Snus firms gear up for cigarette ban

With the ban on smoking in pubs, clubs and restaurants due to come into effect on June 1st, Sweden's "snus" manufacturers are lining up to woo cigarette smokers who need their nicotine fix whilst out on the town.

Snus – moist snuff, often encased in a miniature “tea bag” and placed under the lip – is extremely popular among Swedes. Both Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet have reported that Swedish Match, the leading producer of snus, is gearing up for the cigarette ban, anticipating an increased demand for their products.

SvD noted that so-called “snus fridges” are being installed in many Swedish pubs and restaurants, replacing cigarette machines, with two major restaurant chains apparently ordering the dispensers for their sixty restaurants.

Although Mikael Arnebert, press chief for Swedish Match, wouldn’t speculate on just how much he believes the smoking ban will affect snus sales, he pointed out that the sale of snus has rapidly increased in Norway where a similar ban was introduced last summer.

Sales of cigarettes have fallen drastically in Norway, said SvD, whilst more and more Norwegians have taken to placing a lump of moist tobacco under their lips.

Ewa Hagert, head of marketing at snus manufacturer Fiedler & Lundgren believes the sale of snus in pubs could well prove to be an “interesting” market once the smoking ban comes into place, but like many other manufacturers Hagert appeared wary of talking to the press given the health risks associated with tobacco products.

Apoteket, the chemist-chain, warns against using snus, arguing that it is extremely addictive and perhaps even “harder to give up than cigarettes”.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Apoteket