Press release; Apr 16, 2002 CET

Seven out of ten Swedes think EU snuff ban should be scrapped

The Swedish people have adopted a clear position regarding the EU's ban on sales of Swedish moist snuff ("snus"). Seven out of ten Swedes believe the ban should be lifted, according to an opinion survey conducted by TEMO.

In June 2001, the EU decided that the warning text "Causes cancer" should be removed [from snuff cans]. The decision was made after several scientific studies concluded that Swedish moist snuff does not cause an increased risk of cancer.

However, the sales ban on Swedish snuff in the EU member countries - with Sweden as the sole exception - remains in force, despite the fact that it is based on the now refuted link between moist snuff and cancer.

TEMO was commissioned by Swedish Match to interview a nationally representative sample of Swedish people about their attitude to the EU's snuff ban. A total of 1,756 Swedes aged 16 years and older were interviewed.

The survey shows that 70 percent would like to see the ban lifted, while 21 percent feel that it should remain in force and 9 percent had no views on the issue.

Of those who do not use tobacco, 64 percent believe the ban should be lifted, while the corresponding figure for snuff users is 82 percent.

The survey also revealed differences between the sexes and between different age groups. Men felt more strongly than women - by a ratio of 73 percent to 67 percent - that the ban should be lifted. The strongest support - 75 percent - for lifting the ban was in the age group from 30-44 years, while the age group 60 years and older was the least positive toward lifting the ban, with 63-percent support.

Further information can be obtained from:
Pär Rahm, survey manager, TEMO, tel. +46 8-629 60 00.

Ulf Svensson, Head of External Communications, Swedish Match North Europe Division, tel. +46 8-658 03 21, mobile +46 0709-40 28 27.

Mikael Arnebert, Press Officer, Swedish Match North Europe Division, tel. +46 8-658 02 10, mobile +46 070-529 02 10.