Swedish Minister for Public Health – a knight in shining armour for European ex-smokers

22nd Feb 2024

In a debate on Wednesday in the Swedish Parliament, Minister for Public Health Jakob Forssmed emphasized how much greater health hazard cigarettes are compared to snus and how important it is to strengthen the diversification of taxation.

It was when a member of parliament from the Sweden Democrats asked the question of how the government intends to act to ensure that the white tobacco-free nicotine pouches are allowed to continue to be sold on the internal market that Minister Forssmed defended snus.

We at Pouch Patrol would like to pay tribute to the Swedish Minister of Social Affairs for his courage and conviction on how important it is to give European smokers safer and healthier alternatives. We hope that the European Commission will take Sweden’s position on board when revising the EU Tobacco Products Directive.

The Minister for Social Affairs also spoke about how important it is to protect the health of children and young people from the negative effects of nicotine. Some of the most effective ways have been found to be total age limit control, banning proxy sales, and banning nicotine during school hours.

Pouch Patrol encourages all EU ministers for Public Health to take note of Minister Forssmed’s arguments and follow the Swedish example. According to the WHO’s definition, Sweden will soon be smoke-free and is thus the first country in Europe to reach the important milestone.


The Swedish Government Offices has recently responded to a survey from Open Evidence on the national implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive. The survey concerned questions about the implementation of current regulation and not specifically nicotine pouches. Despite this, the minister chose to emphasize how important it has been – and still is – for Sweden to be allowed to sell snus. He also pointed out that a total ban would restrict freedom of movement within the EU.

Read more (in Swedish) here.