While the local industry has been generally unaffected by new regulations, a degree of uncertainty and therefore apprehension, remains, as details about new health warnings’ requirements have not been disclosed yet.
Details regarding ingredient listings and design requirements won’t be known until the they actually take effect on January 1st, 2023
Last February Sweden’s Ministry of Social Affairs announced plans of a vape flavour ban. The announcement certainly took many by surprise, especially given that in 2018 Sweden reached a Smokefree status by endorsing the use of another nicotine alternative product. Naturally tobacco harm reduction experts and groups protested against the ban, highlighting the repercussions that it would have on former smokers.
Finally, local policymakers voted against the ban. While new regulations approved by Sweden’s parliament in June and came into force on August 1st, include a number of tougher restrictions on the marketing and sales of tobacco-free nicotine products.
In general, the new measures for nicotine products have been easy for retailers to implement. They set in place clear marketing restrictions, age limits, and warning labels on tobacco and nicotine products that had long been supported by snus manufacturers.
“For years, the industry has urged the Swedish government to update tobacco legislation and regulate tobacco-free nicotine pouches,” says Patrik Strömer, Secretary General of the Association of Swedish Snus Manufacturers. “The new law is symbolically important and hopefully a first step in demonstrating that Sweden recognizes the health benefits of smoke-free nicotine products.”
Questions about what the industry needs to be compliant remain
However, given the uncertainty and lack of details disclosed about new health warnings’ requirements, a level of apprehension remains. Among other things, tobacco-free nicotine products “may not be provided on the Swedish market if they do not meet certain product requirements. The requirements apply to content and design, product presentation, the listing of ingredients, and health warnings.”
Yet the details regarding ingredient listings and design requirements won’t be known until the they actually take effect on January 1st, 2023. Other questions about what the industry must do in order to be compliant remain unanswered. “It’s not immediately clear what applies. The industry has its own health warnings, but it’s unclear whether they will also be approved in the future or whether the agency wants special wording,” said Stromer as quoted by Snusforumet.