Action: Eradicate cigarettes - with Vikings, vapes and snuff boxes

A giant inflatable cigarette outside the town hall. Vikings with snuff boxes in their hands. Now the World Vapers Alliance is coming to Stockholm to celebrate Sweden's victory against smoking.
"Snus, e-cigs and nicotine pouches have led to you having the lowest smoking rate in the EU. You are considered almost smoke-free by the WHO and Sweden should be a model for other countries." said Michael Landl, World Vapers Alliance.

Sweden, and its low smoking rate, is currently attracting a lot of international attention. Not least among organisations working on harm reduction. The World Vapers Alliance is now planning a demonstration in Stockholm to celebrate what it calls "the Swedish model".

"The availability of snus, nicotine pouches and a consumer-friendly regulation of e-cigarettes and other alternatives to cigarettes have proven to be very effective in reducing smoking," said Michael Landl, Director General of the World Vapers Alliance.

Lowest smoking rate in the EU

Compared to other EU countries, Sweden has a very low smoking rate. The approximately 500 000 smokers in Sweden represent less than 6 per cent of the population. A very low figure compared to other EU countries.

'The EU average is closer to 20 per cent. Sweden is almost smoke-free, according to both EU and WHO measurements. Far ahead of all other countries that have the same goal," Michael Land told Vejpkollen.

Snus and harm reduction

Michael Landl and WVA see this development as a result of Swedish tobacco policy. Many Swedes still use nicotine, to the same extent as in other EU countries. The difference is the availability of alternatives.

"Sweden is the only country in the EU that allows the sale of snus, while the regulation of nicotine pouches and e-cigarettes allows for a relatively stable market," said Mr Landl.

Well-informed users

But he also points to consumers as important in this context. Users drive development.

'Swedes have access to e-cigarettes, snus and nicotine pouches, but the fact that so many Swedes are opting out of cigarettes is impressive from an international perspective. This is of course a combination of responsible policies, well-informed consumers and good products."

Demonstration in Stockholm

On Wednesday, WVA is organising a demonstration at Mynttorget, a few metres from the Swedish Parliament. A giant inflatable cigarette will be used to illustrate the Swedish miracle. In the past, the WVA has attracted attention through its actions - not least when the organisation offered disgusting ice cream to politicians in the Netherlands - as a protest against the impending flavour ban.

'We wanted to do something different in Sweden. How have Swedes defeated smoking? I can tell you that there will be Vikings with snuff boxes and e-cigs on site."

Conversations with entrepreneurs

Earlier in the day, a discussion between consumer organisations and entrepreneurs active in the field of harm reduction was organised to give their views on developments in Sweden. In addition to several vejp entrepreneurs, Bengt Wiberg, who is currently launching Sting free, a snus variant that doesn't stick out like a sore thumb.

'It's great that snus is getting international attention. In the past, tobacco harm reduction activists and organisations have mostly talked about e-cigarettes. Nowadays, both snus and nicotine pouches have emerged as two more options for smokers around the world," said Mr Perez. Bengt Wiberg to Vejpkollen.

During the call, Vejpkollen Editor-in-Chief Stefan Mathisson will lead a discussion on disposable weapons and how companies in the industry deal with everything from youthvejping to the growing illegal trade. This will take place at 13:00 on Wednesday 3 May. The demonstration at Mynttorget takes place at 18:00.

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