Is Finland about to legalise snus sales?
According to a new survey by Finish public broadcaster Yle, an increasing number of Finnish members of parliament now want to lift the country’s snus ban and legalise snus sales.
Finland banned the sale and import of snus when the country joined the EU in 1995.
Today, about five percent of Finnish men say that they use snus. At the same time, 13 percent of the population smokes, while only about eight percent smoke in Sweden.
The Swedish People’s Party and the True Finns’ Youth Union have previously pushed for the import and sale of snus in Finland to be legalised. According to Yle’s survey, representatives from virtually all Finnish parliamentary parties are now in favour of a move to legalise snus sales.
A great benefit for public health
One argument put forward for legalising snus sales in Finland is that it would increase tax revenue of up to €40 million annually.
“Why should we let Sweden take care of the tax revenue?”, Harry Harkimo from the Movement Now party told Yle.
Patrik Strömer, Secretary General of the Association of Swedish Snus Manufacturers , welcomed the news.
“If Finland pushed to end the ban on snus, it could lead to the EU and other countries reconsidering. It would be a great benefit for public health in all EU countries,” he said.
Earlier this year, Switzerland decided to allow snus sales and become the third country in Europe where the snus market is regulated, after Sweden and Norway.