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NNA Poster
NNAPoster 1
Authors: Stimson, Gerry; Jakes, Sarah; Harding, Jessica; Morrison, Andy; Dorn, Dave; Costall, Paddy; Salim Sartoni, Sairah; Summers, John; MacKintosh, David; Molloy, Kevin

Objectives: to outline the experience of a nicotine consumer group (New Nicotine Alliance UK) in using legal mechanisms to challenge the ban on snus. Background: Snus is a popular and effective harm reduction product which has helped thousands in Sweden and Norway to avoid the risks of smoking. As a result Sweden and Norway have the lowest rates of lung cancer and other tobacco-related disease in Europe. But the sale of snus is banned throughout the EU, except for in Sweden. Swedish Match, the leading snus manufacturer, initiated a challenge against the ban. NNA applied to join the action. The legal case: The NNA’s case to the European Court of Justice is based on EU law and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Given the evidence that snus is substantially safer than smoking cigarettes, and that it protects against smoking, it is not only unethical but also contrary to EU law to deny access to this product - smokers have a right to access a product that helps protect their health. The ban on snus is disproportionate, and is contrary to the right to health. Progress: On 26 January 2017 the High Court in London ruled that the challenge should be heard at the European Court of Justice and that NNA could join the challenge as intervenor. On 25 January 2018 the case was heard at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. The case has been opposed by the governments of Norway, UK, Hungary, and Finland, and by the European Parliament, the Commission and Council. The preliminary opinion on the case by the ECJ Advocate General will be published on 12th April. Conclusion: The NNA legal case is the first time that a ‘right to health’ argument has been used to challenge a bad tobacco control law. We hope that this example might be a springboard for challenges in other countries.

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