The sale of nasal tobacco has risen by 36% in the past 6 months compared to the same time last year, reports RÚV.
“It is very sad news because of all the positive developments Iceland has made with tobacco awareness in past few years,” said Health Minister Kristján Þór Júlíusson.”Especially with younger people. It’s obviously very sad to face up to [these new developments].”
Iceland has seen a significant increase in the use of snuff among young Icelandic men. In the first half of last year roughly 12 tonnes of nasal tobacco were sold in Iceland but this has risen to 16 tonnes for the same period this year.
The rise is believed to be a reaction to the ban on mouth tobacco and the Assistant Director of the State Alcohol and Tobacco Company of Iceland (ÁTVR), Sigrún Ósk Sigurðardóttir, has estimated that 80% of snuff purchased in Iceland is currently being used as mouth tobacco.
Sigrún Ósk also challenged the government to clarify their position on nasal tobacco and decide whether the ban on mouth tobacco should be lifted – since people are using nasal tobacco as a mouth tobacco anyway – or ban snuff as well.