Everything you need to know about Swedish Snus
SNUS: Swedish pronunciation: [snʉːs]
Here you can learn all you’ll ever wanted to know about swedish snus. Maybe you want to find out which is the strongest snus out there or you are just curious about snus in general. Here you’ll find information about all aspects of snus. Everything from what snus is to snus videos. Enjoy!
Europeans first came in contact with tobacco in the caribbean, on the island Hispaniola (now called Haiti). Columbus and his came a shore on the island in october 1492. On the beach they were greeted by natives with gifts. Among the gifts there were dry leaves which the natives regarded as very valuable.
Back in 1497 the munk Ramon Pane came in contact with the precursor of snus when he accompanied Columbus on his second trip to America. There he saw indian priests sniff a powder up their nose through a fork-shaped pipe. According to scientists the powder most likely consisted of more than only of tobacco, but the actual snuffing became important for use of tobacco when it was introduced to Europe.
Spanish and Portuguese sailors brought the tobacco plant to Europe. In the mid 16th century, doctors in Lisbon started to use the herb for medical purposes. They thought that it could for example cure syphilis and cancer. They cultivated the tobacco in their back yeards.
In the 16th century, nasal snuff, the precursor of snus, was introduced to France by French diplomat Jean Nicot. He recommended snuff to Queen Catherine de’ Medici as a migraine remedy. When she became a regular snuff user, it became a fashion among the court and upper-class citizens of France. It became popular especially among females, as it was deemed more socially acceptable than other forms of tobacco.
The trend of using nasal snuff spread to Sweden at the beginning of the 17th century.
In the 19th century, Swedish farmers started to grind their own tobacco leaves in their coffee grinders, and added salt and water to it. That’s when snuff became snus. Swedish snuff producers also began to manufacture moist snuff, which is placed under the upper lip and doesn’t require spitting. Ettan which means «number one» was registered in 1822, and it’s the oldest brand of snus still sold.
The ingredients of Ettan Snus are simple – tobacco, salt and water. And this is the way it’s been since Jacob Fredrik Ljunglöf launched his snusmix “Ettan” back in 1822. This was long before the snus cans were invented so the snus was delivered in paper cones. This mix of unseasoned tobacco spread fast through Sweden. The manufacturer of Ettan loose today, Swedish Match has given the snus some notes of smoke, malt and with hints of dark chocolate. This however does not change the classic and characteristic tobacco taste of Ettan.
General Snus was launched back in 1866 but it all began 4 years earlier. Snus manufacturer Johan A Boman had a goal to make what he called the perfect snus. It took him 4 years of research and development to reach his goal. He traveled the world in hopes of finding the best tobacco leaves, and he started to experiment with different leaf combinations. The result, a tobacco blend of 22 different tobacco varieties, and a drop of bergamot oil. The classic General Snus was born.
In 1973, the product developers at Swedish Match created a snus flavored with whiskey, it came in portion bags that were not very different from tea bags. These small snus portions were then packed in a petite plastic bag. This product unfortunately failed, and the brand was withdrawn from the market. However, studies showed that many had been positive about the new way of using snus, but were not very impressed by the bags themselves. This spurred Swedish Match to further developed the idea and in 1977 a breakthrough was made. The breakthrough was Tre Ankare – the first portion snus on the market. Tre Ankare laid the foundation for all portion snus you see today.
|Product Name||Nicotine mg/g||Portion weight||Moisture %||Nicotine/pouch (mg)||Compare|
|Siberia Brown Portion||43||1||50||43|
|Thunder X Portion||45||0.8||50||43|
|Thunder NGR Portion||42||0.9||52||37.8|
|Siberia Red Extremely Strong Dry White||43||0.8||27-30||34.4|
|Siberia Brown Portion||43||1||50||43|
|Thunder X Slim White Dry Portion||45||0.7||20||31.5|
|Thunder X White Dry Portion||45||0.65||20||29.25|
|Offroad X Arctic Xplorer White Dry Portion||45||0.65||28||29.25|
|Clove Explosion Dry White Portion||36||0.8||30||28.8|
|Thunder NRG Dry White Portion||42||0.65||28||27.3|
|Clove Explosion White Portion Snus||27||0.9||50||24.3|
|Odens Extreme Melon Portion||22||1||50||22|
|Odens Extreme Portion||22||1||50||22|
|Siberia Blue White Portion||24||0.9||45||21.6|
|Siberia Slim Blue White Portion||24||0.9||50||21.6|
|SISU Extreme Mint White Portion||29.07||0.688||35||20|
|Thunder 10 Portion||22||0.909||44||19.99|
|Odens Extreme Double Mint White Portion||22||0.9||50||19.8|
|Thunder Ultra Raspberry Portion||22||0.9||52||19.8|
|G.3 VOLT Slim Super Strong White Dry||26||0.69||27.5||17.94|
|G.3 WIRE Slim Super Strong White Dry||26||0.69||27.5||17.94|
|Thunder Ultra Frosted White Portion||22||0.8||48||17.6|
|Thunder Ultra Original White Portion||22||0.8||48||17.6|
|Thunder Ultra Frosted White Dry Portion||22||0.65||28||14.3|
|Thunder Ultra Original White Dry Portion||22||0.65||28||14.3|
|Thunder Ultra Frosted Portion||22||0.9||52||19.8|
|Thunder Ultra Original Portion||22||0.9||52||19.8|
|G.3 TNT Super Strong Slim White||26||0.69||27.5||17.94|
|Skruf Slim Fresh Ultra Stark White||26||0.7||-||18.20|
|G.4 CRYO Super Strong Slim All White||22||0.8||36.5||17.6|
|Black Line Breeze Ultra Strong Slim||27||0.9||-||24.3|
|Black Line Blast Ultra Strong Slim White||27||0.7||-||18.9|
|Product Name||Nicotine mg/g||Portion weight||Moisture %||Nicotine/pouch (mg)|
Unfortunately, most people in the world do not know that nicotine and tobacco in itself are not what causes disease, suffering and death. The big problem is the gases that are formed when a cigarette is ignited and inhaled. In short: Smoking kills. Snus does not. Instead, it is about how the tobacco is consumed.
