The decision by the FDA does not allow the company to market the product as a less dangerous alternative to other tobacco products.
The FDA has approved eight new Swedish Match snus products to be sold in the U.S.
According to a post from Reuters, the FDA has declared that Swedish Match will be allowed to sell its new smokeless tobacco — snus, a moist smokeless tobacco that is placed under the lip and does not require chewing or spitting — under its General brand.
The FDA’s ruling allows the sale of snus in the U.S., but it does not allow the company to market the product as a less dangerous alternative to other tobacco products. In order to make such a claim, Swedish Match must acquire separate approval from the FDA. The FDA currently believes that snus will provide a less toxic option for tobacco users.
Swedish Match proposed a warning label change that would claim snus to be a “substantially” lower risk alternative to cigarettes, but an advisory committee has advised that the proposal be rejected.
However, snus has become the most popular tobacco product in Sweden, where smoking related illnesses have plummeted, such as lung cancer and heart disease.
Many FDA panelists agree that snus seems less harmful than cigarettes, but not enough evidence has been provided to support this claim.
Since a 2009 law authorized the FDA to regulate tobacco products, it has provided several ways for companies to bring new products to the market, Reuters reported. One way is to show the product is substantially equivalent to a product on the market as of Feb. 15, 2007, and does not raise new safety concerns. Another way is to demonstrate that the product is appropriate for the protection of public health.