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Nicotine patches cleared for sale in supermarkets

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Nicotine patches cleared for sale in supermarkets
11:30 CEST+02:00
Swedes will soon for the first time be able to buy anti-smoking treatments alongside cigarettes, after the government announced plans to end the Apoteket state pharmacy's monopoly on selling the products.

The proposal to allow nicotine gum, patches and tablets to be sold in normal stores is set to be approved by the government on Wednesday, according to Sveriges Radio.

Social Affairs Minister Göran Hägglund said it was unreasonable that cigarettes were more easily accessible than anti-smoking medicine.

The decision comes as the government considers the future of the entire Apoteket monopoly. Ministers have said they want to see the pharmacy monopoly broken up and the market opened up to competition. Apoteket's unique position on the market is expected to end by the beginning of 2009.

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