Within smokeless tobacco, only nasal snuff and chewing tobacco are permitted for sale in the UK. Tobacco that is placed under the upper lip, such as snus, is banned by Article 8 of EU Directive 2001/37/EC, although it is not illegal to possess or consume snus. Snus was originally banned as a result of fears over the product causing mouth cancer. Sales of chewing tobacco and nasal snuff, meanwhile, remained insignificant at the end of the review period, with this partly due to low consumer awareness and limited distribution, but also linked to the unsavoury spitting and sneezing associated with these products.
Sales of nasal snuff remained insignificant at the end of the review period. There are numerous small players in this category, with the most significant including UK companies McChrystal’s and Gawith Hoggarth and German player Pöschl Snuff. These are typically small and old companies with a small but loyal consumer base.
The future for smokeless tobacco remains uncertain and much will depend on the government’s assessment of these products over the forecast period. For many who are keen to stamp out smoking, there is a reluctance to permit new tobacco products to be offered, such as snus. Conversely, there are many passionate supporters of snus, with many feeling that this product could offer a less harmful alternative to cigarettes and thus save many lives. Tobacco players such as British American Tobacco are also likely to continue to lobby in support of smokeless tobacco as they seek new avenues of growth away from declining cigarettes.
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This report originates from Passport, our Smokeless Tobacco research and analysis database.
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