[Oslo, Norway] Norway has passed legislation banning smoking in restaurants, bars, cafes and all public places and buildings where food and drink are served. The National Anti Smoking Act represents a landmark for any European government, and is backed by an $8 million marketing budget, sponsored by the Department of Health and shared between two Oslo-based ad agencies, Keelmuyden.Kiese and Virtual Garden. The law, scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2004, is opposed by the tobacco industry. The government's decision to promote the law through advertising is due to fears that the industry may lobby heavily against the law or conduct a legal challenge.
The budget will fund a broad TV, radio, outdoor, print and Internet ad campaign. Teenagers will be targeted through in-school marketing programs. Norway already has a complete ban on tobacco advertising, and smoking is prohibited in the workplace.