Snus, Tobacco and eCigarette Legislative information not published in other articles on SnusCentral.org
The calls for banning flavored nicotine-containing products has been primarily a long and vocal one when it comes to vapor and e-cigarettes. Poking out of the eSmoke debate is a new threat that hits my community much closer to home: a ban on flavored mint and wintergreen snus and smokeless tobacco.
San Francisco, Oakland, St. Paul, and Canton have proposed regulations to effectively slash the availability of all smokeless tobacco products and ban outright wintergreen and mint flavored dip and snus. Since US sales of these flavors make up 60% of the total US market, this will be a huge blow to national Adult Tobacco Harm Reduction (ATHR) efforts to switch current cigarette smokers to safer nicotine alternatives.
"Medically approved" products like Big Pharma's nicotine gum are of course excluded in these new regulations. New nicotine pouches and dissolvables which contain no tobacco like Swedish Match's new ZYN product have no such luck and fall under the proposed bans as well.
After 2 and a half years of fumbling the Swedish Match application for Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) status on their General Snus products sold in US convenience stores, the FDA announced on Dec 14th they had taken "action".
After a careful review of the entire MRTPA process concerning General Snus and FDA's eventual ruling, a fair-minded person can only conclude that NO tobacco product will ever win MRTP status, regardless of the merits, from this FDA Center for Tobacco Products.
This begs the question, Congressional mandate notwithstanding, why does FDA perpetuate this cruel, expensive, and time consuming farce? Simply make the MRTPA process a one page form, hold the required public comment period, and then deny the application. That would save both the government and the manufacturer huge amounts of money while delivering the same outcome as the current process...minus the hypocrisy.
In a historic referendum on 23 June 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union. The ramifications of Brexit, both the good and the bad, have been the leading discussion topic in the UK, the EU, and around much of the world ever since.
As a Swedish Snus Ambassador, my first thought was "does this mean Swedish snus is (or will be) legal to purchase in the UK?". Let's take a look at that.....
Once again, the Swedish government caved to EU interference concerning Swedish snus. On May 20, 2016 the EU's Tobacco Products Directive was implemented in Swedish legislation, which among other things means new health warnings on snus cans.....
The Swedish National Food Agency (think FDA in the US) is the authority that issues regulations for snus/chewing tobacco manufacturers in Sweden.
A revised regulation specifying the permitted content of any snus sold on the Swedish market was issued on 11 April 2016, specifying not only which additives may be used, but the permitted maximum levels for certain undesirable substances.....
Swedish Match believes that tobacco regulation will continuously become more global in character and steadily increase in scope...
Today, FDA issued a quite frankly poorly written press release entitled FDA issues first product marketing orders through premarket tobacco application pathway.
Since General Snus and the eight products Swedish Match sells over-the-counter (OTC) are involved, there has been understandable confusion. Up until now, the focus on US General Snus OTC products has revolved around the Modified Risk Tobacco Product Application (MRTPA) made by Swedish Match over a year ago.
In their General Snus MRTPA, Swedish Match is asking FDA to eliminate and/or change three of the four mandatory warning labels required on all cans of snus sold in the US. The most obvious are eliminating the cancer and tooth loss labels since they are so factually inaccurate.
Today's announcement concerns General Snus and the Premarket Tobacco Application (PMTA) pathway. Confused yet? I was after reading the FDA press release since they jumbled both PMTA and MRTP in a statement only a technocrat could love.
This year there have been a rash of WikiLeaks-style unofficial snus product information leaks. Some have appeared on Instagram but some are from inside sources. Swedish Match has suffered the worst and is yet to plug the internal leaker.
The upcoming launch of GR' Original Portion Snus, The LAB 22 and LAB 24 slim portion snuses with Zylitol, and Nick & Johnny Green Ice Slim portion are old news now although not yet on the market......
A notice on the Federal Register that indicates the Swedish Match General Snus Modified Risk Tobacco Product Application (MRTPA) will be published tomorrow.
Since accepting the General Snus application in August of last year, the FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) has on several occasions asked for additional or clarifying information. These amendments will now be available for a second 30-day public comment period ending August 31.
After this comment period ends, FDA Tobacco Czar Mitch Zeller should be able to finally make a final decision on the fate of the General Snus MRTPA.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of the death of the General Snus Reduced Harm Tobacco Product (MRTP) application have been greatly exaggerated.
Friday afternoon, the anti-all-tobacco crowd and media immediately began reporting that the FDA Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) had "turned down" the General Snus application; that "approval was denied", that the MRTP application had been "voted down" and in the case of Matthew Myers of Tobacco Free Kids, the Swedish Match application was "poorly written" and "full of holes".
As more information about the TPSAC deliberations began to trickle out, a different picture began emerging.....
17 Nov 2014 - Breaking News: Swedish Match AB, the world's largest manufacturer of Swedish Snus, will announce this morning that if the Swedish Parliament votes to raise the excise tax on snus, Swedish Match will be forced to respond in kind with price increases for all their their snus products.
If history is any indicator, it is likely other Swedish manufacturers of snus will also raise their prices...
Updated 18 August 2015 - NOTE: This story was originally published on 29 September 2014 during the first FDA Public Comment Period on the General Snus MRTPA. Fast forward almost 11 months and we are reaching the 31 August 2015 for the second and final Public Comment Period. If you haven't already acted, now is the time to do so.
This article contains my 2014 statement to FDA which was published in the Federal Register. It was just my snus story from the heart. This is what FDA needs see.
You can then review my 30 July 2015 General Snus MRTPA update for instructions on how to get your opinion on the record. This is our last chance!
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