What is Snus?

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Snus is a tobacco product that can be used as a substitute for cigarettes or other smokeless products. The product consists of ground tobacco mixed with water, salt, an alkalizing agent and food grade aromas. The mixture is heated and allowed to cool, creating a moist paste-like substance that can be placed under the lip in small pouches, where it delivers a consistent nicotine kick. Although snus contains nicotine, it does not cause the same adverse effects as smoking. Learn more:

Unlike other smokeless products, snus does not undergo fermentation and therefore does not produce the harmful bacteria that cause tobacco-specific nitrosamines. Similarly, levels of lead and aflatoxins in snus have decreased significantly over the years, due to advances in production and processing technology.

Snus Around the World: Regional Variations and Traditions

Snus has become a popular harm-reduction tool for smokers who wish to avoid lung cancer or other health risks associated with cigarette use. The use of snus can help smokers quit their daily habits and is believed to reduce oral and pharyngeal cancers as well as cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that snus users have close to 100% lower risk of mortality compared with cigarette smokers.

The popularity of snus is illustrated by the fact that in Sweden, the latest EC Eurobarometer survey showed that only 5% of Swedish adults were daily smokers, which is an exceptionally low proportion compared with other higher-income countries. This is believed to be mainly due to smokers switching to snus as a way of avoiding smoking and by young nicotine users who try snus as a transitional step towards quitting or changing their daily habits altogether. Similar results are observed in Norway, where daily snus usage stands at 12% of the population.