International Health Experts Condemn Poland’s Approach to Tobacco Taxation

21 March 2024, Stockholm, Sweden – International health experts have criticised a new proposal from Poland’s Finance Ministry which would tax cigarettes and nicotine pouches at the same level despite the vast difference in the risk they pose to users.

Sweden, which is on the brink of being officially smoke free and has significantly lower smoking rates than Poland, has adopted a system of taxation proportionate to the risk of alternative products. 

In practice, this means that the rates of taxation for nicotine pouches are, on average, 30 kroner (€2.65) cheaper than cigarettes, because they pose only a fraction of the risk. 

Furthermore, making alternative nicotine products a more affordable choice is one of the factors in Sweden’s dramatic reduction in smoking rates, which have fallen from 15% to 5.6% over the past 15 years. 

Meanwhile in Poland, smoking rates are 26%, compared with a European average of 23%.

The Smoke Free Sweden movement is urging the Polish government to rethink nicotine product taxation and adopt an approach that will incentivise smokers to make a less risky choice.

Dr. Delon Human, leader of the Smoke Free Sweden initiative and former Health Advisor to three WHO Directors-General, said:

“The Polish government must follow Sweden’s lead and implement a system of taxation that accurately reflects the relative risk of each product. 

“This approach works: Sweden is on the verge of becoming officially smoke free because safer alternatives are an affordable option.

With over 75,000 Poles dying annually from smoking-related diseases, there’s no justification for this ill-conceived policy.”



Smoke Free Sweden

Jessica Perkins 


About Smoke Free Sweden

Smoke Free Sweden is a movement that encourages other countries to follow the Swedish experience when it comes to Tobacco Harm Reduction. Sweden is about to become the first ‘smoke free’ European country, with a smoking rate of below 5 percent. This remarkable achievement can be attributed to Sweden’s open attitude towards alternative products.

For more information on Sweden’s successful approach to becoming a smoke free nation, please visit