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The government last month unveiled plans to ensure that future generations are tobacco-free by banning the sale of cigarettes and other nicotine products to anyone born after 2010.

People under 18 are not legally allowed to purchase cigarettes under current Danish laws, so although the ban would not have an effect for six years, it would prevent people born after 2010 from ever buying cigarettes.

But the Danish plan now looks unlikely in its current form because EU member states may not forbid the sale of tobacco, according to a response given to a parliamentary question by the health minister, Magnus Heunicke.