EU Snus Ban ‘Valid’

According to an adviser to the European Union’s top court, the EU ban on the sale of Snus is valid, the adviser revealed on Thursday.

Snus, a wet snuff tobacco item created by Swedish Match, is used by snuff users by putting a pinch of the tobacco between the gums and upper lip.

The product is banned in all EU countries, with the exception of the creators of snus, Sweden, who are exempt from the ban when they joined the EU in 1995.

In a British Court, Swedish Match challenged the snus ban, arguing that there is scientific data available that proves they are less harmful than regular cigarettes.

Referred to the European Court of Justice and the court’s Advocate General, which is normally an influential communicator to judges, the ban was declared valid on Thursday.

A final decision on the matter is expected in the next two to four months by the European Court of Justice.

The situation is similar in the US, with the Food and Drug Administration, the health body that regulates cigarettes and tobacco products, rejecting an application from Swedish Match to allow snus in the US on health grounds.

Henrik Saugmandsgaard Oe, Advocate General, said: “The EU legislature did not exceed the limits of its discretion in concluding that lifting the prohibition on the placing on the market of tobacco for oral use could result in an overall increase in the harmful effects of tobacco within the EU.”

Henrik Saugmandsgaard Oe said that there is genuine concern among lawmakers that there is a novelty factor of oral tobacco which could entice young people and cause addicitions, arguing that the snus is not being discriminated against.

Marie-Louise Heiman, Swedish Match General Council has released a statement expressing their disappointment with the European Court of Justice’s ruling, but are hopeful that their ruling can change.

“We are disappointed with the opinion and hope that the court will come to a different conclusion in its final ruling.”

So it seems unlikely that snus will become available legally in the UK anytime soon. However, what happens once the UK leaves the EU is anybody’s guess.

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