When Sweden’s newest political force, Folklistan (The Peoples’ List)
was formed by two of the best-known politicians in the country,
they quickly whipped up a mission statement including a number
of items to be introduced one by one. Item #7 turned out to be
an initiative to make the EU give up their resistance towards
smokeless tobacco like snus. The health benefits would be massive,

says Jan Emanuel, one of the founders.


This newly formed initiative, which they don’t call themselves a political party,
started with two well-known political figures from different backgrounds.
Jan Emanuel has a solid background from Socialdemokraterna (The Social
Democratic Party) and Sara Skyttedal is currently one of the ministers of
the EU parliament for Kristdemokraterna (The Christian Democrats) but
she has now left that party. Together they have created a mission
statement aimed at getting them elected into the EU next election.


In their list of ideas, item #7 is to change the old law from 1992 which
banned snus, an oral tobacco common in Sweden. But while Sweden has
an exception from the law, it also has the lowest number of smokers in
the world. This directly translates to fewer cases of lung cancer and other
smoking-related illnesses. When one compares the 6 percent smokers in
Sweden with the over 30 percent smokers in Germany, it is easy to see
what a huge difference there is.


According to Folklistan’s press release on the matter, they say that this
saves 3,400 lives annually in Sweden, even though the snus isn’t the only
contributing factor. Sweden was also very early with banning smoking
indoors in public environments and has been campaigning very hard for
decades to make people stop smoking. For example, many property
owners have introduced a smoking ban for their new flats so if you rent
from them, smoking is totally prohibited.

In its mission statement, Folklistan demands that the EU law is changed
to allow for a smoother transition toward the EU’s goal of a smoke-free
Europe in 2040 and if the Swedish numbers are applied to the whole of the
EU, Folklistan estimates that over 700,000 lives can be saved every year.

Also, Folklistan is urging the government not to go through with a
proposed change of the tobacco taxation in the country which means that
chewing tobacco, a very popular export product for Swedish Smokeless, in
effect pulling the rug out of the production since defining it as snus means
making it illegal to export to the EU.

Both products are produced in little bags but while snus is made by
grinding the tobacco to a fine powder and then adding moisture, salt, etc,
chewing tobacco pouches contain finely cut slices of tobacco, which works
in a different way. And while snus has been banned, chewing tobacco has not.

In their attempt to harmonize the tax regulations for snus and other
tobacco products in Sweden, this changed definition in the Swedish law
would put Swedish Smokeless and other manufacturers in a difficult
position and effectively put a halt on a substantial part of the production in
the Enköping factory.

Here is (in Swedish) Folklistan’s priority # 7 Släpp snuset fritt i hela EU –

By Robert