• Sweden edition
 
Sweden takes snus fight to Brussels
Photo: Scanpix

Sweden takes snus fight to Brussels

Published: 20 Feb 2011 15:49 GMT+01:00
Updated: 20 Feb 2011 15:49 GMT+01:00

In a letter to the EU Commission in response to the so-called tobacco directive, Hägglund described the ban as "illogical" and demanded it be overturned.

Hägglund argued furthermore that the product is "significantly less damaging than cigarettes", adding that a ban contravenes the principles of the free market

The government stance is at odds with its own experts at the Health and Welfare Board (Socialstyrelsen) and the Swedish National Institute of Public Health (Folkhälsöinstitutet).

"There are good grounds to argue the adverse health effects of snus and there is no scientific evidence to indicate that snus works to help to quit smoking," the National Institute of Public Health argued in comments on the issue to a EU seminar in 2009.

The EU is undergoing a review of its tobacco policy, the so-called tobacco directive.

Snus is currently only permitted for sale in Sweden, among the EU countries, and there is pressure from some quarters to ease the restrictions. One line of argumentation is that snus is less damaging than smoking and can thus be part of "harm reduction" measures to aid smokers keen to quit.

The Public Health Institute, along with anti-smoking groups, rejects this argument, pointing out that its 2009 national health survey indicated that only five percent of smokers who have managed to stop have done so with the help of snus.

Furthermore, the institute pointed out, four out of ten men who snus also smoke on a daily basis or from time to time.

The issue has landed on Göran Hägglund's table due to a recent move by the EU to shift the tobacco issue from one of trade to a health matter.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

17:11 February 20, 2011 by Nemesis
Snus is disgusting.

Snus should be banned as should smoking.
17:22 February 20, 2011 by calebian22
At least snus only harms the dummy who uses it.
17:26 February 20, 2011 by JulieLou40
This is one thing that I hope Brussels wins on and Sweden loses.

My partner uses it and it's vile. In our house we call it "death powder". It stinks and makes the user's teeth yellow. Bleurgh.
17:50 February 20, 2011 by DAVID T
Smoking makes your teeth and fingers yellow as well as lung cancer
19:23 February 20, 2011 by Beef
Strange double standard. I'll support it when the government allows me to pop out on a Sunday evening and by that bottle of wine that I fancied for dinner this evening. As for promoting something as addictive as snus internationally. Very strange!!
19:46 February 20, 2011 by Bostonexpat
I'm sure there are "We luv Göran" posters throughout the halls of Swedish Match
19:48 February 20, 2011 by Rick Methven
It would save me taking a whole stock when I go on my holidays in Europe
20:18 February 20, 2011 by philster61
Best birth control ever invented........
21:08 February 20, 2011 by johnny1939
I think snusa is more disgusting than smoking particularly when women do it.
21:57 February 20, 2011 by Swedesmith
Saying snus is better than cigarettes is like saying polio is better than paralysis.
00:38 February 21, 2011 by Rishonim
@Beef. I agree with you. Systembolaget contravenes the principles of free will and choice.
01:10 February 21, 2011 by Corvinus
If this ban is based purely on health reasons they best get a wiggle on and ban cigarettes too, oh, and booze of course...
04:42 February 21, 2011 by Raggare
Interesting that so many people seem to be against snus, even though us snusare only hurt ourselves (as opposed to smokers).

Is it safe to assume the same people who are so against snus, are also against alcohol? I really hope so, in the name of consistency.

Both snus and alcohol have a long history in Sweden, some people may even say they are part of the Swedish heritage.

So should we outlaw snus and alcohol now, or can we let people make their own choice??
05:25 February 21, 2011 by waffen
I quit using snus over eight years ago, yet when I had read that Therese Allshammar used both snus and drank coffee regularly,

I considered changing my mind.

I did not, but anyone who tells me that her teeth are yellow I would reply that they are blind. She has no yellow fingers nor yellow teeth. Besides that, she is the best female swimmer in Sweden., and an Olympian, and will be again at age 33..

I tend to go along with her notion of using snus, and thus pay no mind to those who post to the contrary here.who have no such accomplishments as she.
08:01 February 21, 2011 by ooh456
As a snus user for 25 years, I wish the stuff had never been invented. Okay I'm gonna have a coffee and snus now, bye.
08:04 February 21, 2011 by seagull
Amazing how many people who seem to want to get rid of freedoms. Banning something because you personally don't like it. What next? Cabbage?, fish (esp surstrumming), the perfumes or after-shaves you don't particularly like?, music?, people who annoy you???

I hope they win this one... It (as they say) makes absolutely no sense.
11:31 February 21, 2011 by Beef
I think banning as a principle should be almost a last resort. Snus is already banned. They're reasoning for unbanning is, and I repeat, a double standard. That's my issue. Snus is highly addictive. So many people want to quit and just can't. Why inflict that on others, especially when most people outside this country are not even aware of its existence! Ludicrous.
11:52 February 21, 2011 by Keith #5083
I don't like snus!

