Source: Stockholm News
The Swedish government is now urging the EU to legalise snus (moist powder tobacco). But this has led to a quarrel between the government and its own experts in the National Board of Health and Welfare and in the Swedish National Institute for Public Health.
Since some years back, the EU is overlooking its tobacco policy – the so called tobacco directive. In its answer to the EU, the Swedish government is now openly urging the EU to legalise snus.
The argument from the Swedish government is that the ban on snus goes against the free market. Sweden’s Minister for Health and Social Affairs, Göran Hägglund writes that “there is no argument at all which motivates a ban on snus” (quote from Svenska Dagbladet) and he continues that snus is clearly less dangerous than cigarettes. Therefore he claimst that the ban on snus “lacks logic”.
But at the same time, experts in Sweden do not agree with Minister Hägglund. OCF The Swedish argument of ‘harm reduction’ with convincing smokers to insted start with snus is “a myth” according to these experts.
Internal conflict in Sweden
The problem today is that the tobacco issue has become a health issue in the EU as it has been moved to the EU’s Directorate for health. This is why is the Swedish Minister for health and not for trade is answering the letter from the EU. This has created a conflict and a dilemma between Swedish authorities.
The government’s expert organs for health issues; the National Board of Health and Welfare and the Swedish National Institute for Public Health, are both strongly negative towards snus and have warned several times for its consequences. They are careful in openly criticising the government’s letter to the EU but they are against an increased market for snus.
Facts: Snus is a moist powder tobacco, not to be confused with the dry form of tobacco, snuff inhaled through the nose. It is most common in Sweden and Norway. It is forbidden in the EU but Sweden has an exception.