Smoke Free Sweden Sets Out Recommendations

Posted 9th November 2023 by Dave Cross
The Smoke Free Sweden movement has set out policy recommendations for building a smoke free society ahead of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control’s Tenth Conference of Parties (FCTC COP10) in Panama next month. Over the past six months, the Smoke-Free Sweden movement has visited four continents and engaged with dozens of international public health experts.

Smoke Free Sweden’s report, entitled “Learnings from Smoke-Free Sweden. A Global Consultation”, offers seven distinct and straightforward recommendations for reducing smoking rates to become smoke-free, as Sweden is on the brink of doing.

Sweden's success in becoming smoke-free lies in its approach of making smokeless alternatives to cigarettes available, acceptable, and affordable.

Just 5.6% of Swedes smoke, only slightly above the official ‘smoke-free’ threshold of 5%, and as a result, the country benefits from the lowest rate of tobacco-related death and disease in the EU.

Commenting on the report, Smoke Free Sweden leader Dr Delon Human said: “We journeyed to Warsaw, Dhaka, Johannesburg, Stockholm, and São Paulo. From our discussions, we identified a consensus among international experts. Four foundational pillars of the Swedish experience stand out and are recommended for global adoption: embracing harm reduction strategies, ensuring accurate risk communication, providing access to reduced-risk nicotine products, and promoting consumer acceptance of smoke-free products.”


The report’s fifteen signatories, drawn from New Zealand to Colombia, hope that the World Health Organisation, which has so far been resistant to embracing less harmful alternatives, will take heed of the report’s recommendations and recognise how tobacco harm reduction can play a role in improving the lives of the world’s 1 billion remaining smokers.

Complementing their efforts, the campaign has released a video that captures the global endorsement for the Swedish model, showcasing events, media interactions, and comments from policymakers - "Millions await the resolution of a select group of WHO decision-makers. We must make the voice of the public heard."

The report states that legislators should:

  • Embrace harm reduction strategies
  • Deliver accurate risk communication
  • Allow access to reduced-risk nicotine products
  • Facilitate consumer acceptance of smoke-free products

Access the full report “Learnings from Smoke-Free Sweden. A Global Consultation” in English here.

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, salad destroyer and live culture convert.
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