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Sweden’s Governing Party Battles for Nicotine Pouch Acceptance in EU

Restrictive EU tobacco and nicotine policies threaten the potential public health gains of tobacco-free nicotine pouches, Sweden’s leading government party, the Moderates, claim. The party has declared plans to champion a more sensible EU approach to nicotine pouches to help protect public health.

The European Union is considering tightening regulations on nicotine pouches, sparking vigorous debate among regulators and health advocates about harm reduction within tobacco policy.  As recently reported by Politico, there is growing interest in Brussels in regulating nicotine pouches. 

At a recent press conference, Tomas Tobé, the Moderates’ top candidate in the upcoming European Parliamentary elections, stood alongside Douglas Thor, the chair of the Moderate Youth League, to announce eight key promises regarding the future of nicotine pouches in Europe.

These pledges aim to steer the EU toward policies that avoid tax hikes, flavour bans, and a potential total ban—measures that could impact public health across the continent.

“Regrettably, we see the EU consistently targeting snus. Now, nicotine pouches appear to be the next target. This is harmful not only to Sweden but also to public health throughout Europe,” said Tobé.

“A total ban on nicotine pouches would thus be counterproductive. Moreover, nicotine pouches present significant opportunities for Sweden in terms of exports, jobs, and economic growth. If it also contributes to reducing tobacco-related mortality in Europe, then it represents a tremendously positive development.”

The eight promises made by the Moderate Party ahead of European Parliamentary elections include:

  • Block a European total ban on nicotine pouches
  • Protect nicotine pouches from any flavour bans
  • Defend nicotine pouches against EU-mandated tax increases
  • Counter extensive EU demands on neutral packaging and design
  • Establish uniform EU regulations for warning texts on nicotine pouches, modeled after Swedish standards
  • Distinguish nicotine pouches from cigarettes in marketing strategies
  • Reduce the exposure of minors to these products
  • Allow traditional snus on the EU’s internal market

Thor, who has participated in numerous debates about snus, emphasized the importance of personal freedom for young people.

“Sweden is unique in having a younger generation that is virtually smoke-free, largely thanks to snus. Extending the availability of Swedish snus throughout Europe would be a win-win for everyone,” he noted during the press conference.

Patrik Strömer, Secretary-General of the Association of Swedish Snus Manufacturers, believes the Moderates’ nicotine policy offensive may signal that the tide is finally turning when it comes to Sweden’s approach to EU tobacco and nicotine regulations.

He notes that Sweden has been relatively quiet on the issue of snus and nicotine pouches within the EU. He believes the Moderate Party’s newly announced election promises are a significant step in the right direction.

“These eight concrete promises could lead Europe to replicate Sweden’s successful public health achievements. This is certainly good news, and I anticipate strong support from other parties and candidates,” he tells Snusforumet.