Danes smoke like never before

Danes can't seam to kick their smoking habits, says the Danish Cancer Society

Costly anti-smoking campaigns have had little effect on Danes. Sale of tobacco products have risen by 12 percent over the last few years sales, according to the Scandinavian Tobacco Company (ST).

Cigarette sales have increased from DKK 7.3 million to DKK 8.2 billion. The increase is due to cross-border trade shifting back to Denmark, according to ST.

While such a widespread habit is difficult to break, anti-smoking campaigns have also missed the mark, according to the Danish Cancer Society. The increase in smoking has created a large social group of smokers who are typically unemployed or employed in low-wage jobs.

'It is generally only causal smokers who are affected by the campaigns, and almost all are from higher social classes,' said Per Kim Nielsen, a project leader with the Cancer Society. 'The less educated people are, the sooner people die as a result of the social wave.'

Smokers 'only' use DKK 11.5 billion a year on tobacco, but it costs the public health system DKK 27 billion to treat patients with smoking-related illnesses.

While statistics have shown a falling number of smokers, heavy smokers smoke more than every before and the Cancer Society doubts whether the number of smokers has actually declined.

'We have a feeling that the numbers reported back to us are too low. It is sort of out to be a smoker, so when we call people and ask about their habits, we don't always get an honest answer,' Nielsen told financial journal Børsen.

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