3. Selling snus in the EU
There is a ban on traditional snuff distribution, which has been in force in the European Union since 1992. The only country exempted from this rule in the EU is Sweden. This is partly due to the fact that Swedes are very attached to snus which is their traditional stimulant. In Swedish, there is even an idiom ‘fint som snus’ – beautiful as snus, which is supposed to be synonymous of the highest quality or form. In 1995 the European Union wanted to ban the product also in Sweden (which at that time was about to enter the EU). Sweden however, managed to convince the European Commission that this could lead to the rejection of EU membership in a general, national referendum. Sweden maintained the right to use brown snuff only at the territory of the country and committed itself not to export it to other EU member states. Snus is also not prohibited outside the EU, e.g. it is very popular in Norway, and it is also distributed in the US. Moreover, brown snuff can be legally sold in Switzerland.