• Robert Spicer

Oral tobacco in Finland and Sweden: lessons for criminology

Oral tobacco

In Sweden and parts of Finland, the use of oral tobacco as an alternative to smoking is fairly widespread. Oral tobacco is a legal product in Sweden but is banned elsewhere in Europe including Finland and the Aland Islands. These are an archipelago of 6500 islands in the Baltic Sea. They are a Swedish-speaking autonomous province of Finland.

Ferry ships operating between Sweden and Finland have oral tobacco for sale. The current state of European law appears to be that ferries registered in Sweden and operating via the Aland Islands are allowed to sell oral tobacco. Alandic registered vessels are not. Criminality, in this context, depends upon the place where a ship is registered. A passenger on a Swedish ship can lawfully buy oral tobacco. A passenger on an Alandic ship is a criminal if he does so.

It may be assumed that we will wait in vain for Crimewatch to denounce the oral tobacco chewers of the Aland Islands or for criminologists to seek explanations for their criminal behaviour.

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