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Smoking alternative: Sweden experience

April 8, 2013

Problem of negative smoking influence on health is the issue problem for many countries of the world. May non-smoking tobacco products become "healthier" alternative to cigarettes?

Doctors in entire world are worried about smoking problem. In different countries struggle against smoking differently, by introducing total bans or by offering alternatives: for example, electronic cigarettes or smokeless (chewing or snuff) tobacco. For example, in Sweden such alternative product is considered snus (mixture of tobacco, water, salt and flavoring agents that is placed between gum and upper lip) - generally, tradition of consuming this product in this country has more than 200 years. Sweden experts consider that snus is less harmful than usual cigarettes as it doesn't contain combustion products and content of nitrosamines is high in it.

Sweden experts base on data of World Health Organization (WHO) that in 2008 came to conclusion that among smokeless tobacco products that are presented on the market, products with low content of nitrosamines such as Swiss snus are significantly less harmful than cigarettes.

In Swedish shops near the cash desk stay fridges with round jars that look like shoe polish. It is, as a matter of fact, snus that for freshness maintaining should be kept cold. Earlier product was manufactured only loosely, but from 1973 in Sweden began to produce portioned snus - in packs.

What does local statistics say? Cigarettes in Sweden smoke 10 % of men, consume snus - 18 %. Peak of snus popularity came to 1920th, however than - right up to the end of 1960th sales of this product have fallen while sales of cigarettes were growing. However, when in 1960th were published several researches about influence of cigarettes on health, ration began to change again.

Tobacco lobby in Sweden tries to convince other countries that in case snus consumption gains ground in the world, there would take place similar reduction of risks of disease appearance related to tobacco consumption. What do opponents say? Representatives of Health Authorities, in their turn, consider that snus can become starting point for involvement in cigarettes' smoking. On this, Swedes object with confidence: their smokers with increasing frequency prefer cnus and by no means vice versa.

Today snus is widespread in Sweden and Norway and is also sold in Canada, USA, Republic of South Africa and Russia. However on EU territory snus was prohibited even before the country entered euro-zone - in 1992. When in 1995 kingdom has joint European Union, question of snus selling was specified in specific way. Swedes, in point of fact, have defended it - according to special supplement to agreement about membership in European Union, this product could continue to be sold on Sweden territory but without export in other EU countries. However, citizens who went abroad were allowed to take with them several jars for personal use.


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