In addition to increasing the price of a packet of cigarettes to 80 kroner, Danske Regioner also wants stores to keep cigarette stocks out of sight of customers, all packaging to be neutral and for children and young people to banned from smoking during school hours, Jyllands-Posten reports.
The organisation hopes that being vocal about the issue will increase debate on the impact of smoking on health.
Danske Regioner chairperson Stephanie Lose, an elected official who represents the Liberal (Venstre) party, said the organisation wanted to re-light the debate on cigarettes for two reasons.
“One reason is that nothing is happening at Christiansborg [in parliament, ed.]. So I think it is important to get involved in this debate,” Lose told Ritzau.
“The other reason is that those of us who work in the healthcare sector and are responsible for its running see the consequences close up,” she added.
Around 13,600 people in Denmark die annually due to smoking-related causes, according to Jyllands-Posten.
Over the last five years, the number of young smokers in Denmark has increased, with 28.5 percent of people between the ages of 16 and 24 now smoking daily or occasionally.
Danske Regioner’s board, which consists of representatives from a number of political parties, unanimously supports the initiative. Board members from the Liberal, Social Democrat and Danish People’s parties are thereby taking a line which breaks with the stance of their own parties over the issue.
National Institute of Public Health director Morten Grønbæk said that the price of a packet of cigarettes was a major factor in their consumption.
“We know that the price has a very big effect. It will certainly have a great effect on tobacco consumption amongst young people,” Grønbæk told Ritzau.
The Danish Cancer Society (Kræftens Bekæmpelse) and the Danish Medical Association have both previously called for parliament to take measures similar to those now proposed by Danske Regioner.