Researchers: Plain snus packaging may hurt public health

Published: November 17, 2016

Norway’s health minister Bent Høie has called for snus to be included in a government proposal for neutral or plain tobacco packaging, arguing that otherwise, the new law risks leading to an increase in the number of snus users in Norway. 

But in an article in Norway’s Dagbladet newspaper,  Karl Erik Lund and Tord Finne, both of whom are researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Norway, argue that snus packages should be exempt if Høie wants a positive effect on public health.

They agree that neutral snus packages might counteract the increase in the number of new snus users, but warn that the measure might have other, more damaging consequences. 

Smoking, they point out, is much more dangerous than snus and a large majority of those who begin to use snus in Norway do so to stop smoking. 

If introducing neutral snus packages interrupted this ongoing trend and affected this group, it could have a negative effect on public health.

Read the full article (in Norwegian) here.