Nicotine pouches have grown in popularity amongst users looking to get their nicotine fix and as a healthy and safer alternative to smoking tobacco. Nicotine pouches are available in most major supermarkets and convenience stores in the UK and widely sold across Europe also.
Nicotine Pouches are often confused with Snus pouches; however, they are completely different. Nicotine pouches only contain nicotine and flavourings, whereas Snus pouches contain actual tobacco which is where the nicotine is contained.
Snus originates from Sweden where it is still hugely popular amongst the locals and is one of the only countries where it is legal to be sold. Snus is illegal to be sold in most European countries, with the UK being one of them. In this blog, I’m going to look at the timeline of Snus being created, and to when and why Snus was banned from sale in the United Kingdom as well as other countries in the European Union other than Sweden.
What is Snus?
Snus is a smokeless tobacco product that originates from Sweden, first created way back in the early 19th century. It is a moist powder tobacco that is usually encased in a soft pouch that is placed under the upper lip for extended periods of time, allowing the user to absorb the nicotine and other chemicals contained in the tobacco.
Snus is primarily only sold in the country of Sweden due to it being banned in most other countries in Europe, however in Sweden, it is classed as a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, and has constituted a lot to the low rates of tobacco related diseases in the country, with the rates being considerably lower than most other countries within the European Union.
Sweden were granted an exemption from the EU wide ban sales of Snus that was introduced due to this, and also for the fact it had been such a long-standing tradition and part of the countries culture since the early 19th century. It’s also classed as a food product in Sweden, which is interesting.
Why is Snus banned from sale in the United Kingdom?
The history into why Snus was banned in the UK is quite an interesting one, and it stems right back to the mid 1980s.
In 1985, British American Tobacco teamed up with the United States Smokeless Tobacco Company (UST) to introduce and market a newly created smokeless tobacco product entitled “Skoal Bandits” with the idea of marketing a new tobacco product that wouldn’t cannibalise their profits they were generating from traditional cigarettes.
UST wanted to push this product as much as possible, and specifically wanted it to be popular amongst younger people. They had somewhat of an aggressive marketing technique, deliberately aiming their marketing at universities and paying students to promote their new brand and begin creating the hype on their product.
This did not work in their favour though unfortunately, as in 1987, the European Parliament waded in to stop this product from being sold across the countries within the European Union due to their “aggressive marketing techniques” and called for an EU wide ban on “oral tobacco products”
Ireland became the first European country to ban Oral tobacco products in 1988, and this was then closely followed by Belgium and the United Kingdom in 1990. These three countries were the first to ban oral tobacco before the rest of the European Union followed suit, and entire EU wide ban on oral tobacco was enforced in 1992.
Reviews into the ban
Obviously, this ban has been in place for quite some time, and there has been a couple of different reviews into it, one in 2001, as well as one in 2014 and both reviews made no changes and the ban on oral tobacco being sold in European Union countries remained.
There was an err of uncertainty on what would happen with these regulations still being enforced in the United Kingdom even though the United Kingdom had opted to leave and not be included in the European Union as of January 1st 2020.
However, there has not been any change to the regulations, nor has there been any indication on any changes incoming for this ban to be lifted or the regulations to be changed, regardless of the UK being in the European Union or not.
Some have called for this to be made available in the UK to offer a smokeless alternative for people who still want to use tobacco, but there has been no forthcoming from the Government about adjusting the rules based on these calls.
How is Snus harmful?
One of the other primary reason Snus was banned for sale in the UK and the EU was because of the concerns it can be damaging to a person’s health due to the tobacco that is included in it.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) deemed that Snus pouches were carcinogenic due to the tobacco that is included in them, and this can ultimately lead to mouth cancer through the tobacco being absorbed in the mouth.
Whilst Snus is still safer than smoking, and doesn’t contain as many carcinogens as cigarettes, it does still contain similar carcinogens that can cause diseases the same as what cigarettes can.
The nicotine found in Snus and tobacco is not harmful, contrary to popular belief by a lot of people. There has not been any scientific proof published that shows Nicotine is a harmful chemical, however it is highly addictive, and people should take note of this prior to engaging in the use of nicotine containing products.
Why Nicotine Pouches are a safer option than Snus
As mentioned at the start of this article, Nicotine Pouches are becoming a very popular option with people as their way of quitting tobacco, whilst still getting their nicotine fix.
Nicotine Pouches do not contain any form of tobacco at all, so using Nicotine Pouches will not have any adverse health effects like what using traditional Snus will.
Whilst you cannot buy Snus in the UK, Nicotine Pouches are available to purchase in the UK. Check out the great selection available to buy on Snusmail, who offers fast shipping from within the UK for all of your Nicotine Pouch needs!