Tobacco Control in Denmark - How the Ugly Duckling Turned into a Swan

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: The implementation of tobacco control policies has been a neglected topic in tobacco research. A comprehensive Tobacco Action Plan including plain packaging, point-of-sale display ban, a ban on characterizing flavours (in products other than cigarettes), a strengthening of the promotion and marketing ban, a ban on the sale of novel nicotine products to minors, smoke-and nicotine-free-school hours in all schools with minors, and a significant increase in tobacco tax, was adopted in Denmark in 2019.

METHODS: Eleven people involved or very close to the advocacy process were invited, two did not respond and nine attended our research centre. We used the Nominal Group Technique, a consensus method, to identify the most important driving factors for passing the Tobacco Action Plan.

RESULTS: The round-robin identified 39 driving factors merged into 13 in the clarification phase. In the ranking phase, participants agreed on seven factors that they perceived have strongly influenced the political will to strengthen national tobacco control comprehensively. The most important factors were national data and evidence, a nationwide alliance with broad partnerships, a strict focus on young people, continuous media coverage, intensive lobbying by many different advocates, making it a community agenda - not a political one, and effective professional campaigns.

CONCLUSION: Our findings agree with experiences from other countries that significantly improved tobacco control. The Danish strategy, including a nationwide alliance with broad partnerships, had a high influence on the political agenda.

IMPLICATIONS: In this study, there was a consensus that seven factors strongly influenced the political will to comprehensively strengthen the national tobacco control in Denmark in a short time: national data and evidence; a nationwide alliance with broad partnerships; a strict focus on children and young people; continuous media coverage; intensive lobbying by many different advocates; making it a community agenda - not a political one, and effective professional campaigns. This is consistent with findings from other countries.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNicotine & Tobacco Research
ISSN1462-2203
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Apr 2024

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