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Sweden boasts the lowest smoking rates in Europe thanks to incorporating snus in its smoking cessation strategy.
On announcing the legalization of e-cigarettes last March, Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner said that the health ministry was choosing to adopt a low risk approach since scientific evidence about the the safety of the products is still being developed. Last Wednesday, she added that they would now also move ahead in establishing a pre-market approval strategy for other smokeless tobacco products.

“This is part of new thinking- a forward looking approach, building on some of the innovative new technologies that are available intentionally to try and give smokers alternatives to tobacco”, she said.

“This is part of new thinking- a forward looking approach, building on some of the innovative new technologies that are available intentionally to try and give smokers alternatives to tobacco.”Nicky Wagner, Associate Health Minister, NZ

Ironically, the current law in New Zealand prohibits the sale and distribution of all forms of tobacco besides the type used for smoking. Inline with what numerous studies indicate, Wagner pointed out that some of these products such as snus and Heat not Burn (HnB), may be significantly safer their combustible counterparts.

Regulate tobacco products according to their risks

This motion will be welcomed by harm reduction experts around the world, who have been trying to convince authorities to regulate tobacco products according to their risks and presenting data to support their argument. In the UK where e-cigarettes have been endorsed for smoking cessation, smoking rates have reached an all time low, equting to the country boasting the second lowest smoking rates in Europe. Sweden on the other hand is at first place, and has achieved the epic low smoking rates by incorporating snus in its smoking cessation strategy.