Harm Reduction
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Swedish Snus Approach: A Global Model for Harm Reduction?

As November 2023’s WHO COP10 meeting looms, Sweden snus harm reduction success is endangered, potentially missing a vital chance to promote its groundbreaking “Swedish Experience” in tobacco alternatives use.

Home to the lowest tobacco-related mortality globally, Sweden’s harm reduction success largely hinges on snus, a safer tobacco alternative. Yet, this achievement may not get the spotlight it deserves.

The Swedish Snus Harm Reduction Model

Patrik Strömer, Secretary-General of the Swedish Snus Manufacturers Association, stresses the urgency. “Sweden must seize this moment to showcase The Swedish Experience, where snus significantly cuts tobacco harm and keeps smoking rates low,” he asserts.

Challenges and Opportunities in Public Health

Sweden’s public health strategy, mirroring a global challenge, faces pressure from movements equating less harmful nicotine alternatives like snus with traditional cigarettes. This stance ignores research proving snus’s reduced harm and its role in cutting smoking rates. At COP10, Sweden can lead by sharing its success stories, but there are fears of a shift towards a passive approach.

Why Sweden Must Defend Snus and Nicotine Pouches

Strömer raises an alarm: “If Sweden doesn’t actively defend snus and nicotine pouches, we risk losing the key to our world’s lowest tobacco-related deaths. COP10 might even pose a threat to these products.”

The EU Commission and Tobacco Regulation

He is particularly worried about the EU Commission using COP10 outcomes to restrict nicotine products as they do cigarettes. “The EU Commission might stealthily ban products legally sold in Sweden and other EU nations. These products have helped equalize smoking rates between Swedish men and women. Since the 2003 adoption of the FCTC (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control), global smoking rates have risen. In contrast, Sweden’s use of snus and nicotine pouches has led to a decline in smoking. WHO and the EU should take a leaf out of Sweden’s book if they’re serious about reducing smoking’s impact,” Strömer advises.

Sweden’s Snus Stance and Global Tobacco Harm Reduction

As COP10 nears, the world is watching Sweden, known for its successful harm reduction approach using snus and nicotine pouches. This strategy in improving public health is now at risk. Sweden’s decisions at COP10 will be crucial, potentially reshaping global tobacco policies and harm reduction efforts.

A Global Blueprint for Smoking Alternatives

Sweden’s snus harm reduction model offers a blueprint for nations seeking smoking alternative. This makes its role in COP10 crucial for the future of global tobacco harm reduction. The outcomes of these discussions will significantly impact the regulation and availability of snus and similar products worldwide.

Image: created by Midjourney.