When the end game is not the end – the new battlelines in Norway
Time: 16:25 - 16:40
Date: Friday 9th December, 2022
The status of reduced-risk products in a smokefree society In Norway has meant that practically no one initiates cigarette smoking any longer. The prevalence of daily smoking in the age-group 16-24 years has dropped below the 2% mark. The remaining smokers are typically in their 60’s. Within few decades Norway will probably be almost smokefree, thanks to previous decades of robust infrastructure for tobacco control – and to the long-time availability of a popular alternative to cigarettes; snus. Compared to cigarettes, snus is cheaper, comes in a variety of flavors, can be used indoors and correctly perceived as less risky. The majority of snus users are made up of ever-smokers and youth susceptible for smoking uptake. But as smoking declines, the reservoir of its most potential users (smokers) will shrink, and subsequently the relative share of never-smokers among snus users will increase. Faced with this prospect, the authorities have signalled that they will make snus the next target. This is the backdrop for the emerging debate on the future for low-risk nicotine products for non-therapeutic recreational use. Dr Lund will give an account of this debate – now in the process of overshadowing the debate about harm reduction (which is considered increasingly irrelevant because there will be no smoking to cure with alternative nicotine products).
- Dr Karl E. Lund Senior Researcher - Norwegian Institute of Public Health