How to Use Snus

Snus is becoming increasingly more popular as an alternative to smoking tobacco. As more and more smoking bans come into place, the popularity of snus has risen considerably. Snus originated in Sweden and many people use it there because it is a smoke-free alternative. However, using snus is not the easiest when you have no previous experience. Welcome to this beginners guide to the use of snus.

What is Snus?

Snus is a moist version of dry tobacco that is more commonly referred to as snuff. In short, it is tobacco that is placed under your upper lip. Snus most commonly come in two different versions: loose snus and portion snus. Snus is basically a tobacco product that contains ground tobacco mixed with water and different kinds of flavoring. Even though loose and portion snus are slightly different they are used in similar ways.


It is important to understand the difference between snus and snuff. In English, the word snuff is sometimes used to cover everything from snus, dry snuff and dripping tobacco. Snuff usually refers to the nasal form of tobacco or sometimes it is a word for American dripping tobacco. However, snus is a moist powdery smokeless tobacco which is placed underneath the upper lip. Unlike American dripping tobacco, snus does not typically result in the need for spitting.


Read more about snus here. https://www.northerner.com/us/the-northerner/what-is-snuff

Usage of Snus

If you are an adult and willing to try snus there are a few things that you need to know. First of all you need to choose which brand of snus you want to try. Snus usually comes loose or in portions. The loose variety comes in a snus can while the portion packed snus usually comes in sachets or pouches not unlike small teabags. I will again stress the importance of choosing the right kind of snus and to not confuse it with snuff, which is very different.


Regardless of which type of snus you choose, it is picked up with your fingers and placed underneath your upper lip. After it has been put in place the nicotine is absorbed into your bloodstream through the oral mucosa. Since nicotine is a stimulant it is transferred to the brain’s reward system.

How Do I Use Loose Snus?

Loose snus is a moist powder and it can be portioned and packed into a spherical or cylindrical shape with your fingertips or with a tool built for the purpose. The design is usually not unlike that of a pencil or a plastic syringe and it is used to pack the snus under your lip. The end result of the packed snus is usually known as pris (pinch), buga, prilla or prell (slang). Those who have used loose snus for a long time tend to use only their fingers but as the use of snus has spread so has the demand for tools or for the portion variety.


If it is the first time that you use snus, please be aware that you can experience some dizziness and nausea because of the rush of nicotine so make sure that you are in a safe environment and that you have access to somewhere you can lie down if needed. How much nicotine there is in snus varies from different types and/or brands.


 This is how you use loose snus:

  • Open the can of snus.
  • Put your thumb and index finger into the can or use your tool.
  • Pick up a small quantity of snus between the fingers and press it together to form a wedge before lifting it up.
  • Use your free hand to lift your upper lip up on one side.
  • Place the wedge underneath your lip, between the lip and the gum.
  • Let go of your upper lip – you’re done!

How Do I Use Snus Portions?

Portion snus is a moist powder that is pre-packaged into small sachets or pouches that are not unlike very small teabags. Usually they come in smaller quantities than loose snus and are also considered to be more convenient and discreet. Portion snus comes in a variety of different versions. First of all you have the original portion, white portion and sting-free portion and they usually come in the different sizes small, normal/large and maxi.

Original portion was introduced in 1973 and it is considered to be the traditional form. The pouches are brown and moist, a result of the way the tobacco is moisturized during the manufacturing process.

White portion is a version of portion snus that is milder in taste and releases the nicotine slower. Because the sachet is not moisturized during the manufacturing process the pouches are white instead of brown. The actual tobacco has the same moisture content as the original portions within the material, but the nicotine and flavor are released slower due to a dry sachet. White portion is called so because of the style and not the color, as some might think. White portions can come in black or other color sachets.

The different portions usually come in three different sizes: small, medium/large and maxi. The weight varies between different brands but typically small weigh close to 0,5 gram, normal/large weigh between 0,8-1 gram and maxi somewhere around 1,7 grams. The nicotine content also varies between different brands, but the most common strength is around 8mg of nicotine per gram of tobacco.

Using portion snus is easier than using loose snus since they are already packaged. Simply pick up the pouch, place it underneath your upper lip and you are good to go.