Top EU legal adviser: Keep ban on smokeless snus tobacco

LUXEMBOURG — An adviser to the European Union's top court says a ban should be kept on tobacco for oral use after smokeless tobacco maker Swedish Match had attempted to overturn it.

In a statement, advocate general Henrik Saugmandsgaard Oe said Thursday it "is addictive and harmful." Advice from the advocate general is often followed in the final judgment, which is expected later this year.

Only Sweden is exempted from an EU ban on "snus" — smokeless tobacco that is usually stuck under the upper lip.

Swedish Match wanted to be able to sell it across Europe, seeking permission though the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice that banned it twice before.

Swedish Match spokeswoman Marie-Louise Heiman said they were "disappointed," adding it would "severely limit the Court's assessment of EU legislation."

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