Nicotine Strength in Tobacco
Nicotine occurs naturally in tobacco plants and also in very small amounts in tomatoes and potatoes.
The body can absorb nicotine in several ways: through the skin, the mucous membrane of the mouth and nose, and through the lung tissue. The fastest way is through the lungs from smoking. How much nicotine the body absorbs may vary from person to person. It also depends on how long you have a nicotine pouch in your mouth and which product you use.
The type of nicotine most easily absorbed by the body is called free-based nicotine. Snus, with its high pH-level tends to have a higher proportion of free-based nicotine.
Traditional Swedish snus contains about 0,8–2% nicotine with a pH-level of about 8,5. But there are products with both higher and lower levels of nicotine, as well as completely nicotine-free products.
How is strength measured?
A common belief is that the nicotine level determines how strong the snus is—more nicotine equals stronger snus. This is true in many cases, but what strength the snus is classified as depends on more than that. In fact, it’s not the nicotine level itself, but the perceived strength of the snus that’s important. The perceived strength depends on several factors. One is, of course, the nicotine level. But it also depends on factors like moisture content, taste, pH-level, the shape and size of the pouch, and the user’s snus habits. For example, higher moisture content and pH-level mean that more nicotine is absorbed when you use the snus—and the snus is perceived as stronger.
The world’s strongest snus
The brands Thunder and Offroad, from snus manufacturer V2 Tobacco, have the strongest snus in the world. In their series X, the nicotine level is as high 0.001 ounces per 0.03 ounces (45 milligrams per gram) of snus. If you compare this to the average snus, which has a nicotine level of 0.0003 ounces (8 milligrams per gram), the world’s strongest snus is almost six times as strong!