Dr. Ross fights harmful EU rules

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The European Union Health Commission is out with a new set of rules proposing more regulations on e-cigarettes and tightening the absurd ban on snus which ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross is doing his best to counter in the popular press.

Dr. Ross has had no less than three columns in various publications about the new directives. In Forbes, he wrote that the the new policy guidelines "barely tinker with lethal, addictive cigarettes while effectively banning products that have been shown to help smokers quit."

In Euractiv, Dr. Ross noted how Sweden's experience with snus, a form of purified smokeless tobacco, indicates how harm reduction can work.

"In the EU, where fully one-third of the adult population still smokes, there are almost 700,000 smoking-related deaths each year. The region is number one worldwide in the devastating effects of smoking with this exception: In Sweden, the only EU country where snus is not banned, only 16% smoke.

"This fact has been validated since those statistics began to be accumulated after World War II. The Swedish male population consumes more nicotine in the form of snus than from cigarettes - and they have the lowest rate of smoking-related disease and death in Europe to show for it."

Dr. Ross also had a letter to the editor in European Voice defending e-cigarettes and criticizing the new directive.

"The net effect of this proposal will be to protect cigarette markets and ineffective pharmaceuticals, while increasing the tragic, largely preventable toll taken by smoking," Dr. Ross wrote. "The current proposal throws smokers under the Big Tobacco bus."