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CIGARETTES

Cigarette sales down after packets placed out of sight: Danish supermarket

Sales of cigarettes have noticeably dropped since 500 branches of supermarket Netto placed stocks out of sight of customers, the company said.

Cigarette sales down after packets placed out of sight: Danish supermarket
File photo: Claus Fisker/Ritzau Scanpix

The measure was introduced in July as part of a campaign to achieve a ‘smoke-free’ generation of young people in Denmark by 2030.

People wanting to purchase cigarettes in the stores must now ask for them specifically, and sales have fallen by around five percent, Ritzau reports.

“The aim is not to sell fewer cigarettes, as we don’t actually want to get involved in whether people smoke. But we support the idea of fewer young people starting to smoke,” Netto’s Denmark director Brian Seemann told Ritzau.

“We are hearing from our stores that there are fewer impulse purchases of cigarettes by young people. So we think we’re on the right track,” Seemann said.

Charities the Danish Cancer Society (Kræftens Bekæmpelse) and the Heart Foundation (Hjerteforeningen) both praised Netto for introducing the measure.

“After much debate, we finally have something that means fewer children and young people will start smoking, and fewer will get cancer in the future,” project leader Niels Them Kjær of the Danish Cancer Society said.

“But we need a law, because all convenience stores must also be on board if we are to reach our goal of a smoke-free future in 2030,” Kjær added.

Netto’s parent company Salling Group also owns the Føtex and Bilka supermarket chains, which will follow suit in removing cigarettes from display later this year.

“We don’t mind being alone (in concealing cigarettes). Others are perhaps reluctant because there’s an economic cost. But we are seeing the results we want to, so we are happy,” Seemann said.

READ ALSO: Denmark to increase checks on under-age cigarette sales

SMOKING

A packet of cigarettes could soon cost 50 percent more in Denmark

Denmark’s Liberal party says it will try to gather a parliamentary majority in support of raising the price of a packet of cigarettes to 60 kroner (8 euros), should the government not take the step itself.

A packet of cigarettes could soon cost 50 percent more in Denmark
Photo: Vibeke Toft/Ritzau Scanpix

An increase in the price of a packet of cigarettes to 60 kroner (8 euros) – around 20 kroner more than the current price – must be included in the autumn budget, the Liberal party says.

“We want to make sure of a much higher level of ambition than the government is currently seems to be showing. Children, the elderly and smoking do not belong together, and something must be done now,” health spokesperson Sophie Løhde told Berlingske.

Prior to the election, parliament broadly agreed on a price increase on cigarettes, but the government wants to limit that to a phased raise to 50 kroner per packet over three years, according to a report by Altinget.

But the Social Democrat spokesperson for health Jesper Petersen subsequently told Berlingske that the Altinget report did not reflect the government’s policy or planned proposal within the budget.

Left-wing allies of the government also support an increase in cigarette prices, with the Social Liberals preferring 70 kroner per packet. The party’s spokesperson Nils Sjøberg told Altinget they would accept 60 kroner as “better than nothing”.

READ ALSO: Number of smokers in Denmark up for first time in 20 years

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