There are currently around 1.2 billion daily smokers in the world. Smoking cigarettes annually causes approximately 7 million premature deaths at a cost to society of $ 1,100 billion according to the World Health Organization (WHO) report from 2017. In Sweden, despite very low proportion of smokers, smokers cause approximately 12,000 Swedish deaths per year to a social cost of about SEK 30.5 billion according to the state social welfare and cancer fund (2017).
The number of male smokers in Sweden is the lowest in the EU and throughout the traditional industrialized world. According to the EU’s Eurobarometer, it was only 5% 2017, while the European average was 26%. Sweden also has the lowest rate of tobacco-related mortality in the EU. The main reason for this is that the Swedes use snus to a much greater extent than cigarettes.
In Sweden, almost every fourth man is using snus and about every twenty-one woman. New statistics from Statistics Norway (2018) show that smoking, especially among younger people, has fallen dramatically over the last few years, while the use of snus has increased. The proportion of smokers among 16-24 year old women has fallen from 17% in 2008 to 1% in 2017, see chart, a decrease of 94%.
A study published in the journal Tobacco Reporter 2017 found that ignorance of what is most dangerous in connection with smoking leaves much to be desired. Less than 10% of respondents in Britain responded that damage from smoking is not from the nicotine.
In a survey made 2017 by FDA Tobacco (Food and Drug Administration) in the USA the following question was asked: «Do you think that some non-smoking tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco and snuff (smokeless tobacco) are less dangerous than cigarettes», only 11% answered yes. The correct answer is that all smokeless tobacco is significantly less harmful than smoking cigarettes.
Snus contains finely ground pasteurized tobacco, water, salt and flavors. Cigarettes also contain tobacco but the difference is the approximately 7000 substances that cigarette smoke contains and the smoker inhales. Many of these substances are highly carcinogenic, but in addition to that the smoker also inhale tar. In the case of snus, no lungs or other organs in the body will be affected, as no ignition and inhalation occur.
In September 2017, the largest Meta-data scientific study in the world, The Global Burden of Disease Study, was published in the medical journal The Lancet. The study includes data from 27 years of scientific studies and a total of 174 countries. For the first time in the history of the investigation, the different types of smokeless tobacco were distinguished. The conclusion was that the use of snus gives 0% increased relative risk for all diseases, including all forms of cancer, compared to people who do not use snus at all. See the quote from the survey in the image below.
Snus is not completely harmless and therefore has an 18-year limit for sale just like any other tobacco product. The product Swedish snus is the oldest and most well-researched alternative to smoking in the world. The Royal College of Physicians in Britain estimates that Ecigarettes are at least 95% less harmful than smoking, while snus is judged to be even less harmful. Snus should not be used by pregnant women as there is a certain increased risk of elevated blood pressure, etc. Snus can also cause irritation and minor damage to the mucous membrane (snus lesions) and gums. However, a Swedish patent-approved manufacturing method seems to be able to counter these. Snus lesions, pits in the oral mucosa, are reversible i.e. they disappear after a few months if the person stops using snus. However, gums can not be recreated. None of these problems, however, pose a risk to public health.
In Norway snus has become extremely popular and the more the consumption of snus has increased, cigarette smoking has decreased. The proportion of men using snus in Norway in 2017 was 17% while the proportion of women using snus was 6% according to Statistics Norway in Norway. The proportion of smoking women in total has fallen from 21% in 2008 to 10%, a decrease of 52%. The proportion of smoking men has decreased from 21% to 12%, a decrease of 43%. This is amazingly good figure for public health in Norway and probably lack equivalent in the world.
