Press Release – EU TPD Consultation: Will the EU follow the Swedish model?

April 25, 2023 – Stockholm – The authors of a landmark report on reducing the death toll from tobacco are urging the European Commission to adopt the successful strategies of Sweden in their upcoming revision of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).

The report, titled “The Swedish Experience: A Roadmap to a Smoke-Free Society,” highlights how Sweden is on the brink of becoming the first nation to achieve a smoke-free status, with less than 5% of its adult population smoking tobacco. This impressive milestone will be reached 17 years ahead of the EU target date of 2040, and it is attributed to the country’s comprehensive approach to tobacco control, which includes embracing harm reduction strategies and promoting smoke-free alternatives.

“Adopting the Swedish model in the upcoming revision of the TPD could potentially save millions of lives across the European Union”

“Sweden’s groundbreaking approach to tobacco control offers a viable and effective roadmap for other countries to follow. Adopting the Swedish model in the upcoming revision of the TPD could potentially save millions of lives across the European Union,” said Dr. Delon Human, one of the authors of the report and former Health Advisor to three Directors-General of the WHO and to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.

If Swedish tobacco-related mortality rates were replicated in other countries, more than 3.5 million lives could be saved in the EU alone over the next decade. Key to Sweden’s success has been a pragmatic and enlightened approach that combines strict tobacco control measures with the acceptance of less harmful non-combustible forms of tobacco and nicotine, such as snus, oral nicotine pouches, and e-cigarettes.

The authors of the report are calling on the European Commission to consider the insights provided by the Swedish model and to involve public health experts in the development of a more comprehensive and efficient tobacco control framework.

As part of the consultation process, the authors have submitted their work and policy recommendations for consideration, emphasising the importance of collaboration between stakeholders and the need for dialogue in shaping effective policies.

Prof. Karl Fagerstrom, another author of the report, said, “The upcoming TPD revision represents a watershed moment for the European Union’s approach to tobacco control. Embracing the Swedish model will not only save lives but also create a lasting impact on public health, setting a global example for countries grappling with reducing smoking rates.”

The upcoming revision of the TPD presents an opportunity for the European Union to learn from Sweden’s remarkable achievements and adopt a more effective approach to tobacco control, ultimately saving millions of lives and reducing the burden of smoking-related diseases.The consultation remains open until May 16th, and the new Directive is anticipated to be introduced during the new term of office of the European Parliament.