400 shops phase out smoking tobacco - "Huge step for harm reduction"

The announcement that Reitan Convenience, which owns Pressbyrån and 7-Eleven, is to phase out its range of cigarettes was received with mixed feelings. But for companies selling and distributing smokeless nicotine products, the decision is seen as a major victory.
"The fact that 400 shops will stop selling cigarettes is huge. It opens the door to more harm reduction, which has been our goal as a company since the beginning: we want to drive cigarettes off the shelves." Says Ramin Warda, founder of Swedish VONT, which manufactures and sells e-cigarettes and other smokeless nicotine products.

As of 2026, two of Sweden's largest retail chains, 7-Eleven and Pressbyrån, will no longer stock cigarettes. The announcement affects nearly 400 stores in Sweden and came as part of the owner Reitan Convenience sustainability strategy. 

"The risks of tobacco smoking are well known, both in terms of health risks but also environmental impact and working conditions in production." Says Reitan Convenience CEO in Sweden, Anna Wallenberg to Swedish Television.

According to the Reitan report 54 per cent of tobacco sales by chains today from cigarettes. The rest comes from snus, nicotine and other smoke-free alternatives. But according to Anna Wallenberg cigarette sales have been steadily declining in recent years.

"In the future, consumption will go down and we want to work to ensure that the products disappear from the market," she told SVT.

"Enormously important decision"

Svenska VONT, based in Jönköping, has established itself as the only Swedish manufacturer of e-cigarettes in a sea of foreign brands. The company also produces nicotine pouches and other nicotine harm reduction products. And here, Reitan's decision is seen as both bold and gratifying.

"Reitan cares about its customers in all situations. They know that tobacco is an important product that attracts people into the stores. At the same time, they see how alternatives to cigarettes are growing in popularity. They have realised that harm reduction as a concept works. So this is a hugely important decision and we are here to support them by developing products that people clearly want." Ramin Warda.

Few Swedish brands today

At present, Pressbyrån and 7-eleven have a large range of traditional snus and nicotine pouches. When it comes to e-cigarettes, it is more frugal. The disposable model on the shelves today is manufactured by one of the major tobacco companies. But the range is likely to get bigger soon. Something that Ramin Warda and VONT are looking forward to. At present, their products are available in most major convenience chains, but not in Reitan's stores.

"We have a model adapted to the requirements of Reitan, which is coming soon," reveals Ramin Warda. "Tobacco companies are facing a big change in the long run. Those of us who compete in the market have products that many customers want and this will be reflected on the shelves." says Ramin Warda.

Welcomed by tobacco companies

Also the tobacco company Philip Morris International, which recently bought snus manufacturer Swedish Match, welcomes the announcement from Reitan. At present, PMI does not sell any clean e-cigarettes in Sveŕ. However, the company's heated tobacco is available in form of the IQOS system in several Swedish stores.

"Reitan's initiative is fully in line with our vision to create a smoke-free society. Sweden is well on its way to becoming the first country in the world to be smoke-free according to the WHO's definition that the proportion of daily smokers is below five per cent. Already today, Sweden has two smoke-free generations, those between 15-29 and those between 31 and 44. The fact that smokers in Sweden have such a wide range of less harmful smoke-free alternatives is a large part of the explanation. The low percentage of smokers so continued availability of smoke-free alternatives such as snus, tobacco-free snus and heated tobacco is crucial to the continued success." Says Anette Rosengren, CEO of Philip Morris Nordic, to Vejpkollen.

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