Swedish, EU and US demonization of (virtually) harmless smokeless tobacco aka “snus” has led to a frenzy of blanket banning of all kinds of smokeless (harmless and harmful) products across Asia, with actions for blanket banning all types of e-cig, cigalikes and vaping products now being the main targets there.
They could just improve smokeless products to make them 99% less harmful compared to only 90%. Instead they took action that will only lead to protecting cigarettes from competition in the areas of the world where smoking is still growing and that today accounts for almost 80% of the world’s cigarette consumption.
Banning smokeless products also has the unintended (?) consequence of leaving 206 million users without their nicotine product of choice but with free market access to cigarettes and bidis instead.
To which extent I am sure you ask yourself: Well, to the extent that they actually have to REDUCE sales tax on cigarettes, can you imagine that? The example shown below is from Bihar state in india, a state that has 35 million tobacco users, that is 83% of the entire smoking group in the USA. That this example is applicable to smoking only is simply because smokeless is now blanket-banned in Bihar and the state simply needs to make up for lost tax revenue from lost licit sales of smokeless tobacco.
Lovely, just lovely! The misguided fight against nicotine is so blind that making cigarettes cheaper is an acceptable form of “collateral damage”.
Thank you Healis institute in Mumbai with generous contributions from WHO, CDC, Harvard, Bloomberg philanthropies and many many more.