Equally, I am not keen on alcohol (which costs national health services 6, yes 6, times what smoking costs) - however, any measure that can result in 5% of smokers stopping should not be derided as is done by the PHI.

I think any such reports should always carry data on those who prepare the reports:data on do they smoke? how much? do they snus?how much? do they drink alcohol? how much? Do they believe in double-standards? how much?

.
12:15 February 21, 2011 by Rick Methven
I was a smoker for 50 years and had tried to give up many times and failed just as many when I used patches, gum etc as aid.

I finally gave up smoking by switching to snus and am able to gradually reduce my intake of snus and hopefully quit that as well. Snus is a tobbaco product but at least it does not contain all of the tar and additives of cigarettes that clog your lungs. With snus, I breath more easily and can exercise more without coughing my guts up AND my clothes do not stink and I am not forcing others near me to breath secondary tobacco smoke.

With an almost total smoking ban in Europe and around the world, smokers are having a hard time of it. The availability of snus would be of a help to smokers in other European countries to give up the weed in an easier manner.
14:25 February 21, 2011 by JoriH
I think one of the most concerning things about snus is that you are practically able to use it anywhere, anytime and that's exactly what Swedish people do. I know people who sometimes go to bed with snus in their mouths and when they wake up, they just spit it out and get a fresh bag. People do it schools, work, bars, public transportation, just everywhere.

I was a smoker for 10 years and after I quit I've started to realize how scary it is that a huge part of this nation is continuously consuming highly addictive nicotine products. I remember how anxious I used to get when I wasn't able to get my normal "fix" and I "only" smoked 5-10 cigs a day. I can just imagine what these people are going through when they use snus all the time, portion after portion. That just makes me sad... I know a guy who tried to quit snus by starting smoking, he said it far less addictive. He failed of course and is currently doing both.

Alcohol is stupid as it is but at least you get some kind of an buzz out of it when you use it. Nicotine addicts only use the stuff they're addicted to in order to get rid of the withdrawal effects, "to make them normal" as they say. Nicotine is highly addictive, totally useless and the common ways to consume it are very harmful. Doesn't make much sense to me.
18:07 February 21, 2011 by mkvgtired
If Snus clears the "bad for you" hurdle where will the banning stop? Granted, Snus is not the most attractive habit, neither is smoking. I used to smoke and quit without different aids (otherwise you are just displacing your addiction). I am amazed that Snus is banned in the EU. But then again what would you expect from the organization that banned misshapen strawberries until recently.
18:13 February 21, 2011 by Keith #5083
#Jorih

hmmm... and exactly how do you attempt to suggest that alcohol is not addictive?

Do you not think the 'buzz' from alcohol is not an addictive response to the latest fix?

Ah, but I forget, alcohol is still a 'socially acceptable addiction'. This from the BBC today:

"Doctors are warning poor alcohol regulation could cost up to 250,000 lives in England and Wales over the next 20 years".
19:53 February 21, 2011 by planethero
E621 overdose.

yummy, smakförstarkare soaked tobacco.
22:33 February 21, 2011 by rumcajs
I stoped smoking thanks to the snus... ok, yeah.. it's another adiction, but I don't blow the crap on my son. Also, it doesn't make me feel tired like smoking (I walked 2 streets and felt like after running a whole mile).

The guy is right, snus is faaar less bad than smoking..... but smoking gives a lot of money in taxes to goverments and the pharma industry with the uselesss nicotine products that don't help at all. THAT is the difference.
23:52 February 21, 2011 by JoriH
@ Keith #5083

Why would I "attempt to suggest that alcohol is not addictive"? I'm pretty sure I made no such claims in my text before. I was merely comparing the effects of alcohol and nicotine on people consuming them.
10:50 February 22, 2011 by Keith #5083
#JoriH

Sorry. I misunderstood your strong emphaisis on nicotine addiction as opposed to the 'lesser' harmful effects of a 'buzz'. I now see that you did not intend to imply that

alcohol was not addictive.
13:56 February 22, 2011 by americanska
BAN IT, reason being. I don't like it and I think it's gross.

