News & Comment

Forest critical of opinion that EU ban on snus is "valid"

Thu 12th April, 2018

Forest has criticised the opinion of a leading advisor to the European Court of Justice after he announced that the EU ban on the sale of snus, a smokeless tobacco pouch, is "valid".

Following a challenge by Swedish Match, the ECJ's Advocate General said the EU legislature "did not exceed the limits of its discretion in concluding that lifting the prohibition on the placing on the market of tobacco for oral use could result in an overall increase in the harmful effects of tobacco within the EU."
 
Simon Clark, director of Forest, said: "Maintaining an EU-wide ban on snus discriminates against adults who are looking for a safer means of consuming nicotine.
 
"Tobacco is legal and adults should have the right to purchase a range of products, some of which are less harmful than others.
 
"The evidence suggests that snus is not risk free but it's significantly safer than combustible cigarettes.
 
"To deny consumers the choice of switching to an alternative, reduced risk product defies logic or common sense."
 
Snus is banned in all EU member states except Sweden which has one of the lowest smoking rates in Europe.
 
The Advocate General's advice is not binding and the ECJ will make a final decision on whether to lift the ban later in the year.

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