Originating in Sweden, snus is a smokeless, moist tobacco product that has its roots in dry snuff. It is available in a moist powder form (loose snus) or packed into tea-bag like pouches (portion form). These latter are placed on the gums behind your upper lip. The mucus membranes located there readily absorb the nicotine that gradually diffuses out, and there is no need to spit. Rather you swallow the byproduct. The product can come with or without flavours. Snus has been in demand in Sweden since the middle of the 19th century. Today, more people are using snus than smoke cigarettes there.
The making of snus
Snus is made from tobacco leaves that are first air-dried to bring out their natural aroma, then ground up. Salt, water and aromas are added to the powder along with sodium carbonate, which serves to raise the pH of the mixture. This helps to make the nicotine more bioavailable. Unlike other types of tobacco products, snus is not fermented. Instead, it undergoes a steam heating process below the burning point, which is called pasteurisation. and it’s what differentiates snus from other types of tobacco. Other flavours and aromas can be added at this point and all ingredients will be listed on the tin.
Types and sizes
Snus is available loose or in portions. Nowadays portion snus is the most popular. Pre-packaged portions were first developed in the 1970s and contained loose ground tobacco snus ready formed into small moist packets. These are usually called Original Portion today. In the 1990s, White Portion snus appeared. Again made from ground tobacco snus, the taste lasts longer because the pouch is not moistened until placed under the lip. Finally, All White snus portions contain nicotine and flavours but are completely dry and tobacco-free. Portions are available as large, slim, super slim and mini sizes and come with a range of flavours and nicotine strengths.