16 international THR scientists and experts express hopes and concerns to the Swedish Minister for Health, youth and Sports:
Brev i Svensk översättning brev-till-wikstrom-pdf
Letter in original format signed by all before translation letter-wikstrom-15-sept-2016-09-04-final
How does this relate to Iceland?
Well, let’s see. Iceland says that she has accomplished a positive trend (downward) in rates of smoking comparable to the Swedish numbers, but without any snus use. Snus use and oral tobacco therefore should preferably be banned globally.
This is also analogously argued by Tobacco Control in Sweden as a prime example of why Norway going from 3% to 30% snus use in just over a decade is just another anecdote, like Sweden is an anecdote, and we should instead use Iceland and Bhutan as examples of successful Tobacco Control without any elements of snus.
Just yesterday I got my hands on some very interesting graphics from Iceland. Please be conscious of that there is an anecdotal historical use of oral tobacco in Iceland called Neftobakk. It is so incredibly anecdotal that it seems to not be considered part of tobacco use or tobacco control whatsoever. Very anecdotal therefore.
How anecdotal is it then, this use of neftobakk in Iceland, and what is neftobakk really?
First of all, neftobakk is oral tobacco that is dryer than snus, so Icelanders simply add water, very simple. you get loose snus that tastes differently!
Second, neftobakk also has a PH regulator for better bioavailability of nicotine, its just that they use ammonia instead of E500. Ammonia is an irritant and a very base PH substance, but not carcinogenic per se (possibly a carcinogen though, to be honest), or toxic in small amounts like we are talking about here. Basically neftobakk fills the identical function and actions of Swedish snus. Same thing, different name.
Third, Neftobakk is made from selected raw tobacco product bought from Swedish Match (the largest producer of Swedish Snus, incidentally). So, basically, snus has been growing in use in Iceland and replaced smoking at a positively WHOPPINGLY corresponding rate of smoking decline, showing the relation to be indisputable.
Fourth, regarding the truth levels in Country positions. Pls see here consultation answer from Iceland and Norway to the EU on the snus-ban and oral tobacco. The position is perfectly clear, allow cigarettes and phase them out, but BAN ALL ORAL TOBACCO IMMEDIATELY!!
Ok, so let’s see below what happened with the sales of neftobakk during the unprecedented decline of cigarette smoking (and sales) between 2000-2016 in the fair green and white island of Iceland:
Cigarette carton sales (-40 odd %)
Neftobakk sales (+250 odd % from an indeed anecdotal level – do I hear Eureka, just like e-cig from anyone)
Important update: Rise is +25,000 kilograms of neftobakk sold per year. At a yearly consumption of 3 kg per person this represents +8,000 daily users. Total reduction in Smoking during the same period is from roughly 55 thousand to roughly 35 thousand between 2000-2016. A fantastic result in less tobacco and a fantastic result in switching from smoking to low harm tobacco consumption.
How is this not a double win?
Now, Cigarette use was high and Neftobakk use historically very low. So a gradual decline in the smoking red line, is by necessity if there indeed is a clear correlation to switching, would be matched only by a faster ascending red line representing neftobakk sales and use.