FLASH – Sweden is trying to BAN all THR!

Published January 26th in Dagens Nyheter – Translated by Atakan Befrits

Dagens Nyheter is Sweden’s biggest and arguably most influential national newspaper.

UPDATE UPDATE – As expected a bill was presented on February 2nd. The Government vehemently denies any negative changes to snus, and completely skirts the issue of e-cig regulations. Find the bill in Swedish here: Bill fulltext

If you are interested in the wording that effectively bans snus for THR purposes (may still be sold as evil tobacco product on par with other products such as cigarettes and betel quid) find the text translated here (page 39 in the bill). 

As regards smokeless tobacco products, these shall, in accordance with Article 12 of the Directive, bear a health warning “This tobacco harms health and is addictive”. Swedish Match has made it clearer formulation of the health warnings to be shown on snus is not factual and lacks scientific support. The preamble to the Directive states that tobacco products are not ordinary goods and with regard to tobacco particularly harmful impact on human health, health protection should be given high importance. There is no doubt that the use of tobacco is addictive and associated with health risks. The Government therefore considers that warnings which are now proposed to be introduced on smokeless tobacco products is justified.
Overall, the Government believes that tobacco product directive bestämm- Started on health warnings and combined health warnings could be implemented in the law without being in breach of the Press Act.
Not at all unsurprisingly the justification for raising the warning on snus is that OTHER tobacco products are dangerous. 

This article is one in a series in various media channels that are, beginning to look like a concerted effort by Anti-Nicotine groups; in order to fully justify the harsher legislation on Snus and E-cig products in Sweden within the next few days. Scheduled presentation to Parliament of the bill is February 2nd.

That this only protects cigarettes seems to be a very minor detail, since “we all know” that cigarettes will soon be gone 😦

The results will be as follows:

  • FDA will say no to Swedish Match Modified Risk Tobacco Products application.
  • Sweden will have a de facto total ban on nicotine containing E-cig products.
  • Harsher warnings on snus will significantly reduce switching from smoking to snus.
  • Snus technology exports and implementations to regions in the world where few can afford vaping products will be impossible.
  • The list is long

Since there is not one iota of evidence to support these actions, the Government is finalizing it’s political “truth”

Dear reader, it may interest you that this author’s previous position was as acting editor-in-chief for a large Pharmaceutical Business Magazine, that ought to be grounds for being disqualified against discussing and voicing opinions on an imminent legislative issue with huge potential benefit for the Pharmaceutical Industry. Unfortunately it seems that the editor-in-chief of Dagens Nyheter must hold a diametrically opposing view to mine, regarding how influence works and should best be avoided/promoted.

There is unquestionably a high probability of good understanding of the subject matter by the writer, but also a high likelihood of cronyism. The very clear partisanship (only slightly glossed over) in the article, either way makes this an extremely unethical article.

The e-cig issue is being decided imminently, and a total de facto ban is more than likely. In these same days the Government in Sweden is also proposing to RAISE the warnings on “Swedish Food Grade Low Nitrosamine Smokeless Tobacco” aka “snus” in a fashion totally unsupported by evidence based or observation based science.

Here is a straight translation:

Comment. To use e-cigarettes linked to higher use of regular cigarettes among US adolescents, according to a new study.

Amina Manzoor

Last fall, I was at the European Congress on respiratory diseases. It presented many hundreds of research studies in many different subjects, but what drew the most audience was a debate about e-cigarettes. It was probably also one of the most highly charged debates I’ve seen. The researchers presented preliminary research on the harmful effects of e-cigarettes were accused of wanting to get people to smoke regular cigarettes, and for being corrupt.

E-cigarettes are often marketed as a healthier alternative to regular tobacco cigarettes and as a way to quit smoking. That e-cigarettes are better than regular tobacco cigarettes, few disagree with. But more and more research suggests that they are probably not the solution they are presented as.

Recently The Lancet Respiratory Medicine published a compilation of 38 studies of e-cigarettes to quit smoking. The result? Anyone who used e-cigarettes had less chance to quit smoking regular cigarettes. Contrary to what the marketing says, that is. Other studies have shown that e-cigarettes can contain hazardous substances.

Today The BMJ published a study on American youth that suggests that anyone who tried e-cigarettes are also more inclined to test regular cigarettes. One should be careful not to over-interpret the results, because it is not possible to say anything about the underlying mechanisms, because of the study methodology.

This is also a study of American adolescents, and therefore it may be difficult to extrapolate this to Swedish youth, But the results are in line with another US study last fall.

These are still signs that should be taken seriously. In a Swedish report more school youth state that they have ever tried e-cigarettes, compared to the year before. Since there is no age limit on e-cigarettes, these may be easier to obtain than regular cigarettes.

The MPA (Medical Products Agency) want e-cigarettes containing nicotine to be classified as pharmaceuticals, which would give better control. However, the decision was appealed and it is now up to the Supreme Administrative Court to decide. I understand the vigilance from some researchers and government authorities. Tobacco smoking is going down in society, but if e-cigarettes are a gateway to regular cigarettes, then there is a risk that we will have a new generation of smokers in a few years. And I think that few people want that.


Facts: The study was done in Hawaii

The study included 2,338 schoolchildren who were in the ninth and tenth grade in Hawaii, USA. The average age was just under 15 years. They were asked to answer questions about smoking habits in 2013 and were followed up a year later. According to the study, the use of e-cigarettes at baseline was associated with a three times higher risk of testing regular cigarettes after one year.

Source: BMJ

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2 thoughts on “FLASH – Sweden is trying to BAN all THR!

  1. Charles

    From the actual Swedish article. It seemed that the writer was trying its bestest to seem unbiased but shows signs of being biased. There was no mention what so ever on the stories provided by both sides. Rather what the writer has done is only provided false information that would increase a raise in anti-vaping and it does seem that is the case on this whole article. Is to increase the anti-vaping community.

    I won’t say all, but most of the studies mentioned have already been refuted by new studies. So it is questionable if the author actually has any idea on what she is writing about in this particular subject. I do not question her pharma-medical expertise. I question her biased writing on this particular subject.


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