Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Snus Loses a Round in the EU
Swedish Match, a leading producer of the smokeless tobacco product "snus," is trying to have snus legalized throughout the EU. (Right now, the only EU country where snus can legally be sold is Sweden.) Snus appears to be much less harmful than smoking, so smokers who switch to snus are probably enhancing their health, everything else equal. Norway's recent introduction of a New York City-style public smoking ban has apparently spurred snus use there, and Swedish Match undoubtedly sees increased demand throughout the EU as the result of smoking controls -- except for that darned ban! (Norway is not an EU member; snus is legal in Sweden because it negotiated an exception when it joined the EU in 1995.) The Swedish Match case before the European Court of Justice took a step back yesterday, however, when the Court's Advocate General issued a recommendation that the snus ban should not be overturned, at least until new EU legislation regarding snus is passed. Final word from the Court, however, is still a few months away. Here's the story, from EUobserver.com. Vice Squad has been following the snus saga in Europe and the US, most recently on August 9.