What scientists around the world today discuss are harm minimization. It is naive to believe that everyone can quit smoking directly by prohibition, price increases or tobacco control. Switching from life-threatening smoking to significantly less harmful alternatives such as snus or e-cigarettes is therefore a benefit for both the individual and public health. One of the more common arguments for maintaining the ban on snus is that snus, if allowed to be sold in other EU Member States, would be used by non-smokers, thus becoming a so-called gateway to conventional tobacco smoking. Karl Erik Lund, head of the tobacco research at the Norwegian National Institute of Public Health in Norway, has studied snus habits in Norway in a study, and the results show that the majority of snus users are former or present smokers. In Sweden, Dr Lars Ramström, together with several international researchers, analyzed the results in Swedish public health surveys conducted by the National Board of Health, including a period of approximately 25 years and about 20,000 participating Swedish women and men each year. The results show that 86-87% of men and women who used snus daily are former smokers who quit smoking for good. The study also shows that snus is not a so-called “gateway” to smoking. On the contrary, about 1/3 of the former smokers who have switched to snus have subsequently terminated with all the use of nicotine products i.e. even with snus.
One thing many often forget is that nicotine gum, nicotine patches, nicotine spray etc. in most countries can be sold everywhere, without prescription and marketed on tv and in newspapers without any problems while marketing of snus is completely forbidden. The only “problem” with this may be that only a few percent manage to quit smoking using these, in comparison to snus, relatively expensive products.
The chart below shows the development of the proportion of smokers and snusers in Norway in recent years. Source: Statistics Norway, Norway.
It is primarily the young generations in Norway who smoke to a lesser extent but instead transition to snus. The diagrams shows the different age ranges. Source: Statistics Norway, Norway.
Manufacturers have chosen different ways to tackle the world of tobacco free and nicotine free products. The products on the market have very different tobacco substitutes as their base. Here are a few variations of tobacco substitutes used in tobacco free and nicotine free products cellulose, plant fibers, green tea and carrot fibers, small strands of herbs, tea and apple fibers and semolina (durum wheat). The end results however are very similar, but in case you have allergies or doesn’t eat certain foods this might be something to keep in mind when buying these kind of products.
Products that contain green tea and carrot fibers: Qvitt
Products that contain small strands of herbs: Smokey Mountain
Products that contain tea and apple fibers: Zeroberg
Products that contain semolina: XQS (all except for original loose & portion)
A tobacco free product is basically just what the name suggests a product that doesn’t contain any part of the tobacco plant. There are 2 types of tobacco free products. The ones that contains no tobacco or nicotine, and then the ones that contain nicotine but no tobacco. The products that contain nicotine are often referred to as nicotine pouches or nicopods. Depending what type of product you are looking for this can be good to know.
Nicotine free products doesn’t contain nicotine or any part of the tobacco plant. So if you are looking for a product with neither tobacco or nicotine it’s best to look for nicotine free products rather than tobacco free. In most cases it’s the same kind of products but with a few exeptions such as nicotine pouches. Nicotine pouches contain nicotine but no tobacco. Just keep that in mind if you are looking for a product that is free from both.
The main difference lies in the manufacturing process, dip (also called American snuff) is fermented while Swedish snus is steam-pasteurized and then salt-cured. Swedish snus has a much lower amount of TSNA’s than American snuff does.
Swedish snus is treated like a food product in Sweden, and the Swedish Food and Drug Administration monitors all snus.
American snuff (dip) comes in many variations such as long cut, fine cut, wide cut, fat cut and pouches. The most commonly used version of snuff is long cut, which is a loose cut product that consists of small strands of tobacco. A pinch is put in the bottom lip, between the lip and gums. Snuff is not a spitless product, so many snuff users carry spittoons. Spittoon, also called spit cup is a portable, spill-resistant cup or jug shaped accessory for snuff and chew users.
Swedish Snus comes in loose and portion format. There are several types of portions on the market such as white, black, dry white, perforerad white, original. They also come in different formats such as large, slim, super slim and mini. The loose format is pretty much the same except for the grind. There is fine grind, coarse, and ones in a while we see a long cut hit the market, but it’s rare. Long cut is cut tobacco instead of ground. The most commonly used version of Swedish snus is the white portion. The portion is placed under the upper lip, between the lip and gums. Snus is a spitless product, which means that it’s safe to swallow your snus juice. Snus is discarded ones used, usually in the catch lid of the snus can. Catch lids are a great feature. If you are not close to a bin, it’s not a problem, just pop your used snus in the catch lid and you can empty it when you do find one. Today the catch lids are a standard feature on all portion snus cans in Sweden. Loose snus cans doesn’t have catch lids, most likely due to loose snus being more of a mud like substance ones discarded. Because of that it can easily seep out of a catch lid. Some loose snus users keep an old empty can handy instead, and use that when to discard their snus in.