Smokeless tobacco - Snus, Snuff & Dip explained


Smokeless tobaccos like dip, snus and nasal snuff have been a popular alternative to cigarettes for a long time. In the following article we will give an introduction and briefly explain the differences between these forms of tobacco.



Dipping tobacco is also commonly known as dip, chew or moist snuff. While this form of tobacco is most popular in the Southern United States, its popularity has been growing in many other parts of the world as an alternative to cigarette smoking. The grind of dip can vary from a very fine grind to a coarse grind (which generally is easiest to use). Dip tobacco  is used by placing a pinch in the lower lip where it is kept between 10-30 minutes. The most common types of dip are Fine Cut/Snuff, Mid Cut and Long Cut. Long Cut dips are easiest to use for beginners, since the pinches do not fall apart after packing them.


This form of smokeless tobacco undergoes a special manufacturing process. Snus is steam-pasteurized, and in that differs from dipping tobacco which is fire cured. Swedish food regulations, which apply to the manufacturing of snus, limit the permitted amounts of certain components in snus products.

Swedish snus comes in a variety of forms. First of all, there is portion snus and loose snus:

Portion snus is tobacco packed in small tea bag-like pouches, which make its usage very convenient as no packing of pinches is required. This type of snus is available as Original portions and White portions. Original portions are typically dark in color, moist in texture and full-bodied in flavor. White portion snus are white in color, dry in texture and milder in flavor than original portions. These snus portions come in 3 different sizes – Maxi portions (twice the size of a large portion), large portions (the average size of a loose pinch / 1 gram) and mini portions (a convenient size for beginners as well as for discrete tobacco usage).

As well as portion snus there is also loose snus, which is ground tobacco without the tea-bag like pouches. The size and shape thus can be freely varied and adjusted according to the user’s preference.

Snus or Dip?

So what are the differences between dip/chew/moist snuff and this other popular form of smokeless tobacco called snus? Dipping tobacco differs from snus in a few important ways:


The main difference here is the spitting. Dipping requires the user to spit whereas this does generally not occur when using snus. The reason is that snus generally causes less saliva production, hence less dripping than dip.


In general, dipping tobacco tends to be sweeter than snus. Snus is also offered in a much wider range of flavors.

Nasal snuff:

The first form of smokeless tobacco that was consumed by humans is nasal snuff tobacco. It is a fine dry powder which is snuffed into the nostrils. There is a variety of grinds and moisture levels of nasal snuff to meet different user preferences. Standard flavors are menthol and regular tobacco, but there is a variety of other flavors available.