Iceland considers relegating smokes to the pharmacy -

Iceland considers relegating smokes to the pharmacy

Cigarettes would only be available with a prescription


When it comes to draconian anti-smoking rules, no country has considered going as far as Iceland. This fall, the country’s parliament will debate a radical new proposal that would outlaw the sale of cigarettes outside of pharmacies, where they would only be available with a prescription. The bill, sponsored by former health minister Siv Fridleifsdottir, aims to “protect children and youngsters,” she says, and to stop them from ever taking up the habit.

Iceland, however, is not alone in throwing up new barriers to smokers. In Australia next year, cigarettes will be sold in plain, brown packaging, prohibiting the use of tobacco industry logos, colours or brand imagery. In Sweden, surgeons refuse to treat smokers; patients are given blood tests to ensure compliance. Finland, meanwhile, is hoping to ban smoking entirely by 2040.

The Icelandic proposal also suggests treating tobacco smoke as a carcinogen, restricting it the same way the country does other known cancer-causing agents. The bill, however, may never see the light of day. A spokesperson for the Icelandic Ministry of Welfare said the proposal, although “very serious” and backed by the Icelandic Medical Association, has little chance of passing.

Filed under:

Iceland considers relegating smokes to the pharmacy

  1. This is a brilliant idea that we should adopt here in Canada. This would prevent youth from access to this dangerous gateway drug and would put the addiction into the care of medical professionals, where it belongs, so as to help those with manifest addictive personality disorders.

    • What a ridiculous statement. If people want something, they’ll get it. This wouldn’t prevent youth from access, it’ll just make it more desirable because it’s “dangerous.” Marijuana is illegal; does it stop “youth” from indulging? 

      The only people who would want this to be instated would be those whom sell on the black-market (primarily those on First Nations reserves), as the lack of access and probable increase in price would turn those who smoke to contraband tobacco.

      And since when does someone like myself (who smokes) have “manifest addictive personality disorder?” 

  2. i believe that if we took on a proposal similar to mapping a way, like Finland’s 2040 goal, and making our community safer and more enjoyable what difference it might also make in other areas. committing to the known positive is action Canadians as individuals have tried forgetting in recent years unfortunately

  3. Refusing medical treatment to smokers?! Isn’t that a huge human rights violation?