Sweden has snus to thank for developing a roadmap to create a “tobacco-free world.”
If only the product was completely freed from bureaucratic roadblocks.
Considered a harm reduction product, snus, pronounced snoose, is a smokeless tobacco pouch sold in limited European Union (EU) countries. The moist powder pouch is placed under the top lip of customers and utilized by a series of ex-smokers.
Setting the stage for the country’s lifestyle change, a campaign dubbed a “tobacco-free world by 2040” was introduced and accepted by Swedes. Spearheaded by The Lancet, a medical journal, tobacco-free is defined by a national smoking rate of 5 percent or less.
Let snus loose.
According to data released last year, Bulgaria (36 percent), Greece (35) and France (33) had the highest smoking rates in the EU. At the other end of the spectrum, Denmark, Netherlands and United Kingdom each were at 16 percent.
Then, there’s Sweden, the reigning EU titleholder for maintaining the lowest smoking rate. Sweden also boasts the fewest cases for lung cancer, according to multiple reports.
Clive Bates and 17 other EU public health experts penned a letter to EU Commissioner for Better Regulation Frans Timmerman, explaining a snus ban in a majority of EU territories did nothing but detour a way to help Europeans quit smoking combustible cigarettes, according to theglobaldispatch.com.
Bates wrote: “One of the more puzzling things about snus is the reluctance of Sweden’s government to claim credit for what is by any standards an extraordinary public health achievement. So here I write to the relevant ministers requesting that they acknowledge Sweden’s success, show some leadership and promote the concept of tobacco harm reduction.”
Currently, Snus can only be sold legally in Denmark, Norway and Sweden
Let snus loose.
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