News; Jun 25, 2003 CET

Swedish snus is more part of the solution than part of the tobacco problem

“Swedish snus is increasingly demonstrating that it is part of the solution to the tobacco problem,” says vice president Bo Aulin, head of Corporate Affairs at Swedish Match. “There is a sound scientific basis for claiming that Swedish snus is a realistic and effective alternative for reducing the health risks associated with the use of tobacco.”

Swedish tobacco usage is at approximately the same level as in most other European countries. Yet the risk of dying from a tobacco-related illness is lower in Sweden than in any other European country. Sweden is also the only one among comparable countries that has achieved the World Health Organization’s goal of having less than 20 percent smokers among its adult population.

One explanation, now supported by a large number of independent scientific studies, is the unique tobacco habits of Swedish men. More than half of those who use tobacco use it in the form of snuff - Swedish snus which, after more than 30 years of product development, is in a product category all its own.

“We do not claim that the use of Swedish snus is entirely without health risks. We acknowledge that the use of snus poses important health questions that must be discussed and studied. But we maintain that snus is a far more sound tobacco alternative, partly because it is not smoked and therefore does not give off any toxic combustion products,” says Bo Aulin.

But this is not the whole explanation. There are numerous different kinds of tobacco products that are utilized orally and nasally. Since the mid-1970s, Swedish Match has gradually developed a snus that contains lower and lower doses of harmful substances. This vision and strategy encompass continuous improvement and development of everything from the kinds of tobacco used, cultivation methods, and processing, manufacturing and packaging technology, to distribution and storage in the store.

“Given that nobody expects a tobaccofree world within the foreseeable future, public health efforts must focus on creating a practical and effective strategy for reducing the negative consequences of nicotine use on health and the social economy. We believe that Swedish snus can play an important and successful role in such a strategy,” concludes Bo Aulin.