Sweden to ban outdoor smoking

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-18 21:47:12|Editor: xuxin
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STOCKHOLM, May 18 (Xinhua) -- A new law banning smoking in outdoor areas will come into effect this July, Swedish News SVT reported on Saturday.

From July 1 2019, the new smoking ban will cover outdoor serving areas at cafes and restaurants, as well as public playgrounds, bus shelters and train platforms, sports arenas and entrances to civic buildings. The ban also applies to electronic cigarettes, known as e-cigarettes or "vapes".

"The goal is to prevent people suffering from diseases associated with smoking and passive smoking, such as cancer," Minister for Health and Social Affairs Lena Hallengren told SVT.

The new legislation is a step towards the so-called "Smoke-Free Sweden 2025" goal, which aims to see less than five percent of the population smoking by the year 2025.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden has been tasked with implementing the change in law, and resourced with 8 million SEK (830,000 U.S. dollars) over 2019 to run a national awareness campaign and support municipalities to implement the law locally.

Almost half the funding will be given to organisations that work preventatively to reduce tobacco use, SVT reported.

"The contribution to the voluntary sector is an important part. We need to have a community-based approach to ensure that the law has an impact, but also because in the long term we will achieve the goal of a tobacco-free Sweden 2025," Hallengren told SVT. (1 U.S. dollar = 9.64 SEK)