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    Sweden reduces price of snus by 20 per cent

    Ali Anderson
    Ali Anderson
    June 27, 2024
    3 min read
    Download Source FilesDownload Source Files

    The Swedish Parliament has agreed to lower the tax on snus by 20 per cent. 

    Meanwhile, tax on cigarettes, cigarillos, smoking tobacco and other tobacco will rise by nine per cent. 

    The Riksdag - the highest decision-making assembly in Sweden - approved the bill on Monday, with the new taxes coming into force on November 1. 

    Sweden a ‘trailblazer in harm reduction’

    Global health advocacy group Smoke Free Sweden applauded the move, saying: “It is great to see Sweden continuing to be a trailblazer when it comes to tobacco harm reduction.” 

    Snus, pronounced ‘snoos’, has been banned in the EU since 1992, but Sweden negotiated an exemption when it joined in 1995.

    Today, one in seven people in the Nordic country reportedly use the smokeless nicotine product, which comes loose or in pouches and is placed between the upper lip and gum.

    Soon to be ‘smoke-free’

    To be considered smoke-free, a country must have less than five per cent smokers, and currently, only 5.2 per cent of people in Sweden light up. This compares to 15 per cent in 2005.

    Swedish health minister Jakob Forssmed said in November that introducing a smoking ban in restaurants in 2005 and then at outdoor restaurants and public places in 2019 is a major factor behind the decline.

    But he added: ‘Many Swedes also say that switching to snus helped them stop smoking.’

    Nicotine does not cause tobacco-related disease

    The latest tax reduction follows a landmark report - ‘No Smoke, Less Harm’ - that proves nicotine use does not lead to tobacco-related disease, making it a powerful tool in smoking cessation.

    The study showed that Sweden has dramatically lower rates of tobacco-related deaths and health issues than other European nations - despite similar levels of nicotine intake.

    In Sweden, one in four adults use nicotine daily, the same as across Europe. However, the country reports a massive 41 per cent lower incidence of lung cancer and fewer than HALF the tobacco-related deaths of 24 out of 26 of its European peers. 

    Adoption of smokeless nicotine products

    This stark contrast is attributed to the widespread adoption of smoke-free nicotine products such as snus, nicotine pouches and vapes.

    “This distinction between smoking and the use of smokeless products is crucial,” says Dr. Karl Fagerström, a public health expert and contributor to the report.

    “While nicotine is addictive, it does not cause the serious diseases associated with smoking. Our findings support a shift in focus from cessation to substitution with less harmful alternatives for those unable to stop completely.”

    What does affect consumers’ health, the report says, is how nicotine is consumed. While using alternative products such as snus does not pose a significant risk, smoking is linked with a high incidence of death and disease.

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