Let’s take a closer look at who invented snus and where it originated. In 1492, Columbus arrived on the island of Haiti in the West Indies. The locals presented him with some dried leaves that they considered valuable. In the mid-1500s, Portuguese and Spanish seamen were responsible for transporting the dried tobacco leaves to Europe, where physicians from Lisbon started using this as medicine to cure cancer. These dried tobacco leaves were named after Jean Nicot, the French Ambassador at the time, and played a significant role in the invention of snus. It was known as the Nicotiana tabacum.
From the French court circles to Sweden
Jean Nicot decided to take some of the tobacco plants home to Paris, where he introduced this so-called medicine to Queen Catherine de Medici. She was told to inhale the dry crushed leaves through her nose and that this would cure her regular headaches. Snus was seen as a miracle remedy and it became immensely popular within the French court circles and soon also throughout the rest of Europe. In 1637, snus was firstly named in Sweden, and then, in the early 1700s, it was used by men and women and it was seen as a status symbol. Tobacco was now grown in at least seventy Swedish towns.
A change in snus habits
In the early 1800s, the Swedes started placing snus just below the upper lip. This almost eliminated the use of chewing tobacco and snuff. They started producing assortments of the moist snus with variances in quality. The Swedish tobacco industry was booming and it became a firm favourite over smoking cigarettes. Snus was being promoted as the smokeless choice and today it is a popular option for people determined to quit cigarette smoking. Today snus is available in different flavours, strengths, dampness and size. Tobacco from all over the world is now used in the production of snus and the competitive market keeps evolving.