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Swedish Agency Wants Stronger Regs

Sweden's Public Health Agency, Folkhälsomyndigheten, is endangering anti-smoking progress by calling for stronger regulation, says the World Vapers’ Alliance

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The Swedish Public Health Agency, Folkhälsomyndigheten, has called for stronger regulation of nicotine products such as snus and e-cigarettes. According to the World Vapers ' Alliance, such recommendations are a step backwards for Sweden. It ignores crucial scientific evidence, consumer experience, and expert opinions and endangers Sweden's anti-smoking progress.

Commenting on the recommendation, Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers' Alliance, said: "It is a tragedy for public health when a country's leading health agency fails to acknowledge the harm reduction potential of snus and vaping. The main objective has been overlooked: reducing the number of smokers and tackling smoking-induced illnesses. Vaping is not smoking and must not be treated the same. Regulation must be drafted to encourage current smokers to switch to these less harmful alternatives."

The availability and affordability of less harmful nicotine alternatives are one of the main drivers of the rapid decline of the smoking rate in Sweden, the World Vapers' Alliance says. Sweden closed 2022 with a daily smoking rate of just 5.6 per cent - the lowest in the EU - and is expected to fall below a 5 per cent smoking prevalence rate this year, 17 years ahead of the target set by the EU.

"The Swedish open approach towards harm-reduction policies has proven effective: in the last decade, the smoking rate in Sweden has declined by 55%, and this year Sweden will become the first country in the world to become smoke-free. Surprisingly, the leading public health agency refuses to acknowledge this anti-smoking miracle. Instead, they peddle these worn-out and debunked theories, such as a gateway from vaping and snus to smoking. Science and reality simply disprove such claims", added Landl.

A review of fifteen studies on the gateway effect of vaping states, "a true gateway effect in youths has not yet been demonstrated."

Contrary, the highly regarded healthcare NGO Cochrane concluded in its latest meta-review of 78 studies that "there is high certainty evidence that ECs [E-Cigarettes] with nicotine increase quit rates compared to NRT [nicotine replacement therapy]."


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Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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