July 3, 2012 – reporting from Almedalen

As you know from yesterday, I am now at the political summit in Almedalen. This morning was devoted to tobacco prevention and tobacco cessation discussions. I visited seminars arranged by tobaksfakta.se in collaboration with other anti-tobacco organizations. You know from our work with Dizza Tobak, that I have very strong feelings around tobacco.

Tobacco is one of the biggest threats to health. And the seminars today focused upon kids’ rights to a tobacco free environment. We learned today that in Sweden,

- 6000 people die every year from tobacco

- 20% of all cancer cases are directly due to tobacco

- 16000 starts to smoke every year, and

- societal costs due to tobacco are approximately 30 billion SEK every year.

What can be done? Several proposals were discussed, e.g. increase the tobacco tax, a ban on all exposure, banning smoking in public places, and of course different information campaigns. And it cannot come as a big surprise after Dizza Tobak, that I am a big fan of campaigns. Elin Ramfalk from A Non Smoking Generation gave a very interesting example of how to spread information and engagement in the new internet world. Check out agerareklam.se. You’ll love it!

Elin Ramfalk talks about Agerareklam

Elin Ramfalk talks about Agerareklam

I was alo very impressed by another campaign presented today: Kräv rökfritt. It is not only a website, there is also facebook and twitter, and an exciting App. Once again, check it out – you’ll love it. What was extra fun is that later on during the day I saw the Kräv Rökfritt-kids in Almedalen. They do look cool!

Kräv rökfritt

Kräv rökfritt

The picture above is taken after lunch at Donners Plats in Visby when I worked together with several LIF colleagues, presenting vårdfrågan.nu. As I wrote already in yesterday’s blog post: Follow that link, and learn about what Swedes think about healthcare issues…

I also visited a seminar on the need to move from a fossile fuel society to a society built on renewable energy. The seminar was arranged by Swedegas. They has invited participants from a number of different think tanks,  Anders Wijkman from the Club of Rome, Per Garthon from Cogito, Martin Ådahl from Fores, Boa Ruthström from Arena Idé, Kristina Persson from Global Utmaning and Christian Sandström representing Timbro. An interesting, and optimistic, debate. They all agreed that the transformation is not only necessary but also possible. A topic that was discussed was the political difficulties however. What is needed for the political system to deliver the decisions needed? I guess the question is still open…

And talking about politics: The party leader speech in Almedalen was given by our prime minister today, Fredrik Reinfeldt. And well, he did not help us to resolve the question above – will the political system manage to deliver the decisions needed?

More to come tomorrow!

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