettes.
Smoking is prohibited in bus stations, train platforms, outside hospitals and other public buildings.
As in most of Europe, smoking is not allowed inside restaurants, but as of 2019, Sweden's smoking ban also applies to outdoor public, outdoor spaces.
According to statistics agency Eurostat, only 6.4 percent of Swedes over 15 were daily smokers in 2019, the lowest level in the European Union. In the 27-member bloc, an average of 18.5 percent of residents were daily smokers in 2019.
"No, I don't smoke. I do not know why. I never started," says Stockholm resident Andreas Modig.
"We like a healthy way of living, I think that's the reason. I don't like the smell, I want to take care of my body, so no, it's never been an interest for me," says Carina Astorsson, another resident of Stockholm.
Many experts say this is the result of decades of campaigns and anti-smoking laws.
"You can't smoke on the street, it's forbidden in so many areas. Sometimes I feel a little sorry for smokers because it's banned almost everywhere," says Cecilia, a resident of Stockholm.
But experts point to the spread of "snus", a smokeless tobacco product that is banned in other EU countries but is sold in Sweden as an alternative to cigarettes.
This product, packed in small bags of wet tobacco, people use by placing it under their upper lips.
The Swedes like this tobacco product, similar to some products sold in the United States, so much that they requested an exemption from the EU ban on smokeless tobacco when they joined the EU in 1995.
Për “Swedish Match”, një kompani e specializuar në prodhimin dhe shitjen e produkteve të duhanit, “snus” është pjesë e identitetit suedez.
“Është pjesë e kulturës suedeze, është si ekuivalenti suedez i proshutës italiane të Parmës apo ndonjë zakon tjetër kulturor”, thotë Patrik Hildingsson, zëdhënës i kompanisë “Swedish Match”, prodhuesi më i mirë i “snusit” në Suedi, e cila u ble nga gjiganti i duhanit “Philip Morris” vitin e kaluar.
Gjatë dhjetë viteve të fundit përdorimi i duhanit të lagur dhe formave të tjera pa tym të nikotinës u rrit nga 11.2 në 13.7 për qind.
Marina Sohlberg, pedagoge në Universitetin e Stokholmit, thotë se politikat kundër duhanit në Suedi kanë pasur efektin e stigmatizimit të duhan pirjes dhe duhanpirësve, duke i larguar ata nga hapësirat publike në oborret e shtëpisë dhe në zonat e caktuara për duhanpirjen.
“Ligjet dhe politikat tona po u dërgojnë sinjale duhanpirësve se kjo nuk pranohet nga shoqëria”, thotë ajo.
Zonja Sohlberg e pranon se edhe duhani i lagur është i rrezikshëm për shëndetin. Por ajo thotë se duhet të ketë një përqëndrim më të madh në pakësimin e dëmit ndaj shëndetit në luftën kundër duhan pirjes.
“Për t’i larguar njerëzit nga pirja e duhanit, që është i dëmshëm për shëndetin, ne duhet tu ofrojmë atyre një alternativë që është më pak e dëmshme”, thotë ajo.
Por, Organizata Botërore e Shëndetësisë thotë se kalimi nga një produkt i dëmshëm në tjetrin nuk është zgjidhje.
"Promoting the so-called 'harm reduction approach' to tobacco is another way the tobacco industry is trying to mislead people about the dangerous nature of these products," the WHO said in an email to the Associated Press news agency. VOA/