Whilst already reaching the much sought after smoke-free goal, Sweden has taken another progressive step towards reducing the harm caused by combustible tobacco, by decreasing the tax on snus.
A report released earlier this year, had highlighted that at around this time, Sweden’s smoking rate would be dropping below 5%, and detailed the approach which led to this success. Titled, “Leading the way to a smoke-free Europe: The experience of Sweden,” the paper highlighted nations’s holistic and progressive approach.
Sweden has implemented the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control as well as EU legislation and recommendations to the highest standards, with a large focus on prevention. However, in addition Sweden has also put a great emphasis on incorporating tobacco harm reduction (THR) strategies which endorse the use of novel nicotine products, namely snus. Anders Milton, one of the report’s authors, highlighted that if other EU countries copied Sweden’s strategy, the situation in Europe would look very different.
Pressures to place harsh restrictions on snus
Sadly, this data has largely fallen on deaf ears. Ignoring the report, last July Swedish Public Health Agency, Folkhälsomyndigheten, had called for stronger regulations of nicotine products such as snus and vapes, the exact products which have been credited for the impressive drop in smoking rates.
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