Sweden Wants to Change EU Views on Snus

Posted by James in Politics

I read the following story on Stockholm News and felt the need to highlight the importance of it. With high smoking rates in much of Europe, Swedish snus could help those who enjoy tobacco move to a safer alternative to cigarette smoking, yet most EU member countries refuse to allow the sale of snus within their borders.

I look forward to learning the outcome of this upcoming meeting, and I hope that it has a positive outcome for snus. Oddly enough, American style dipping tobacco is still available for sale in the EU.

Next week, EU Ministers will meet to discuss how to change the tobacco directive. The Swedish Minister for Trade Ewa Björling hopes to convince her colleagues that the present legislation is not logical. She claims the Swedish snus is less dangerous than for example Pakistani snus and French chewing tobacco which is already legal. Björling said to the Swedish radio:

  • The big difference between Swedish snus and other snus which is already on the EU market is that the Swedish brands are manufactured in another way. It has lower content of dangerous substances such as nitrosamine and benzoin.

The Swedish government claims the ban on snus violates the principles of the inner market. They do however want tougher control of tobacco products and more scientific analysis of the contents. All eight parties in the Riksdag are behind the government’s attempts to lift the ban.

I truly feel that tobbaco harm reduction is the best policy when it comes to tobacco legislation. It frustrates me knowing that like my country Canada, the EU continues to allow consumers access to much more harmful products, yet refuses to acknowledge the use of snus as an effective nicotine replacement therapy, in my case making it much more expensive to purchase snus than cigarettes (as for many Snus Authority readers). However, I choose to continue using snus rather than smoke due to how much better I have felt since I switched from smoking to snus. Plus, I happen to love the taste of  a few different brands of snus much more than I do the taste of cigarettes!