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The delegitimisation of smoking in Denmark and the US

Rasmus Tyge Haarløv, Theresa Scavenius


Tobacco smoke continues to be one of the largest causes of premature deaths on a global level. Denmark and the United States of America (US), however, represent two examples of successful transition, where the number of daily smokers has decreased significantly throughout the past 70 years. In this paper, we point out key institutional and moral entrepreneurs that paved the way for transition of the Danish and US smoking regimes. The paper investigates proponents as well as opponents of (progressive) anti-smoking legislation. We apply the theory of institutional and moral entrepreneurs to select important events and actors. In the two countries that we study in detail, Denmark and the US, we find different drivers of change: the court system in the US and institutional and moral entrepreneurs in Danish civil society. In both countries, however, the Parliament in Denmark and the Congress in the US played significant roles in maintaining and supporting the smoking regimes.


Transition, Destabilisation, Institutional entrepreneur, Smoking

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