Saturday, 02 May 2009 16:11

Opinion: The EU Snus Ban

Written by Andrew Romeo
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The EU snus ban is an "Animal Farm" type of idiocy which languishes in the "WTF" category permanently.Anonymous EU Tobacco Guy Snus is nearly harmless. 16% of Swedes use it, and they all live to be 100 years old. The endless debates among Brussels, Karolinska, and Swedish Match are tiresome, and BAT, JTI, and PMI now all have snus through recent acquisitions. What's the 'political' reason? People used to say PMI, but they're now in it. Big Pharma? Possibly.

How about lack of interest?

I used to work for Big Tobacco in Sweden, among other places. Snus had its 15 minutes internationally a few years ago, but frankly, European tobacco consumers by and large have no idea what it is, and if it showed up in shops, would either not see it (due to local display/ad bans) or ignore it.

It is a well known pre-conception that Swedish Match has the most to lose (old, uninteresting brands in dull cans). They are now wisely teamed up with PMI in this territory.

Snus brands such as Lucky Strike, Pall Mall and LD are out there to catch smokers of these popular brands who may want to switch, but the cost and logistics of advertising in such a prohibitive environment almost precludes even trying.

Additionally, the rise of snus in Scandinavia has been due mostly to the price differential relative to cigarettes since the mid-90s. In 2005, a pack of Marlboro was 36 SEK, and a can of General was 23 SEK at the corner shop. LD and Granit cost 12-15 SEK. With two years of massive excise hikes, Swedish snus has stopped growing. Low-priced local cigarettes (Level, Corner) are now priced around the same level as snus.

Would the EU member states allow that kind of price differential to get people off of smokes and into snus? No.Would they allow Big Tobacco to advertise snus? Nope. Will EU member states agree on a warning standard across the continent? LOL!

What's the key to success?Inserts and 'onserts' on cigarette packs, plus heavy use of the Internet. Free product to the trade for years to keep the consumer price down. Cigarettes still have pricing power. Use some of that margin to give snus away. Flavors which appeal to cigarette smokers: Heavy menthols and sweeter fruits and chocolate/mocha, which don't stink (a major issue outside of Sweden and Norway). And, as usual, well-placed press coverage.

The issue is far more complex than the ban in and of itself. And the inertia of the issue at this point in time is due more to lack of a market than some nefarious political scheme. It's akin to lobbying for decaf espresso in Italy.

ANDREW ROMEO
An Insider's Perspective
Reporting from Russia for SnusCENTRAL.org

 

Read 2500 times Last modified on Monday, 28 April 2014 02:25

Leave a comment

Your Comments will be reviewed by our moderator. Thanks for your thoughts!

Login

Latest Member Snus Reviews

Skruf Greatness

Matt Campbell , Wednesday, March 23, 2016 I have has so many different Snus During my career of ...

Great snus!

Daniel M. , Sunday, January 24, 2016 Thunder Ultra Cool Mint white dry is a great snus. I bought...

This was a disappointment to me.

Bryon R. , Tuesday, October 27, 2015 Skruf Original Portion Snus is nothing to brag to mom about....

An awesome los snus

Justin S. , Tuesday, October 27, 2015 Röda Lacket Loose Snus is just awesome. In the loose ...

I love the smell of chocolate in the morning

Bryon R. , Tuesday, October 27, 2015 Ettan Original Portion snus absolutely billows a dark ...

It's like Ettan portion’s weird half-brother.

Bryon R. , Tuesday, October 27, 2015 This snus has a good quality tobacco and portion material ...

Smells EXACTLY as one would expect

Bryon R. , Tuesday, October 27, 2015 Probe Whisky loose snus smells of tobacco and whiskey. Its ...

Really good snus!

Chris M. , Saturday, August 22, 2015 General Snus is the only real snus I can buy in American ...

A staple snus for me

Larry Waters , Saturday, August 15, 2015 This XRANGE snus is essentially Göteborgs Rapé Large White...

This is a great snus!

Teri S. , Friday, August 14, 2015 Olde Ving Fudge portion had a very different snus flavor for...

Snus Central Twitter

Latest News from SnusCENTRAL

Snus User turns Pro: the Amazing Offroad Brandy Alexander Portion Snus Story

I don't often write snus reviews. It's not that I can't; it's just that my credo has… Read More...

US Cities Banning Wintergreen and Mint Smokeless Tobacco AND Snus

The calls for banning flavored nicotine-containing products has been primarily a long and… Read More...

Swedish Match pulls General Loose Snus from US Stores

General Loose (lös) Snus doesn't make the cut in US stores Based on consumer demand,… Read More...

Perfect Facebook Like Box Sidebar