Friday, June 21, 2013

Swedish Snus Is Saved!

Snus, is a moist powder tobacco product originating from a variant of dry snuff in the early 19th century in Sweden. It is consumed by placing it under the upper lip for extended periods of time. The precursor of snus, the dry form of snuff inhaled through the nose, was introduced in Europe much earlier. Snus is not fermented and contains no added sugar. Although used in a manner similar to American dipping tobacco, snus does not typically result in the need for spitting and is different from naswar in that snus is steam-pasteurized. (Wikipedia)

Snus is widely consumed in Sweden by a large portion of the Swedish male population and some of the women too. It is considered a healthier way to consume nicotine and has the added benefit of not provoking spiteful comments or hateful glances like the ones smokers get for "polluting the environment".

Snus' sale is illegal in Turkmenistan and the European Union, but due to special exemptions, it is still manufactured and consumed primarily in Sweden and Norway.

The Swedish snus recently came under threat as the EU Commission in its proposed tobacco direktive wanted to regulate the flavors that could be used in snus. It was also suggesting a prohibition to add sodium carbonate, E 500, which is used in all Swedish snus to facilitate nicotine absorption. This prohibition would, according to the manufacturer Swedish Match, ultimately mean "the end of Swedish snus".

Todays meeting of the responsible EU ministers has in Swedish press been described as "a fateful day" for Swedish snus. However, the EU ministers today took Sweden's side, thereby leaving it up to Sweden to continue to determine the flavor and content of Swedish snus.

"I feel very happy", said Minister for Children and the Elderly Maria Larsson, to the waiting journalists on location in Luxembourg. "The joy is for the fact that the tobacco directive has been approved, but in particular the Swedish "victory" on snus. We actually saved the snuff to be free to decide on content, product marketing, ingredients, distinctive flavors and also sodium carbonate and the pouches can maintain their moisture."

How's that for some first life drama?

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