Snus tax and nicotine ban at SSU congress

Abolished subsidies to the Non Smoking Generation, higher taxes on snus and a generational ban on the purchase of nicotine. These are some of the proposals that the Social Democratic Youth Union (SSU) will consider at its congress in autumn 2023.

Nicotine and harm minimisation issues will feature at the SSU Congress in autumn 2023, reveals the consumer magazine Snus courier after motions and proposals have been public before the congress

"The decisions of the Congress are crucial for the issues SSU will pursue in the coming year and will also affect how the parent party acts in the future," says Mr Perez. Snus courier.

And it is clear that the SSU districts have been influenced by the ongoing debate on nicotine and snus, not only in Sweden but also internationally. SSU Gothenburg area wants to increase the tax so that 70 per cent of the price of a can of snus is tax. Today the tax is 49 per cent.

Generation ban - but not like New Zealand

The SSU Gothenburg area also takes a prohibitionist line, not only equating snus and nicotine pouches with cigarettes but also banning people born after a certain year from ever buying nicotine.

As Vejpkollen previously reported, a similar project is currently underway in New Zealand. The difference with the SSU District proposal is that not all nicotine products are included in the New Zealand intergenerational ban. The New Zealand model is based on the principle of harm minimisation. According to the authorities, the aim is to reduce cigarette smoking by indirectly promote less harmful nicotine alternatives to smoking. For example, e-cigarettes may still be sold with a traditional age limit.

Damage minimisation from Skaraborg

Harm minimisation in politics is highlighted in a proposal from SSU Skaraborg. According to the District, the tax on nicotine products should be related to the risk of harm.

"Skaraborgarna proposes that the relative risks should regulate the tax. A cigarette, which is more dangerous than a snus, would then have a higher tax than the pill" writes The snus courier.

No money for the Non Smoking Generation

According to SSU Skaraborg SSU should also work to remove the state contribution to organisations such as Non Smoking Generation. Snus is considered by SSU Skaraborg to be a harm-minimising product and the justification for the reform is, among other things, that NSG actively combats snuff as a product and thus risks increasing the number of smokers in Sweden. 

"In step with the times, SSU Skaraborg proposes that tax money in the form of grants should not be given to organisations that disadvantage society, in this case public health," reports Snuskuriren.

(S) critical of damage minimisation

SSU currently has 21 000 members and is Sweden's second largest youth organisation. The mother party, the Social Democrats, has long had a negative view of harm minimisation and nicotine products that compete with cigarettes. Just last year, the Social Democrats proposed prohibition of flavourings in e-liquid, something that was voted down in parliament. At the same time, the party wants to equalise all nicotine products with cigarettes in terms of harmfulness and is close to interest and lobbying organisations such as Tobacco facts and the Non Smoking Generation on the issue. 

The Congress takes place from 4 to 7 August in Norrköping.

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