European Smokeless Tobacco Council

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This page was archived on 1 October 2020 and is not actively maintained

This organisation is now defunct.

The European Smokeless Tobacco Council (ESTOC) is a lobbying group that campaigns against the European Union’s ban on oral tobacco products. The organisation represents the interests of smokeless tobacco manufacturers and distributors, and tobacco trade associations. ESTOC says its objective is “to secure the permission to sell smokeless tobacco products that comply with our regulatory framework in Europe and in other parts of the world”.1

Campaigning Against the EU Ban on Snus

In May 1992 the European Union prohibited certain forms of smokeless tobacco, under Directive 92/41/EEC. The basis for the ban was that “products for oral use will be used above all by young people, thus leading to nicotine addiction” and that “tobacco for oral use contains particularly large quantities of carcinogenic substances; whereas these new products cause cancer of the mouth in particular”.2 This ban was maintained under the 2001 EU Tobacco Products Directive, which is currently being reviewed.
ESTOC’s main activity is campaigning to overturn this ban.3


ESTOC members are:4

  • Assens Tobaksfabrik, a Danish company
  • BAT
  • Fiedler & Lundgren, a BAT subsidiary
  • Imperial Tobacco
  • House of Oliver Twist, a Danish company
  • JTI
  • PMI
  • Swedish Match
  • Tobacco Manufacturers Association of Denmark
  • V2 Tobacco, a Danish smokeless tobacco manufacturer

Management and administration is the responsibility of a six-strong board of directors, of which four represent big cigarette companies. They are:5

  • Patrik Hildingsson (Swedish Match), Chairman
  • Ian Jones (JTI)
  • Kristof Doms (PMI)
  • Michael Drest Nielsen (House of Oliver Twist)
  • Steven Stotesbury (Imperial Tobacco)
  • Ulf Bauer (BAT)

ESTOC’s Director General is Inge Delfosse.6 Furthermore, ESTOC has several committees: the Scientific Committee, the TPD taskforce (chaired by Cecilia Kindstrand-Isaksson), Media Working Group, and a Tax Working Group.7

Different Use of Tobacco, Same Industry Arguments

In its response to an EU consultation on plain packaging and larger health warnings, ESTOC deploys well-worn arguments that are used by the industry across the world.8 ESTOC claims:

Lobbying Techniques

ESTOC has been registered since 15 December 2009 on the EU Transparency Register, a database set up by the European Parliament and European Commission which holds information on those engaged in activities aimed at influencing EU policy making.9
In 2012, ESTOC declared it had spent between €50,000 and €100,000 on lobbying EU institutions2.10 It registered Inge Delfosse and Radu Colonescu as persons lobbying on ESTOC’s behalf.


ESTOC’s website contains links to articles about oral tobacco, including one from Christopher Snowdon‘s blog, called ‘Which way will ASH go on snus?’

External Resources

ESTOC website:

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  1. ‘European Smokeless Tobacco Council’, ESTOC website, undated, accessed 28 July 2011
  2. ‘Council Directive 92/41/EEC amending Directive 89/622/EEC on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning the labelling of tobacco products’, Access to European Union Law website, 15 May 1992, accessed 28 July 2011
  3. ‘ESTOC’s proposal: a new science-based product regulation’, ESTOC website, undated, accessed 28 July 2011
  4. ‘Membership’, ESTOC website, undated, accessed 17 April 2013
  5. ‘Structure’, ESTOC website, undated, accessed 14 April 2013
  6. ‘Contact us’, ESTOC website, undated, accessed 14 April 2013
  7. ‘Structure’, ESTOC website, undated, accessed 14 April 2013
  8. ‘ESTOC response TPDR public consultation – leave behind’, ESTOC, 10 December 2010, accessed 28 July 2011
  9. ‘European Smokeless Tobacco Council’, European Union Transparency Register, 15 April 2013, accessed 14 April 2013
  10. ‘European Smokeless Tobacco Council’, European Union Transparency Register, 15 April 2013, accessed 14 April 2013