The dark side casts its shade over the kingdom of Denmark


Author: Søren Højbjerg
Article Published: 01/07/2005


The small European kingdom of Denmark is gearing up for tight smoking prohibitions. Pipe smoking minister of health, Lars Loekke Rasmussen, is conducting a series of controlled hearings about smoking bans. The first of four such hearings was held on saturday april 16, 2005, in the capital city of Copenhagen.

A selected panel, including the minister himself, the president of the Danish Cancer Society and local celebrity rock singer Kim Larsen, a cigarette smoker, presented various sides of the case.

The audience consisted of 200 randomly selected citizens of the municipality of Copenhagen, drawn from public registers. Other than those randomly selected, the public was barred from the hearing. Obviously the press had unrestricted access. During the 4 hour session, the audience was polled about how strict prohibitions should be on smoking, and what punishment to enforce on offenders.

Already here it seems clear that these hearings are no more than cleverly masterminded tobacco control tricks.

Asked about his own pipe smoking habit, health minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen declined to give an answer as to how much he smoked. “I’ll keep that to myself”, was his comment.

In an ill omen of warning about what lies in the future, the minister declared that the purpose of these hearings is to “...create understanding of the rules that will follow when the year is over”. More tobacco control weasel words.

Cigarette smoking singer Kim Larsen had the last say with a song composed for the purspose. A catchy phrase from the song goes like:

“Stay on the mat, or you’ll get a bloodied punch in your nose”.

Tobacco Control in a nutshell.

(source: national newspapers Berlingske Tidende and Politiken, sunday april 17, 2005)




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