Nicotine products and regulations
Regulation – an opportunity to transform the marketplace in favor of public health by encompassing harm reduction as a basic principle.
Cigarette smoking is one of the most common preventable causes of illness and death world-wide. Even though tobacco is the world’s most regulated legal consumer product, over a billion consumers smoke cigarettes daily and more than 8 million people die annually because of their habit. It’s a fact that requires a new approach to regulation. Swedish Match believes that the only viable way forward is a regulatory framework which puts consumer insights at the center and is based on the principle of harm reduction.
The vast majority of tobacco related disease is attributable to cigarette smoking. Swedish snus has dramatically lower negative health effects than cigarettes due the absence of inhalation of smoke and the low levels of harmful and potentially harmful components. In nicotine pouches, almost all of these constituents have been reduced even further to levels where they cannot even be measured. Many cigarette consumers do not want to or are not able to quit using nicotine. They deserve healthier alternatives and should be given proper incentives to switch. Large public health gains will be achieved if smokers switch to Swedish snus or to similar products like nicotine pouches.
Swedish Match’s regulatory interactions and engagements are based on our vision of a world without cigarettes. It is clear that our vision will not be realized through heavier regulatory burdens for cigarettes alone. Significant reduction of cigarette consumption will also require regulation that promotes switching to healthier tobacco and nicotine containing products.
It is Swedish Match’s aspiration to see a move from “one-size-fits-all” tobacco regulation to an approach that encompasses the differences between product categories and their accompanying risk profiles. We continue to advocate for rational and science-based regulatory frameworks that not only recognize the important role that smokefree products can play in responsibly transitioning adult cigarette consumers to less harmful products, but also allow for continued innovations that will benefit adult consumers.
Smokefree tobacco and nicotine regulation should ultimately be based upon standards (including appropriate maximum levels of nicotine per nicotine pouch) which strive to ensure that consumers receive attractive products with the highest possible product quality with minimal risk.
In our regulatory engagement we support:
- Regulation that promotes consumer shifting from cigarettes to less harmful nicotine and tobacco products.
- Regulation of nicotine and tobacco products to ensure that minors don’t have access to the products, that there are coherent warning labels on the products and that there are appropriate restrictions on marketing.
- Product regulation for the nicotine pouch and smokefree tobacco categories to ensure that there are scientifically based thresholds for harmful and potentially harmful constituents.
- Restrictions on characterizing flavors in smoked tobacco products provided that such restrictions are universally applicable to all smoking products in any given market.
- Excise taxation according to relative risk between different tobacco and nicotine products.
Regulation should not be designed to make smokefree nicotine and tobacco products unappealing to cigarette consumers looking for an alternative or to implement an absolute or de facto ban on such products.
Swedish Match monitors and evaluates the emerging scientific data and interacts with the scientific community. Swedish Match considers itself accountable to all stakeholders in addressing and informing them about the established science and relevant product information.
Swedish Match is also committed to preventing the availability of nicotine products to minors. The Company engages with retailers to ensure that they properly understand the need to enforce required age-verification upon purchase of nicotine products. Swedish Match also cooperates with retailers in order to reduce the growing volume of illicit products which raise risks of unregulated quality and distort competition on the market.