Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission
The Commission foresees to adopt a proposal on the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive(1) before the end of 2012. As such, the Commission has not taken a position on how to address oral tobacco (snus) or other smokeless tobacco products in the revision of this directive.
In the context of the impact assessment, the Commission is analysing the health risks posed by tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco. The Commission is aware of a number of studies issued after the 2008 opinion of the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks and is analysing existing evidence e.g. on the use of smokeless tobacco in smoking cessation, the relative adverse health effects of smokeless tobacco and smokeless tobacco as a gateway to smoking. The Commission is considering these studies in the context of the impact assessment, which will be published together with the legislative proposal. The Commission is also analysing the economic, social and internal market impacts of various policy options to address smokeless tobacco(2).