Snus (rhymes with "loose"), the Swedish word for snuff, is a smokeless tobacco product with a long history in Sweden. Unlike other forms of smokeless tobacco, snus contains no preservatives and is neither chewed nor inhaled, but held inside the upper lip as the flavor is released. Though difficult to find in U.S. tobacco stores, snus is widely available on the Internet.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Choose your form. Swedish snus comes in two styles, loose and portioned. Loose snus is favored by longtime users, who've mastered the knack of grasping and forming a perfectly-sized pinch of the loose grains. If you want less fuss and muss, choose portioned snus, which comes in premeasured pinches, wrapped in teabag-like paper: you put the whole packet under your lip.
Choose your style and flavor. Swedish snus is made from a mixture of finely ground tobacco, water, salt and, in some cases, flavoring. Basic snus comes in dark and white varieties, each with a different nicotine content. You can find snus in hundreds of different flavors-cranberry is highly popular online-and even in tobacco-free varieties.
Order online with a credit card. Once you've made your selection, use the site's secure ordering system to place your order. Be sure to note shipping charges. Snus is a highly perishable product, so quick shipping and frequent ordering are part of the process. Most Swedish retailers guarantee delivery within a day or two.
Tips and warnings
- If you're new to snus, choose one of the sampler packages offered by many online retailers. Then you can try a variety of styles and flavors, packaged in small tins for freshness.
- To capture the lucrative snus market, U.S. tobacco makers have begun experimenting with snus-like products such as Revel and Skoal Dry. Purists scoff at these as poor imitations, but they are more widely available from U.S. retailers than Swedish snus is.
- Portioned snus comes in three sizes: mini (for those who want their snus use to be unobtrusive), large and maxi (for those who don't care who sees that big bump under their top lip).
- You must be at least 18 years old to purchase snus or have it delivered to a U.S. address.
- Although studies have shown Swedish snus to contribute less to oral cancer than other smokeless tobacco products, there is a risk of cancer and other diseases with any nicotine use. The use of snus, like that of other smokeless tobacco products, is banned in most U.S. schools and community sports programs.