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Swedes stock up on moist snuff

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12:34 CET+01:00
Swedish consumers of moist snuff were among those hardest hit when finance minister Anders Borg presented his debut budget in mid-October. From the beginning of next year, tax on the product is set to double.

A small box of moist snuff, or 'snus' to give it its Swedish title, is expected to increase in price from 26 to 37 kronor.

And retailers are now beginning to notice an increase in demand as consumers have started squirreling away extra snus in fridges nationwide. When refrigerated, the product can stay fresh for up to a year.

Many experts agree that many people will take the opportunity to break the habit as part of their new year's resolutions. But those who plan to continue stuffing snus under their top lip are hell-bent on keeping it cheap.

Magnus Frisk, spokesman for the Coop supermarket chain, has indicated that sales are already higher than usual, but he expects to see all previous snus records smashed in the week between Christmas and the new year.

The Dag Livs supermarket in Stockholm is taking absolutely no chances and has ordered in ten times more moist snuff than usual.

"We think there is going to be a major increase in sales and are taking in snus by the pallet. For the first time ever we have even had to put loads of snus in the chilled cabinets," store buyer Niclas Åberg told Dagens Nyheter.

Snus accounts for half of the country's total tobacco consumption. It is estimated that, out of a total population of 9 million, 1.1 million Swedes are snus users.

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