So I'll just stay on my high horse while I have my cigar and scotch.
23:15 February 24, 2011 by Gil Ross MD/ACSH
The ban on snus in the EU is simply illogical and counterproductive from any point of view. Some may find it unpleasant, some smokers will dual use, of course. But given the addictive power of smoking, the danger of second-hand smoke, and the abysmal success rate of approved cessation products--something must be done to help the millions of addicted smokers quit. The objections are theoretical--the people dying of lung (and other) cancers and a wide range of cardiovascular diseases are quite real. How can a ban be justified when deadly cigarettes are available on every streetcorner and schoolyard? Give smokers a break, remove the ban. I speak as a public health professional who had to quit 15 times before it 'took".
01:00 March 31, 2011 by studentdo
If the United State's experience with smokeless tobacco can be a guide to this debate, look at dip tobacco usage. Since smoking bans went into effect in the US, dip consumption increased by some 200% since 2000 and yet mouth and throat cancer rates attributed to its use has not increased. From a simple cost standpoint, treating lung cancer is very expensive with little chance of long-term positive outcome whereas mouth and throat cancer can be treated much easier with a higher success rate. As far as addiction is concerned, we all have free will and its best that the politicians keep their noses out of our lives and stick to what they should, not bankrupting our countries!
00:28 May 31, 2011 by darkrealm
recent studies by many credible scientists have proven that snus and american dip does not cause oral cancers. The current EU ban on snus may have something to do with the amount of money made from Nicotine replacment therapy, the pharma companies are making a sweet deal selling a product that only has a 10% success rate. Snus would kill their trade.
Today's headlines
Sweden Floods
Flood chaos continues with more rain forecast
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Flood chaos continues with more rain forecast

UPDATED: Sweden's floods are set to continue over the weekend with the national weather agency predicting more showers for some of the affected areas. READ  

Elections 2014
Reinfeldt better at handling a crisis: Poll

Reinfeldt better at handling a crisis: Poll

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's hopes for remaining in office has been given a boost after more Swedes said they had greater faith in him handling a crisis compared to election rival Stefan Löfven. READ  

Gaza & Robin Williams: Swedes' Google habits
Actor Robin Williams. Photo: AP

Gaza & Robin Williams: Swedes' Google habits

The internet search giant has revealed what Swedes googled for most over the summer period with the top 10 made up of diverse search topics ranging from sport to wasp stings READ  

Dad jailed for assaulting his infant twin sons
Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Dad jailed for assaulting his infant twin sons

A man in central Sweden was sentenced to prison for aggravated assault on Friday after doctors noticed that both his twin sons had sustained serious and unexplained injuries. READ  

Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Clocking in. File photo: Shutterstock

Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial

Officials finalized plans on Friday for the "Gothenburg guinea pigs" who will test out the six-hour workday, a move it's hoped will cut down on sick leave, boost efficiency, and ultimately save Sweden money. READ  

Armed royal guards caught drunk on the job
Photo: Gunnar Lundmark/TT

Armed royal guards caught drunk on the job

Three Swedish soldiers risk prison after they were found to be drunk while guarding Stockholm's Royal Palace. The men, who were all armed at the time, were charged on Friday. READ  

Stockholm
What do the Swedes do when summer's over?
Photo: Isabela Vrba

What do the Swedes do when summer's over?

The heatwave is well and truly over, the days are getting shorter, and winter is coming. With this in mind, The Local's Isabela Vrba chatted to ten Stockholmers about how they plan to tackle the autumn. READ  

Swedes spend fortune on nail polish trend
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes spend fortune on nail polish trend

Swedes are spending more than ever on makeup - and a growing chunk is going directly to their fingernails, new figures showed on Friday. READ  

Sweden mulls stripping paracetamol from shops
The pharmacy section of a grocery store. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden mulls stripping paracetamol from shops

After a drastic increase in the number of paracetamol poisonings in Sweden, authorities have said the drug should only be available in pharmacies. READ  

Listeria fears prompt meat recall in Sweden
File photo: Andreas Hagerman/Flickr

Listeria fears prompt meat recall in Sweden

After finding traces of listeria in ham sold in Sweden, food companies decided on Friday to recall several Danish cold cuts. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Blog updates

17 August

Sea Fever (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I’m going to keep this post short and sweet as its not something I take any pleasure in writing. After much deliberation I have made the heartbreaking decision to abandon my trip after 1200km due to reoccurring injury. It is not a decision I have made lightly and it is one that has been truly devastating..." READ »

 

17 August

St. Louis strong (Blogweiser) »

"It’s typically a bad sign when my hometown makes news in Sweden. St. Louis was in the headlines here a few years ago when a tornado struck the airport. The city also caught attention after a politician talked about ‘legitimate rape’. Now, shooting and riots this week in Ferguson, a part of St. Louis, are..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
"Iraq reminds me of the Yugoslav wars. It's the same story."
Society
Swedes slam Danes for 'racist' art
National
Majority of Swedes favour more or just as many refugees
Society
Lock your bathrooms: Swedish toilet invader on the the loose
Politics
'Assange will not leave until safe'
Gallery
See more images from the southern Sweden floods
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
Serial chicken smuggler caught at Norway border. Again.
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
Shutterstock
Lifestyle
The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)
Politics
Reinfeldt calls for tolerance to refugees
Gallery
People-watching August 16-17
National
Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace
Society
Top ten literal Swedish words
Politics
'Terror training should be illegal': Liberal Party
Gallery
Swedes talk about 200 years of national peace
Politics
Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat
National
Teacher fined for 'Hitler salute' in German class
Features
Kiruna residents talk life in a town on the move
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

729
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se