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Historisk arkiv

Norway banns smoking in restaurants, bars and the like, with effect from spring 2004

Historisk arkiv

Publisert under: Regjeringen Bondevik II

Utgiver: Helsedepartementet

The Norwegian Parliament, Odelstinget, passed the bill on total banning of smoking in the hospitality business, April 8 2003. The banning of smoking will be implemented at places that serve food and/or drinks and where these items will be consumed in the same facilities. Places that will be affected by the law, as from spring 2004, are such as; restaurants, cafés, discos, bars, pubs and the like. (09.04.03)

Norway banns smoking in restaurants, bars and the like, with effect from spring 2004

The Norwegian Parliament, Odelstinget, passed the bill on total banning of smoking in the hospitality business, April 8 2003.

The banning of smoking will be implemented at places that serve food and/or drinks and where these items will be consumed in the same facilities. Places that will be affected by the law, as from spring 2004, are such as; restaurants, cafés, discos, bars, pubs and the like.

"I see it as an important task and political responsibility to pave the way for advancing improved public health. The use of tobacco is the number one risk factor causing preventable diseases and premature deaths in the population. Reduction of tobacco consumption is therefore a challenge that I give high priority in my capacity as a Minister of Health", said Minister Dagfinn Høybråten during the debate in the Parliament. He characterises the move as a historic milestone in the struggle against diseases caused by tobacco use.

"With the knowledge and evidence we now have on the effects of smoking, would it be an act of gross negligence if we could not protect employees against smoke at their working places", said the Minister. Annually 350 to 550 non-smokers die in Norway as a result of passive smoking. 120 000 patients with asthmatic disorders have been partially unable to visit restaurants where smoking is allowed.

The main purpose of this bill is to protect employees and other guests against passive smoking. The employees in restaurants and bars are the only group in Norway to day that has no effective legal protection against smoking at their working places. Research has shown that waiters and barkeepers have a significant higher risk of acquiring lung cancer than other groups of employees. An American study has also shown that already after 4 weeks of banning smoking in restaurants in California, the health of the employees had improved.

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