Snus, the tobacco trend from Nordics

Snus, a tobacco product used in the mouth, usually under the upper lip, is gaining traction in the Nordic countries. Its nicotine content, absorbed through the mucous membranes into the bloodstream, makes it a popular choice among youths and those trying to quit smoking. Easy to carry and use anywhere, snus varies in nicotine strength, with some brands like Oden’s packing about 22 mg of nicotine per pouch.

The evolution of snus in Europe, particularly in the Nordics, is noteworthy. Initially used as nasal snuff, it later evolved into pouch form for under-the-lip use. Its rise in popularity in the Nordic region, especially among athletes like ice hockey players, has marked a significant cultural shift. Traditional loose snus like Ettan, popular in the ’90s, has given way to the more common pouch and nicotine snus. These varieties offer a range of flavors and nicotine strengths, from about 6-7 mg to over 40 mg per pouch.

However, the spread of snus use among Nordic youth is a cause for concern due to the health risks associated with tobacco. This trend needs to be curbed to protect the younger generation from potential health issues like developmental disorders and reduced overall well-being.

10 facts about snus

  1. Snus is a moist powder tobacco product, traditionally used in the Nordic countries, especially popular in Sweden and Norway.
  2. It is often placed under the upper lip for extended periods, where nicotine is absorbed through the gum tissues.
  3. Unlike smoking tobacco, snus does not involve burning and thus does not produce smoke.
  4. The nicotine content in snus can vary, providing a range of strengths to accommodate different preferences and tolerances.
  5. Snus is available in various formats, including loose powder and pre-packaged pouches for easier use.
  6. The use of snus has a historical context, originally used as a way to preserve tobacco in the 18th century.
  7. Flavored snus options, like mint, berry, and licorice, are available to enhance the user experience.
  8. Although snus is often marketed as a safer alternative to smoking, it still carries health risks, including potential links to oral cancer.
  9. In the Nordic countries, snus is part of cultural practices, with a long-standing tradition and social acceptance.
  10. Regulations around snus vary globally, with it being legal and widely used in some countries, while heavily regulated or banned in others.
  1. Oden’s: Known for its strong impact, with a nicotine content of about 22 mg per pouch, Oden’s is a household name in the Nordics.
  2. Göteborgs Rape: A milder option from Swedish Match, with a nicotine content of about 8 mg per pouch. It’s been a favorite since 1917.
  3. Kapten Mint: Produced by AG Snus, this semi-dry snus offers a variety of flavors, with a nicotine content of about 7.5 mg per pouch.
  4. R42: Designed for those who prefer a strong hit, this brand provides an intense experience with a nicotine content of about 26.6 mg/g.

Snus health risks and alternatives

Snus has been linked to an increased risk of oral cancer, particularly when combined with alcohol. Despite conflicting studies, the general consensus is that snus poses significant health risks. In contrast, nicotine pouches, a healthier alternative, are gaining popularity due to their lower health risks and teeth-friendly nature.

Availability and Pricing

While legal in the Nordics, the street price of snus varies. Typically, it ranges from about 20 to 60 euros, depending on the brand and quality. Nicotine pouches, legal and widely available online, are a cost-effective alternative, often coming with discounts and promotions.

Quitting Snus

Many have successfully switched from snus to nicotine pouches, a tobacco-free option that still satisfies nicotine cravings but in a healthier form. This switch is increasingly recommended for those looking to reduce the health risks associated with traditional snus use.