Norway’s newly appointed Health Minister Sylvi Listhaug, no stranger to controversy, has once again stirred the public by claiming that she wants to avoid becoming the “moral police” and instead intends to let fellow Norwegians indulge in bad habits as they please.
Progress Party figurehead and newly-minted Health Minister Sylvi Listhaug has shocked her compatriots with an unorthodox stance on nutrition, alcohol, and tobacco.
“I believe people should be allowed to smoke, drink and eat as much red meat they just want.The authorities may like to inform, but people already know pretty well what is healthy and what isn’t, I believe”, Listhaug told national broadcaster NRK.
“My starting point for the job is very simple. I don’t plan to be a moral police, and will not tell people how to live their lives. Instead, I intend to help people get information that forms the basis for making choices“, she explained.
Listhaug, who this weekend was also elected first vice-chair of the right-wing Progress Party, a paramount sidekick for the Conservative-led government, said she was increasingly sympathetic toward a particular group in society – smokers.
“I believe many smokers feel they have become pariahs. They feel they almost need to hide away, and I believe that’s stupid”, 41-year-old Listhaug, herself a social smoker, said. “Although smoking isn’t good, because it is harmful, adults have the right to decide for themselves what they do”.