In almost every community in the world, more than 20% of the population smoke. The health dangers of cigarettes are numerous and severe. Recently, most developed countries have laws restricting where smokers can light introduced. These laws could encourage smokers to quit or to consume very less. Sweden stands out among its peer countries as smoking population is only 18% of all adults. Consequently, it has caused low smoking related illness and death. The Swedes consume as much nicotine as el … Read more »

In almost every community in the world, more than 20% of the population smoke. The health dangers of cigarettes are numerous and severe. Recently, most developed countries have laws restricting where smokers can light introduced. These laws could encourage smokers to quit or to consume very less. Sweden stands out among its peer countries as smoking population is only 18% of all adults. Consequently, it has caused low smoking related illness and death. The Swedes consume as much nicotine as elsewhere, however, because many of them use a traditional smokeless tobacco product called snus. As tobacco in snus is pasteurized, not fermented like cigarettes and other smokeless tobacco, it contains much less carcinogenic substances. Smoking can reduce the harm they cause themselves by eating more snus and cigarettes less. The dilemma for tobacco companies is whether they introduce snus in the markets where they sell cigarettes. And if so, they should market it as a compliment to cigarettes consumed where smoking is prohibited, or as a substitute for cigarettes with the aim of smokers quitting cigarettes at all? The sale of snus is illegal in the EU (except Sweden), but legal in other countries like the U.S. and Japan. The dilemma for policy is whether snus and how to fix it where it can be legally sold to legalize. The case examines the co-dependency of marketing in the private sector and public order, and how each side must take into account the incentives, actions and reactions of others.
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John Walsh,
Mope Ogunsulire
Source: IMD
21 pages.
Release Date: 02 October, 2006. Prod #: IMD404-PDF-ENG
Snus: No smoke without fire? HBR case solution