Monday, 25 April 2016 11:57

Sweden Enacts New Health Limits on Swedish Snus

Written by Larry Waters
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New Tougher Food Product Regulations for Undesirable Substances in Swedish Snus

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.....

The stricter regulations go into effect on 11 April 2016, but there is a transitional period.  Snus products manufactured prior may be sold in stores until they are sold out until 11 October 2017.  After 11 October, it will be illegal to sell products manufactured under the old rules.

The new rules governing what snus may contain apply to all manufacturers selling snus in Sweden, whether Swedish or foreign......

Swedish Snus has been subject to food product legislation since 1971. A regulation can be defined as a set of detailed rules in a specific area over which a body has been given statutory authority. For those affected, it makes no difference whether the rules are laid down in a regulation or directly in legislation.

The attached pages are designed to provide users of Swedish Match snuses with a full list of Swedish Match snus products with reference to content, including the undesirable substances now additionally specified.  If other snus manufacturers supply me with comparable test results, I'll attach them to this article too.

Swedish Match has provided this list to ensure that anyone purchasing products manufactured by Swedish Match can feel confident that their products comply, by a good margin, with the limit values now being introduced by the Swedish National Food Agency.

While the previous regulation governing snus/chewing tobacco (LIVSFS 2012:6) only regulated two undesirable substances, namely lead and aflatoxins, the new version also regulates the sum of the TSNA/tobacco-specific nitrosamines (NNN and NNK), and B(a)P.

The National Food Agency has adopted the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended limit values for the sum of NNN and NNK, while the limit values adopted by the National Food Agency for B(a)P are even stricter than those recommended by WHO.

The attached table shows the levels of undesirable regulated substances for all snus products manufactured by Swedish Match. These levels should be viewed in comparison with the limit values required by the National Food Agency in the new regulations, which are shown under the table.

The table shows that in 2015, levels of these substances in all Swedish Match products were lower than the new limit values. This is due to GOTHIATEK®, their internal quality standard used by Swedish Match since 2000.

The GOTHIATEK® Standards impose limit value requirements that are stricter than those imposed by law.  While the GOTHIATEK® manufacturing process is proprietary to Swedish Match, the limits have been the de facto industry standard to date when comparing the reduced harm levels of different snuses.

Attached is information about GOTHIATEK® and what it means to you, the snus consumer.

What the New Swedish Snus Regulations Mean to Snusers

Not much as most Swedish snus today is probably pretty close to the new limits already.  Swedish Match, the largest Swedish snus manufacturer in the world, already exceeds them. 

As to the rest of the other snus manufacturers, by 11 October 2017 they will be in compliance or out of the snus business in Sweden.

As a former heavy smoker and nicotine addict, I'm convinced I am still alive today because of Swedish snus.  High quality Swedish snus is 99% less harmful to a smoker than cigarettes.  That's why Swedish snus is banned in the EU (except Sweden) while 150MM+ EU citizens smoke cigarettes; sickening and dying younger than they have to.

Wait; what???

Trans-National cigarette tax revenue, Global Big Tobacco and Big Pharma have too much invested in the cigarette business to allow the public health to interfere with their profit model.  Those who market or use e-cigarettes and vapor products are under similiar assault, especially in the US.

Sweden is currently considering EU-inspired rules to require plain packaging of snus and even flavor bans.  Why would the Swedish government attack their own national product?  Don't get me started...that's for another time.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to carry out your own tests to ensure that the snus you sell (or use) complies with the new quality requirements from the National Food Agency, you should contact a certified laboratory. Eurofins Food and Feed Testing Sweden AB is the most globally used non-Swedish Match laboratory snus manufacturers use for snus product analysis. 

While not required, I'd love to see Reynolds American Inc. submit Camel SNUS to Eurofins and see how it stacks up against Swedish Match snus.  Hmmm.  Eurofins phone number is +46 (0)10 490 83 00. 

As ever, enjoy your delicious well-regulated for your safety Swedish snus!Great Seal of the Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States


Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States
Reporting From Sweden and the USA for


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