'Let them smoke, drink, and eat red meat,' says Norway’s new health ministerChristian Fernsby ▼ | May 9, 2019
Norway’s new public health minister stirred controversy when she said people should be “allowed to smoke, drink, and eat as much red meat as they want".
Europe Sylvi Listhaug
“I do not plan to be the moral police,” the 41-year-old populist politician said.
She also expressed sympathy for smokers, herself a “social smoker”, calling them a “pariah” of society and repeating that people need to choose for themselves how to behave.
She emphasised that smoking must be allowed in some places. An NRK image of Listhaug smoking and drinking soda has since been trending on social media sites.
Anne Lise Ryel, secretary-general of the Norwegian Cancer Society, said that she was concerned that Listhaug’s appointment would set public health back many decades.
“It seems she has little understanding of what public health really is and what her task as a minister in that area is,” Ryel told NRK.
Listhaug, a member of the right-wing Progress Party, previously served as justice minister. ■