20th Oct 2019

Blow for Swedish tobacco producers

The Swedish smokeless tobacco 'Snus' should not be allowed on to the EU market, according to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

ECJ Advocate General Leendert Geelhoed said yesterday (7 September) in a recommendation that the 12-year-old ban on oral snuff should remain in place until a new EU law is passed.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

This opinion comes as a blow to the Stockholm-based Swedish Match Company, which holds 90 percent of the snus market in Sweden and Norway. The dominant snus manufacturer had hoped to boost sales of this smokeless tobacco as bans on smoking have been introduced in several countries.

Snus makers have already seen sales soar in Norway since the ban on smoking in public places was introduced in June. Ireland has also banned smoking in public places, and other EU member states are expected to follow.

The European Commission pointed to a risk of cancer when it introduced the EU wide ban on selling the product in 1992. The prohibition was also intended to stop young people from starting the nicotine habit.

Swedish experts claim snus is a safer alternative to cigarettes, which are not banned.

The Swedish Match said it would continue to fight the ban, in force in all EU countries except in Sweden, which won an exception when joining the EU in 1995.

Swedish snus has a 150-year tradition in Sweden. It is a moist tobacco product, which is placed behind the upper lip.

In Sweden, total consumption was 6200 tons in the year 2000. Approximately one million people in Sweden use snus - 90% are men and 10% are women.

"We should remember that this is only a recommendation to the European Court of Justice, and we believe that this recommendation fails to properly take into account several of the issues which in our opinion fully justifies a total removal of the ban", commented Sven Hindrikes, CEO of Swedish Match.

The EU Court will form its final verdict later this year or early in 2005.

US to put tariffs on European whiskies, cheese

After a 15-year legal battle, the US was given the green light to impose tariffs on EU products. The EU is threatening countermeasures but wants to negotiate. Transatlantic ties have suffered another blow.

News in Brief

  1. Macron: Nato's inability to react to Turkey a 'mistake'
  2. EU: US can expect counter measures after tariff move
  3. Almost 7,500 people forcibly returned to Libya in 2019
  4. Puigdemont released after responding to arrest warrant
  5. Commission: Facebook's Libra needs international approach
  6. Italian PM: denial of accession talks a 'historic mistake'
  7. Catalan president blames clashes on 'infiltrators'
  8. US imposes €6.7bn new tariffs on European products


Why von der Leyen must put rights at core of business

Ursula von der Leyen's in-tray must include those European executives on trial for systematic workplace harassment, the break-up of European slavery rings, and allegations of European companies' abuse in palm oil, including child labour, land grabs, and deforestation.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  3. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  4. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  5. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  7. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  11. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us