Norway's Ministry of Health and Care Services Puts Public Health First


In June 2004, the Norwegian government enacted a total ban on smoking in public buildings, thereby putting the health of the public before private interests. It was especially courageous to pass an indoor smoking ban considering Norway's cold climate. The government has also supplemented the ban with the most progressive cigarette tax policy in Europe and has wisely funded several studies that have become extremely influential regarding the effectiveness of the non-smoking policies, through the Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research (SIRUS), the Research Center for Health Promotion (Senter-HEMIL), and the National Institute of Occupational Health (STAMI). These studies have inspired many nations around the world to pursue similar tobacco legislation.