The US Food and Drug Administration has for the first time authorized the sale of a tobacco product that it says will not significantly harm the health of the population as a whole.
Stockholm-based Swedish Match can sell eight new products of a smokeless tobacco known as “snus” under its “General” brand, the FDA said on Tuesday. Snus is a moist tobacco product placed under the upper lip that does not involve spitting or chewing.
The FDA’s ruling allows Swedish Match to sell the products. It does not allow the company to claim they are less dangerous than other tobacco products. To make that claim the company needs separate approval from the FDA.
In granting the authorization, the FDA determined there is a low likelihood the products will lead to increased tobacco use in the population, prevent people from quitting, or cause those who have quit to relapse.
The products would likely provide a less toxic option for tobacco users who use them exclusively, the agency said in a statement.