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Parliamentary questions
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29 January 2021
Question for written answer  E-000577/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Sara Skyttedal (PPE)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Snus and the Commission’s cancer plan

The Commission is committed to fighting cancer and is expected to introduce its communication, ‘Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan’ in early February. Advance information suggests the efforts to fight cancer are to be integrated into the review of the Tobacco Products Directive. The Commission’s aim is to achieve a smoke-free generation by 2040: a generation in which less than 5% of people would smoke.

Sweden has a lower level of cancer in the population than the EU average, and that is a direct result of less smoking. The Swedish figures for tobacco-related deaths are less than half of the EU average despite the fact that around 25% of Swedish men use tobacco on a daily basis (which corresponds to the average tobacco consumption in the EU as a whole). The reason behind Sweden’s health success is that around two thirds of tobacco consumption among men in Sweden involves snus – a smokeless tobacco product.

In the light of the foregoing:

1. If the Tobacco Products Directive is to be revised to take account of the fight against cancer, does the Commission share the view that the EU needs to change its regulation of snus?

2. Does the Commission share the view that there is no burden of disease associated with snus, and that snus is significantly less harmful to health than other methods of nicotine consumption?

3. Is the Commission prepared to reconsider its previous positions on the regulation of snus within the Tobacco Directive in the light of its ambitious targets in the fight against cancer?

Original language of question: SV
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