In a tweet from Member of Parliament Charlie Weimers, news of a potential ban on snus in the EU has come to light.
“A secret report I shouldn’t have landed on my desk,” the tweet said. “In the report that will be presented to the EU member states this week, there are two notable writings: (1) praise for how successful the snus ban has been and (2) a recommendation that the EU should extend the snus ban to the tobacco-free white snus (nicotine portions).”
“That the EU snus ban is a success is completely wrong,” he wrote. “It is actually snus that makes Sweden the only country in the EU that is on the way to reaching the U.N.’s goal of a smoke-free society (defined as less than 5 percent smokers), which has saved many lives. A ban on nicotine pouches would have been a hard blow to the attempt to eradicate smoking in the EU.
“Unfortunately, the Swedish exception for tobacco snus does not apply to nicotine pouches. If the EU Commission and the member states accept the report’s recommendation, nicotine pouches will also be banned in Sweden. Men have largely opted out of smoking in favor of snus while women looking for less dangerous alternatives choose nicotine pouches more often. Therefore, such a ban would hit women extra hard.
“The report has been written by consultants who work for DG SANTE (the EU’s health bureaucrats), and the writings probably would not have crept into the report if they did not have the support of the bureaucrats. Most likely, this is a test balloon from the bureaucracy. If the proposal falls to the ground at the meeting with the member states, the bureaucrats can blame the consultants, and if the proposal does not meet resistance, the bureaucrats can interpret it as a clear support and work on with a sharp proposal. This is how you often work in the EU’s bureaucracy.
“The government must therefore already make it clear at the meeting this week that our country opposes a ban on white snus and work to ensure that citizens continue to have the opportunity to choose the least harmful way to use nicotine. Our negotiators are also welcome to raise the issue of the risks to public health of having too many do-gooding bureaucrats in DG SANTE.”
The news has left many angry, with calls for “SWEXIT” if the proposal passes—meaning, those against the measure are calling for Sweden to leave the EU if the ban passes.