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Smoking in Sweden

The overall daily smoking prevalence in Sweden has declined since 2000. In 2022, Sweden had the lowest smoking prevalence of any country in Europe at 5.8%. Smoked tobacco, as a form of nicotine delivery, has been displaced in Sweden by a type of pasteurised oral tobacco called snus, which is less harmful than combustible tobacco. The prevalence of snus use overtook the prevalence of cigarette smoking amongst men in 1996. Sweden is also one of the few countries where the prevalence of daily smoking has been higher in women than in men. In 2022 the daily smoking for women was 6.3% but 5.3% for men. The most recent data from 2016 show there were 10,514 annual deaths attributable to tobacco smoking (approximately 5,300 women and 5,200 men). The annual percentage of all deaths attributable to tobacco smoking was 11.15% (women: 11.1%; and men: 11.2%). Nicotine vapes (e-cigarettes) are legal in Sweden and there are 92,200 vapers in the country as of 2021, giving an adult vaping prevalence of 1.1%. There is a requirement to ensure vape packaging contains a health warning, and they can only be sold to those aged 18 and older. Vaping devices can be purchased without a prescription but there are legal restrictions on their use in public places. Heated tobacco products are legal but cannot be marketed. Snus is allowed and is regulated as a consumer product, and it can be imported for personal use and it can also be bought online. A health warning is required on packaging and it can only be bought by those aged 18 and over, but there are no restrictions on flavour range or nicotine content. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products can be marketed and are available to buy in many general shops without a prescription. The NRT market in Sweden is worth €85.3 million. For further information and full references, click through to the detailed datasheets above.

Read articles from Sweden

May 22, 2024 by

Sweden's lesson: nicotine pouches and global regulation

Nicotine pouches offer a safer way to consume nicotine without tobacco and smoke. Despite their growing popularity as an alternative to cigarettes, policymakers in the EU and US are considering new regulations. The debate intensifies over the health benefits of pouches compared to traditional smoking. In the US, Senator Schumer calls for action against popular brands like Zyn, raising concerns about teenage use. The EU also appears poised to regulate pouches, potentially impacting public health and consumer choices. Advocates stress the importance of evidence-based regulation to empower informed decisions and promote safer alternatives to smoking.

May 13, 2024 by

Sweden's Success: A Blueprint for Tobacco Harm Reduction

Sweden is a global leader in tobacco harm reduction, with a smoking rate of only 5.6% due to embracing safer nicotine alternatives like snus and vapes. In contrast, the U.S. focuses on abstinence, leading to high smoking rates and health burdens. By following Sweden's approach, the U.S. can improve public health and reduce tobacco-related diseases significantly. Policymakers should consider harm reduction strategies to create a healthier future.

May 08, 2024 by

International health experts condemn Canadian e-cigarette tax hike

International health experts criticize Canada's plan to increase e-cigarette taxes by 12% starting July 2024, opposing Sweden's risk-proportionate tax strategy. Sweden's low smoking rate of 5% is attributed to affordable alternatives like e-cigarettes, contrasting with Canada's 12% smoking rate. Smoke Free Sweden advocates for less harmful alternatives, warning that high e-cigarette taxes will drive smokers back to cigarettes, leading to premature deaths. The organization urges Canada to follow Sweden's lead in promoting tobacco harm reduction. Sweden's success in becoming nearly smoke-free sets an example for other countries to prioritize accessible alternatives.

May 03, 2024 by

The Swedish Snus Saga: Pioneering the Global Nicotine Market

Swedish snus, a cultural icon from Sweden, offers a unique nicotine experience spreading globally, including the U.S. Known for its rich history and innovative varieties, such as traditional and tobacco-free options, Swedish snus appeals to a diverse audience for its quality and authenticity. As it gains popularity abroad, especially in the American market, Swedish snus showcases a blend of tradition and innovation, positioning it as a sought-after product in the evolving global consumer landscape. The future looks promising for Swedish snus, with growing interest in international products and changing consumer preferences driving its potential expansion and integration into daily routines worldwide.

May 01, 2024 by

‘Quit Like Sweden’ Launched

International health experts back the global initiative Quit Like Sweden, inspired by Sweden's success in eradicating smoking, to prevent premature deaths worldwide. The initiative promotes adopting safer alternatives like snus and vapes to achieve smoke-free status. Research indicates that replicating Sweden's approach can save millions of lives globally, with Brazil potentially saving 1.4 million lives through similar strategies. The founder, Suely Castro, aims to empower individuals worldwide to take control of their health by embracing harm reduction practices to combat smoking-related diseases.

April 17, 2024 by

Swedish ‘snus tax’ is a game changer in tobacco harm reduction policies

The Swedish government's plan to reduce tax on snus by 20% and increase taxes on cigarettes by 9% has been praised by international experts for recognizing the lower health risks of snus. Sweden aims to become smoke-free, with smoking rates just above 5%, due to the availability and support for alternative products like nicotine pouches and snus. Compared to the EU average, Sweden has significantly fewer tobacco-related deaths. The government's strategy aligns with harm reduction principles, with experts applauding Sweden's leadership in promoting safer alternatives to combat the negative effects of smoking.

March 12, 2024 by

Swedish word of the day: snus

Snus, a form of tobacco popular in Sweden since the 16th century, is used by placing it under the upper lip. Originally snuff-like, it now comes in pouches, known as portionssnus. Swedish Match dominates the market. Snus helped reduce smoking rates in Sweden but faces controversy due to its growing popularity among non-smokers and young women. Despite being banned in the EU, Sweden secured the right to produce and sell snus upon joining. It plays a role in Swedish culture, even appearing in literature. Snus is illegal in the EU, but some tobacco-free versions are available.

February 22, 2024 by

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

Swedish Minister for Public Health highlighted the health risks of cigarettes vs. snus in Parliament, stressing the need to diversify taxation. Defending snus, he addressed maintaining the sale of tobacco-free pouches in the market and emphasized protecting children from nicotine. Pouch Patrol praised the Minister's stance and urged EU Health Ministers to consider Sweden's approach, aiming for a smoke-free nation. The Minister's arguments align with WHO's goal, positioning Sweden as a leader in tobacco control.

November 07, 2023 by

Global Experts Weigh In: Sweden's Road to a Smoke-Free Nation

Join us in an exploration as international health experts and advocates from across the globe converge to discuss Sweden's groundbreaking approach to achieving a smoke-free society. In this video, we delve into the perspectives of non-Swedish professionals who have witnessed Sweden’s exceptional tactics in reducing smoking prevalence to under 5 percent — a feat unparalleled in most countries.


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29 June 2017

50 years of increasing snus use in Swedish men - Dr Lars Ramstrom

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29 June 2017

Why Swedes don't like to talk about harm reduction

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28 December 2023

SWEDEN'S 2023 TRACK RECORD | With Carissa Düring and Stefan Mathisson | GFN's NEW YEAR WISHES

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24 October 2023


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27 March 2024

Why isn't Europe copying Sweden's smokefree success!?

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08 April 2020

Can Swedish snus help reduce global harm? GFN 2019 Video Poster

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25 October 2023

This is the key to Sweden's smokefree success! #harmreduction

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29 June 2018

Reflections on change: is the tipping point in sight?