The Government’s proposed vaping legislation includes an unnecessary and harmful ban on Swedish Snus. The New Zealand
Initiative urged Parliament to consider Nicky Wagner’s Supplementary Order Paper that would strengthen the Bill’s
ability to encourage harm reduction.
“Swedish snus has been an important part of a lot of Nordic smokers’ transition away from smoking,” said the
Initiative’s Chief Economist, Dr Eric Crampton. “The Global Burden of Disease Study
, published in The Lancet in 2017, confirmed that snus is not associated with increased risk of harm. Banning a far less
harmful alternative to smoking does not reduce harm.”
Snus is a powdered tobacco product held in a pouch similar to a tea bag; users place the pouch between the lower lip and
gum. The Initiative’s earlier report on tobacco harm reduction
concluded snus to be an effective part of a harm-reduction strategy.
“Nicky Wagner’s Supplementary Order Paper maintains a ban on snus, but allows the tobacco-free nicotine pouches that are
currently marketed in New Zealand but that would also be covered by the government’s proposed ban. The Bill as written
will immediately shut down businesses that sell these far less harmful alternatives to smoking, and would risk snus
users switching back to smoking. Ms Wagner’s proposal would bring a snus alternative within the regulatory framework,”
Dr Crampton continued.
“Even the Ministry of Health’s Departmental Report
, in evaluating submissions on snus, wrote that it “agrees that the evidence supports submitters’ comments that Swedish
snus is significantly less harmful than smoking. The ban is motivated by politics, not health.
“Endorsing Ms Wagner’s Supplementary Order Paper is the least that Parliament can do in undoing some of the harm that
the ban will otherwise cause,” Dr Crampton concluded.