Sweden Must Defend Smoke-Free Policies at the World Health Organisation

As the world awaits the upcoming World Health Organisation COP 10 conference, the Swedish government finds itself in a unique position to emphasise the significance of their approach towards achieving a smoke-free society. The international community is looking to Sweden for guidance on how to reach this critical milestone that could save millions of lives globally.

Swedish Minister of Social Affairs, Jakob Forssmed, has stated that the “Swedish positions for the upcoming meetings have not yet been finalised.” This statement was made in response to an official Parliamentary Question (PQ) submitted by Swedish Member of Parliament, Isak From. The Parliamentarian was seeking insights into Sweden’s approach to sharing its smoke-free success with other governments. 

The PQ highlighted the upcoming WHO conference scheduled for the end of November, which aims to reduce the harmful effects of tobacco. Considering that Sweden is on the verge of achieving smoke-free status, potentially becoming the first country in the world to do so, active participation and knowledge sharing should be of utmost importance.

International advocates are urging the Swedish government to share its model. Delon Human, leader of the Smoke Free Sweden campaign, emphasised, “Sweden’s remarkable success story in tobacco control is largely due to its strategic policies that include harm reduction measures, such as promoting safer alternatives to tobacco, such as e-cigarettes and oral pouches.”

“By adopting the Swedish model, millions of lives across WHO member states can be saved. That’s in no small part a result of the accessibility, availability and affordability of safer alternatives to cigarettes, such as e-cigarettes, in Sweden.”

The tenth Conference of the Parties (COP10), titled ‘Together, promoting Healthier Lives,’ is scheduled to take place in Panama from 20th to 25th November.”