What is Snus or Smokeless Tobacco?

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loose and portion snus

 

Snus is a smokeless tobacco product that originated in Scandinavia and it is widely used particularly in Sweden. It is available in a teabag-like pouch that is inserted between the top lip and the gum so that the nicotine is absorbed gradually over a period of time. Under the Swedish Food Act, it was regulated as a food product in the 1970s. Unlike American chew tobacco, Snus does not go through a fermentation process but rather is steam-pasteurized. There is no need for spitting by the user as the small quantities of moisture released are swallowed by the user as part of the normal saliva.

Difference between Swedish and American Snus

Swedish snus is typically marketed and sold as a moist powder, which is loose snus. There is also the portion snus variety where the powder is packed into pouches. Swedish snus typically has a mild flavour. There are smoke aromas added and it can be additionally infused with herb, berry or floral flavours. Swedish manufacturers have extra quality standards in addition to the stringent Swedish food regulations. American snus became available in the late 1990s. It is similar to the Scandinavian version in form but the contents can differ. Usually the moisture content and pH is lower with the result that the availability of nicotine is lower.

Types of Snus

Snus is available as two main types, loose snus and portion snus. Loose powder snus is moist and can be portioned with the fingers or a specific device. Long-tine users simply pinch a quantity and place in under their upper lips. This is known as the farmer’s pinch. Over time the loose snus variety has been replaced by the portioned variety. Portion snus is exactly the same moist powder simply packaged into pouches. It is considered more convenient and discreet, especially for new users. Portioned snus can be obtained in 3 different sizes – mini, normal and the maxi size.