World Vapers’ Alliance: “Sweden must defend its successful harm reduction approach”

09th May 2023

The World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) is urging the Swedish government to protect its consumer-friendly approach to snus, vaping, and nicotine pouches in the face of opposition from the EU and WHO.

Sweden is on track to become the first country in the world to achieve a daily smoking rate below 5%, making it a smoke-free nation, 17 years ahead of the EU’s target. However, both the EU and WHO are pushing for further restrictions on vaping and nicotine pouches, while disregarding the positive impact of Swedish snus and nicotine pouches.

The World Vapers’ Alliance: Advocating for Sweden’s Approach

On May 4th, the World Vapers’ Alliance held a demonstration outside the Swedish Parliament, encouraging politicians and decision-makers to defend the successful Swedish approach in their interactions with the EU and WHO.

“The Swedish example of risk-based policies has proven to be effective: in the last decade, the smoking rate in Sweden has declined by 55%, and this year Sweden is about to become the first country in the world to become smoke-free. At the same time, the EU and the WHO keep ignoring Sweden and push for the opposite approach. Flavour bans, generational smoking bans, higher taxes and so on are still on the table – the exact opposite of what Sweden is doing. It is time for the Swedish government to speak up and defend the Swedish harm reduction approach internationally. Otherwise, the success of the past is in great danger, and Swedish consumers will suffer from terrible international legislation” said Michael Landl, director of the WVA.

Earlier this year, the WVA released the factsheet “Beat Smoking Like The Swedes”, which has been presented to politicians in Germany and Members of the European Parliament in Brussels. The factsheet concludes:

“Sweden has emerged as a leader in the fight against smoking, and if other countries follow their approach, millions of lives could be saved. Their focus on tobacco harm reduction products has proven successful, and replicating this approach on a global scale could have a significant impact on public health. The message is clear: if we want to beat smoking, we should look to the Swedes for inspiration and adopt their strategies.”

Sweden’s Role in Revising EU Tobacco Control Legislation

Swedish politicians should take the WVA’s message to heart, as the EU is currently in a crucial period of revising its tobacco control legislation. The European Commission ought to consider Sweden’s successful approach, even if they may be inclined to dismiss it on ideological grounds.

If Swedish politicians can convince the Commission to adopt more effective measures, they could potentially save hundreds of thousands of lives annually – a goal worth pursuing in the face of bureaucratic resistance from the EU and WHO.