30 October 2018

Swedish Match MRTP - Here We Go Again! 30 October 2018.

Back in August of 2014, I wrote an article about Swedish Match applying for the modified risk tobacco product label. This would modify the warning labels on General Snus sold in the US to be, well, honest. More on that later. In December of 2016, Swedish Match was denied approval by the FDA for this Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) label. When this happened, Fredrik Peyron, Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Group Communication, Swedish Match said, "We took a major step towards our visionA world without cigarettes” by having the first MRTP application ever accepted as complete by the FDA, and we believe it's a sign that we're moving in the right direction. We will adhere to the invitation by the agency to continue our constructive dialogue in order to understand the next steps necessary for issuance of a modified risk order." They didn't give up, and followed back up on the FDA's requests and the process has begun again!

If you're new to this topic, I'll explain what MRTP is and why Swedish Match wants it. There are 4 warning labels currently on Swedish Snus sold in the US, pictured to the left.  We'll look at these one by one, and talk about the changes Swedish Match proposes.  Swedish Match is seeking for two of these labels to be removed, and for one to be amended.  There is one label that they are going to keep on the can.  The Modified Risk Tobacco Product label is important, because it allows consumers to be informed about the truth, instead of the lies that are currently forced onto these cans.  This moves away from the "Quit or Die" mentality, and towards the tobacco harm reduction mentality.

1. This product can cause gum disease and tooth loss - Swedish Match would like the FDA to remove this label on General Snus products, as this has been debunked.

2. This product can cause mouth cancer - Swedish Match would like the FDA to remove this label on General Snus products, as it has also been debunked.

3. This product is not a safe alternative to cigarettes - Swedish Match would like this label to be amended to say, “No tobacco product is safe, but this product presents substantially lower risks to health than cigarettes.”

4. Smokeless tobacco is addictive - Swedish Match is not seeking the removal of this label.

So, how can you help?  Submit a public comment, here.  The public comment period is now open.  Go there, and share your story.  I told them about how I wanted to quit smoking, and nothing else worked except for snus.  Be honest, and tell them what snus has meant to you and how it has changed your life.  You can have a big part in helping tobacco harm reduction grow in America, so please go and submit comments and share your story!

Submit a public comment, here.

For a sample comment, here's what I submitted:


  1. Just visited Reg.gov - left a comment. Here's hoping.

  2. I wish someday Finland would be wise enough to stop snus selling ban. Meanwhile sweden trips few times a year. :D

  3. I left a comment as well. It reminded me that I have been cig free for a full six years this month, thanks Swedish Snus!

  4. I weighed in too, fingers crossed this will end the blatant misinformation they're plastering all over our cans... thanks for sharing!