Smoke-Free Future is a partnership with the sole purpose to prevent us as a society from passing on tobacco to the coming generations. This initiative is a unique take on the anti-smoking message which has been propagated for decades all over the world and this is the story from launch to lawmaking.
Ever since the Danish Tobacco Law of 2007, no Danish initiatives had been done in order to prevent children from start smoking. That is why The Danish Cancer Society and TrygFonden back in 2017 established the partnership Smoke-Free Future with the sole purpose to prevent us as a society from passing on tobacco to the coming generations. This initiative is a unique take on the anti-smoking message which has been propagated for decades all over the world.
When Smoke-Free Future was founded, only 13% of Danes believed that we’d be able to stop passing on our bad habits to our children and grandchildren. Even though we’ve known all along what it requires to achieve this. First and foremost, it requires smoke-free school hours, neutral design on cigarette packaging, tobacco hidden from plain sight in shops and the absolutely crucial and most effective measure: a significant increase in price. Since the launch of Smoke-Free Future various campaigns have primed the Danes and the Danish politicians creating amazing attention to the mission, but for the Danish 2019 finance bill negotiation we needed to remove the politicians last argument of not to increase the tobacco prices.
Looking into the numbers, we found, that a huge majority of smokers actually share our Smoke-Free Future ambition of not passing on tobacco to the coming generations. So, we did something never done before. In an unexpected and moving departure from typical anti-smoking tactics, we offered a heartfelt thank you to smokers. In advance of the 2019 national elections, in a nationwide campaign, we thanked the smokers for their support, and reminded the politicians not to fear smokers as a voting demographic. The film ended on the four specific bills; Smoke-free schools, Significantly more expensive cigarettes, Tobacco under the counter, Packages without logos.
Only three years in, we have manage to start a huge debate generating a great deal of awareness, increasing the numbers of Smoke-Free Future partners to more than 226 including almost all the 98 Danish local municipalities, The Danish Chambers of Commerce, big corporations like Coop, and Salling Group and cultural institutions like Roskilde Festival. The film alone was seen +2,5 million times (Danish population:5,6 million) and press coverage of the subject went through the roof. Tobacco became the third most talked about subject in the elections. And after an almost 13-year standstill in Danish tobacco legislation, after the elections, the new government voted all four initiatives ending the film into law.