For a while, many people have been asking me about the differences between American dip and Swedish snus and so I’ve decided to post a write-up here in the blog outlining some of the major differences between the two forms of smokeless tobacco. Although I mainly use snus, I first started off with dip and occasionally like to try different varieties of in order to mix things up a little.
The first primary difference between the two varieties of smokeless tobacco is that unlike dip, there is no need to spit while using snus. This is due to the processing of the tobacco used to make each variety. Whereas dip is fire cured, Swedish Snus is pasteurized, thus taking out the harshness of the juice and allowing you to swallow. Personally, I find that snus is superior to dip in work in school environments, as well as other places where you may not be able to spit.
The issue of curing also brings about the next difference between the two types of tobacco, health implications. Snus has been shown to contain substantially less quantities of tobacco specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) than dip, and it is these TSNAs that are often implicated in causing cancer among healthy individuals (one variety of dip contained 127ppm of TSNAs compared with 3.7ppm with a type of Swedish snus). However, in comparison to cigarettes which contain over 1,000 TSNAs per cigarette as well as tar and other chemicals, both are much safer alternatives to cigarette smoking.
There’s also a significant difference in flavor between snus and dip. I find that tobacco flavored dip tends to be sweeter than a tobacco flavored snus. Snus is also offered in a much wider range of flavors than dip, although some exotic flavors do exist, such as Skoal Peach and Kayak Grape.
Finally, Swedish snus tends to be more finely ground than even the most fine dip, and is generally placed in the upper rather than lower lip. Both snus and dip are available in portioned varieties, although there is only one form of portioned dip (Skoal Bandits). I haven’t tried the bandits, but I’ve heard that they are very popular in some places.
Despite their differences, both snus and dip can be enjoyed in their own ways. Personally, I prefer snus because there’s no need to spit, and having portions is extremely convenient.