Tobacco control

​Norway has a long tradition for working with tobacco control. Its first agency for tobacco control purposes was established in 1971.

Organisation of the tobacco control authorities in Norway

The Public Health Division of the Norwegian Directorate of Health has the main responsibility for governmental tobacco control initiatives and implementation, as well as being the supervisory authority for certain provisions in Norwegian tobacco control legislation. In addition it is an advisory body for the Ministry of Health in matters concerning tobacco and health.

Tobacco control is mainly a public responsibility, but the authorities enjoy a highly developed collaboration with NGOs, trade unions and health providers' organisations.

The Ministry of Health initiates and implements laws and regulations, and otherwise provides the Directorate with its framework conditions through budgets and annual instructions. The Directorate nonetheles plays a rather independent role in choosing the measures and strategies.


Until January 2002, when the Directorate for Health and Social Affairs was established, tobacco control was administered by the National Council on Tobacco and Health. This was an authority and administrative organ under the Ministry of Health.

The National Council on Tobacco and Health was established in 1971 and consisted of an advisory council and an administrative department. The advisory council exists.

The Directorate for Health and Social Affairs was reorganised and renamed Norwegian Directorate of Health in April 2008.