In Q2 2016 the Swedish government took two major actions concerning Swedish snus. At the time, the first seemed unnecessary and the second only confirmed the weakness of Stockholm when it came to their own free trade interests between Sweden and the EU.
On 1 July 2016 a third snus action was taken, this time not by the Swedish government but by Swedish snus manufacturing giant Swedish Match AB. Looking at all three actions together begs the question: were these coordinated actions by Sweden and Swedish Match to finally eliminate the EU ban on Swedish snus or just an odd coincidence?
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...
You may have recently seen in the news and on SnusCentral.org that the EU is suing Denmark for continuing to sell snus. Denmark sells snus? Isn't snus banned throughout the EU with the exception of Sweden? Well, yes and no; yes in that it is banned, but Denmark has continued to sell loose snus.
How has this happened I hear you cry? Well loose snus was legal in Denmark despite the TPD banning oral tobacco that wasn't chewed, only portion snus was banned (I can't actually work that one out and I haven't found anything online saying why).
Denmark decided to enact legislation banning the sale of loose snus by March 2013 following a threat from the EU in October 2012 to haul them before the courts for continuing to allow the sale of snus. Denmark put the proposal before its parliament and they voted to not ban snus. The simply were not going to be bullied by the EU so loose snus sales continued....
Happy New Year snusers,
I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year and that 2014 brings you everything you desire! As I am now starting to come out of a 2 week alcohol haze that would embarrass even Moe, I thought it time to do something else with my time other than drink.
Fans of General Snus will no doubt have heard about the new General Variation snus being released very soon. Larry has written an excellent article with all the info you need to know. I, for one, am excited about it but due to the snus ban remaining in effect following the TPD revisions (nothing set in stone just yet from what I know), the Swedish government not standing up and demanding the EU snus ban be lifted and instead simply accepting no ban on flavours (a very, well if it doesn't affect us then I don't care attitude), I won't be trying it anytime soon. A long weekend in Sweden is called for.
In September me and my long suffering other half took a well earned holiday to Spain, our destination, the wonderful city of Barcelona! I strongly suggest that you visit Catelonia's capital city. There is a great vibe to this city and we enjoyed it so much, we are going back again this year.
We decided to take in some late summer sun in Barcelona. We got a great deal on hotels and flights in November 2012; also my other half has never been to Spain, ever!
This is a person who regularly traveled the world with work and has lived and worked in Germany before, yet never visited Spain! I on the other hand, have had the pleasure of visiting Spain on a number of occasions, including Barcelona, so for once I was acting as tour guide.
In a nutshell we had a great time, I even managed to come back a slightly darker shade of pasty white!
We had long lunches, and even longer dinners late into the evening in typical Spanish style, i.e. lots of beer and finishing at around 1am, plenty of cafe solo and cafe con letche.
One thing that hasn’t changed in my many visits is the very normal way in which people in the Mediterranean sit in a cafe or bar and smoke like chimneys! When I smoked, I was one of them.
The EU Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) July 10th 2013 vote on the next EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) ended in disaster for Reduced Harm advocates.
The fight is not over but the future of Swedish snus and e-cigarettes are now very much in doubt.
The Swedish Exemption on Snus remains. While an exemption for snus from upcoming EU flavoring bans was approved, an exemption on an ingredients ban was voted down thanks to UK MEP Linda McAvan.
Sweden seemed to believe it had support from McAvan to get an ingredients exemption which would continue to allow baking soda (fondly known as E500) to be used in Swedish snus.
Why should snusers care about a little baking soda in their snus? Without E500, one cannot extract nicotine from snus.
Maria Larsson's poor stategy of trading the Swedish snus ban for flavoring protection, a weak and myopic negotiating point to begin with, has driven Swedish snus to the very edge of snus disaster.
Brussels, 16 October 2012
Press statement on behalf of the European Commission
Commissioner John Dalli has today announced his resignation as a member of the Commission, with immediate effect.
Mr Dalli informed the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso of his decision following an investigation by OLAF, the EU's antifraud office, into a complaint made in May 2012 by the tobacco producer, Swedish Match. The company alleged that a Maltese entrepreneur had used his contacts with Mr Dalli to try to gain financial advantages from the company in return for seeking to influence a possible future legislative proposal on tobacco products, in particular on the EU export ban on snus . As soon as the Commission received the complaint it immediately requested OLAF to investigate.
The OLAF final report was sent to the Commission on 15 October. It found that the Maltese entrepreneur had approached the company using his contacts with Mr Dalli and sought to gain financial advantages in exchange for influence over a possible future legislative proposal on snus. No transaction was concluded between the company and the entrepreneur and no payment was made. The OLAF report did not find any conclusive evidence of the direct participation of Mr Dalli but did consider that he was aware of these events.
The OLAF report showed clearly that the European Commission's decision making process and the position of the services concerned has not been affected at all by the matters under investigation.
The final OLAF report and its recommendations are being sent by OLAF to the Attorney General of Malta. It will now be for the Maltese judiciary to decide how to follow up.
After the President informed Mr Dalli about the report received from OLAF, Mr Dalli decided to resign in order to be able to defend his reputation and that of the Commission. Mr Dalli categorically rejects these findings.
Mr Barroso has decided that Vice President Maros Sefcovic will take over the portfolio of Mr Dalli on an interim basis until a new Commissioner of Maltese nationality is appointed in accordance with article 246 (2) of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union.
Mr Giovanni Kessler, Director-General of OLAF will be available in the press room after the midday briefing tomorrow.
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This article by By Louise Nordstrom, of The Associated Press for Yahoo! Canada expresses the well justified frustration Sweden has with the EU over the Snus Ban of 1992.
SnusCENTRAL.org supports the efforts of Swedish Trade Minister Ewa Bjorling in overturning the ridiculous ban on Swedish Snus. Fighting against him are the politicians and so-called scientists who ignore the overwhelming evidence that Swedish Snus is the most reduced harm tobacco product in existence. What drives them: Ego, refusal to admit they were wrong, protectionism of cigarettes, Big EU Tobacco Money, a disdain for Sweden in general? Yes to all of these.
But Sweden does assume the rotating Presidency of the EU this July. Swedish Snus and the unfair and likely illegal trade embargo the EU imposed on Sweden are now in play.
Mysteriously, this article was closed to comments before any comments were made! Their loss.
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