What is Swedish Snus?

Swedish snus is a traditional Scandinavian tobacco product that has commonly been used as an alternative to smoking since the 18th century. Simplified, modern Swedish snus is dried tobacco that has been pasteurized and made alkaline to facilitate the release of nicotine.

Most often the Swedish snus has been flavoured with natural aromas before being packaged in small pouches.

By placing the pouch under the lip the nicotine is released and absorbed by the mouth’s mucous membranes, from where it is transported into the bloodstream.

Swedish snus is usually placed underneath the over lip. If preferable, it works just as well by placing it by your underlip, and many snus users chose to vary the positioning.

When you are satisfied with your snus you simple remove it from your mouth and put the used pouch in the waste bin.

Depending on how used you are to snus and individual tolerance to nicotine the time you keep the snus in your mouth tends to vary. There is no such thing as right or wrong. Some users removes their snus after just a few minutes, others keeps it in for about an hour.

Swedish snus is placed underneath the lip, whereby nicotine is released.

The nicotine in Swedish snus is absorbed relatively quickly during about ten minutes, after which the nicotine reception gradually decreases.

It is released with the help of the mouth’s saliva, among other things, and about 10% – 20% of the nicotine is absorbed through the mouth’s mucous membranes, from where it is transported straight to the bloodstream.

In contrast to smoking tobacco, where the nicotine is absorbed in the lungs through the harmful smoke and ceases as soon as you put the cigarette out, the nicotine continues to be absorbed at an unchanged level even after you have removed the snus. Thus, in comparison to cigarette smokers, users of Swedish snus does not have to compensate their nicotine intake at a lowering of the snus product’s nicotine content. 

By smoking tobacco, the nicotine is absorbed in the lungs through the harmful smoke.

Swedish snus basically consists of dried tobacco that is grounded, then pasteurized (heat treated) together with salts and water, made alkaline with soda, and finally flavoured with natural ingredients or aromas. What truly makes Swedish snus so unique is that the process of pasteurization considerably reduces the levels of TSNA’s (Tobacco-Specific Nitrosamines – one of the most important groups of carcinogens in tobacco products) at the same time as micro-organisms are neutralized to keep it fresh. 

This distinguish Swedish snus from almost every other oral tobacco product. Today there are more snus users than smoker in Scandinavia. Scientific studies shows that Swedish snus also has many positive advantages concerning public health, since there is no medical evidence between the use of Swedish snus and any form of cancer or cardiovascular disease.

Read more about snus and health here.

Tobacco cultivation with harvested tobacco leafs hung to dry.

In Scandinavia today, the most common way to use snus is by using pouches, even though it is a relatively modern invention that was introduced on the market as late as the 1970’s. The pouches only consists of moist snus that is packaged in a thin non-woven pouch, much like those used to package tea bags. The snus is wrapped in the pouch material by a portioning machine before its ends are soldered together with heating irons. Thus, it does not contain any glue or other adhesives.

The traditional way to use snus is to knead a pinch of loose snus with your fingers into a small ball, which you then put under the lip. In Swedish you call this a “prilla”.

This way to use snus is still quite common in Scandinavia, especially in Sweden and Finland, but new and younger snus users usually prefers their snus in pouches, which are both easier to use and to handle.

In Sweden snus have been classified as food for a very long time and as such the manufacture of snus have been subjected to follow the regulations of the Swedish National Food Agency. Due to the Swedish snus industry’s high standards of production and strict regular controls, even the National Food Agency have confirmed that a box of snus pouches do not cause any elevated health risks and that the limits for undesirable substances in Swedish snus equals those of any other food stuffs.

In other words, the dosage of nicotine that a user of snus is exposed to is in no way more harmful than the dose of caffeine that a coffee drinker is exposed to.

That said, Swedish snus, just like any other adult substance of stimulation, should still be used with moderation.

Do you want to know more about Swedish snus and health effects? Click here.

    Your cart is empty