What is Snus?
Snus (pronounced “Snoose”) originated from Sweden, and is a tobacco product used orally. Snus is generally placed underneath the upper lip for anywhere between 15 minutes to 2 hours. Unlike dip or chewing tobacco, you do not need to spit while using snus.
Is Snus harmful?
Unlike chewing or dipping tobacco, snus is pasteurized rather than fire-cured, and as a result contains significantly lower amounts of tobacco-specific nitrosamines (2.7 parts per million for Ettan brand vs 127 parts per million for American dipping tobacco). This causes Snus to be much safer than other nicotine delivery systems, and the Royal College of Physicians estimates “that regular snus usage is 1,000 times less harmful than smoking cigarettes” (BBC). Up to 20% of Swedish men consume Snus on a regular basis, and Sweden has some of the lowest rates of lung cancer in the world. You can read more about the health effects of Snus here.
Types of Snus.
Snus comes in various forms and types. The first major difference when shopping for snus is portioned and Los. Portioned snus comes in small packets that resemble tea bags, and come in sizes of mini, regular, and maxi. Mini portions tend to contain less nicotine, but they also have the advantage of being nearly undetectable, which makes them good to use in situations where concealing snus is important (at work, etc.)
Portioned snus also comes in two different kinds, original and white (black is the same thing as original portions, just in black!). White Snus is dry, whereas original comes pre-moistened. Since original Snus is moist, it tends to be absorbed faster, thus delivering a quicker kick than white Snus. I suggest trying both types in order to find a preference.
The next type of snus is Los, or “loose”. Loose snus does not come in a portion, and requires the user to “bake” (form) an amount to use. Los gives the user the advantage of being able to vary the amount of snus being used at once (unlike the set amount found in portions) and also tastes stronger. The disadvantage of Los snus is that it can be messy at times, and requires effort in forming the snus before usage.
How do I use snus?
Using snus is simple if you are using portioned Snus. Simply place the portion underneath your upper lip on the preferred side, and thats it! Over time, you will get used to placing the snus there, and you will quickly get used to the feeling. There is no need to spit while using snus, although sometimes when you swallow a slight burning sensation occurs. This is normal, and is either due to excess salivation or by the use of very strong snus.
Where can I purchase Snus?
The best place to purchase snus is online (see our links section). Snus is only beginning to gain popularity in the Western World, and as a result many retail stores don’t sell snus. Snus is currently being launched in the United States under the flagship brands Camel and Marlboro, and Swedish Match has been increasing the availability of Swedish Snus such as General. I suggest trying both the Americanized version of Snus, and Swedish Snus in order to find your preference (see my article on American vs Swedish Snus for a comparison!)