The Swedish Experience
Since 2008 tobacco companies have been lobbying to have the EU ban on snus sales removed, arguing that the lives of EU smokers can be saved if they are given access to less harmful tobacco alternatives.  The so-called ‘Swedish Experience’ is often cited as proof of concept that switching smokers to snus can be an effective harm reduction approach.
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The Data & the Public Health Debate
Some attribute the high male snus consumption for the reductions in Swedish male smoking, proposing that this proof of concept could be replicated elsewhere in the EU and achieve net health gains.
Others have criticized this interpretation of the Swedish data, countering that strong Swedish tobacco control measures instead played a significant role in reducing male smoking prevalence. They argue that Swedish data demonstrate that only five percent of Swedish male smokers quit smoking using snus, that four out of 10 male snus users started their tobacco use with snus, and that almost as many continue to smoke and are dual users. Furthermore, they argue that smoking prevalence amongst Swedish women also significantly declined in the last 20 years (from 29% to 14%), albeit with no significant uptake in snus, thus indicating that snus is not associated with this decline.
- Snus: EU Ban on Snus Sales
- Cigarette Companies Investing in Snus
- EU Tobacco Products Directive Revision
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