Why is snus banned in the EU?
If you live in the EU, you may already know that snus is banned in its member states. In fact, this prohibition includes any oral tobacco that is not chewed or combustible. This means that snus and moist snuff are not allowed to be purchased within the EU, but can however be consumed.
The reason for the ban
You may be wondering how this ban came about. It began back in 1987, when a US company entered the European market and introduced a snus (or the US term, dipping tobacco). While trying to gain its share of the market, it began to market itself to the European youth (especially British students). As its popularity began to grow, so did worries that students were influencing their peers to try snus.
This finally culminated in the WHO urging the EU to ban these new products. The WHO had published a study in 1985 finding the use of certain oral tobacco products carcinogenic, and were concerned that this new use of tobacco was not tried-and-tested, and its potential side-effects were therefore unknown. Eventually, in 1992, the European Parliament heeded the WHO’s warnings and the EU officially banned non-combustible and non-chewable oral tobacco products.
Where can you use snus?
Although the ban is largely EU-wide, Sweden has been given exemption, and therefore its citizens are able to use snus if desired. This is fortuitous for Swedes, as Sweden is known as the birthplace of snus, and its citizens are avid snus users. However, despite Swedes’ freedom to use snus within their own country, Sweden may not promote or support the use of snus in other EU member states.
Although selling snus is banned within the EU, consumers are permitted to use snus. However, legal access to snus is difficult, as it is also illegal for online snus companies to ship snus into EU member states. Nevertheless, travellers are permitted to bring snus into an EU country in their own luggage, provided that it does not exceed the amount required for personal use.