Snus is a moist tobacco product which has been in use in Sweden for hundreds of years. It is placed in the upper lip, where it remains for anywhere between 15-45 minutes. Unlike dipping tobacco, snus does not require spitting and can be ideal in many situations including offices and university classes. Snus is available in both loose and portioned varieties. Portions have the advantage of being extremely convenient for many situations, whereas loose snus has a richer taste (and with an Icetool, you can control the amount of snus you want). Snus is available in a wide variety of flavors, some of which include mint, melon, tobacco, and wintergreen. There are also a wide array of strengths, which range from extra strong to zero nicotine snus.
Snus portions come in different sizes and types. Here’s a rundown of some of the most common types of snus:
- Original Portion
- Original portions tend to be slightly moist, thus making the onset of the nicotine faster. Although they don’t last as long as white portions, they can provide a quick nicotine kick.
- White Portion
- White portion snus is much drier, and therefore takes longer to absorb than an original portion. However, they can last for quite a long time.
- Mini Portion
- Mini portions are much smaller than original and white portions, and they have less nicotine. Despite this, they are extremely discreet and can be used in work situations without anyone noticing.
- Long Portion
- These are a new type of portion which aims to be longer than it is wide. Long portions fit comfortably in the lip, and are a great way to discreetly enjoy a full sized portion.
Snus should be stored in a cool, dry place, with the refrigerator being an ideal place to keep snus fresh. If you have a lot of snus and would like to store it for longer periods of time, then it is best to place the snus in the freezer. Take it out about two hours prior to use, and your snus will be good to go! Generally, it is safe to use snus after the expiration date, just make sure that it hasn’t dried out.
Snus and Health
A Royal College of Physicians study has discovered that snus is up to 1,000 times safer than cigarette smoking, and poses no real risk for lung or oral cancer. Unlike dipping tobacco which is fire-cured, snus is pasteurized, therefore significantly decreasing the amount of tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs). Whereas a popular variety of dipping tobacco contains 127ppm of TSNAs, the General Snus brand contains only 2.8ppm of TSNAs. Smokers who switch from smoking to snus can also expect their lung function to improve over time, as snus does not need to be inhaled. In Sweden, approximately 20% of the male population uses snus on a regular basis, and Swedish people have the lowest rates of cigarette smoking in Scandanavia. Accordingly, Sweden has much lower rates of lung cancer and other cigarette-related deaths.
With the increase in smoking bans and the increasing number of studies demonstrating the health benefits of switching from smoking to snus, many people have been switching to snus as an alternative means by which to enjoy tobacco. A growing number of studies are also discovering that snus can function as a more effective smoking cessation tool than nicotine gum or patches.
Getting started with snus is quite easy. I highly recommend getting a try-out box from Northerner, as it’ll provide you with a wide selection of tasty snus brands so that you can discover which flavors suit you. Also don’t forget to check out our snus reviews here on the blog so that you have an idea about what different brands taste like and if they appeal to you!