Snus: Nicotine Bags Alternative To Cigars?

November 3, 2021

We know the damage that cigarettes causes to our health, from lung damage, cancer even death. For this reason, alternatives that are not as harmful have been considered: such as the popular electronic cigarettes or vapers, nicotine patches and gums. However, there is a non-smokable product with the same properties as cigarettes, but which is believed to be less harmful.

Nicotine Bags, known as SNUS , are smokeless stimulants that contain nicotine that are consumed orally. Snus consists of a mixture of chopped tobacco, salt and water, which is placed for a few minutes below the upper lip. It can also include flavorings such as: bergamot oil, rose essence or licorice.

What is Snus

Snus can be found in round boxes with small bags, where the mixture of chopped tobacco, water and salt is kept. Its consumption, very popular in Sweden, is done by taking a pinch of snus and placing it under the upper lip for a few minutes. Although this product is not smoked, like cigarettes, snus also contains nicotine, the main addictive substance in tobacco.

This alkaloid acts on the circuits of our brain that regulate the reward systems. Increases dopamine levels and generating the same sensation of pleasure that smokers feel. As with cigarettes, snus is a harmful habit that, due to its composition, is not easy to break.

Snus history

Snus was born when the Swedes in the 18th century mixed tobacco leaves with salt and water, then put it under their lip. The journey snakes from the Caribbean to the French court and then like wildfire across Europe like the latest fad.

The monk Ramon Pane came into contact with his snus predecessor in 1497, when he accompanied him on Columbus’s second voyage to America. Then he saw Native American priests put a powder up their noses through a fork-shaped tube. According to the researchers, the dust probably didn’t just consist of tobacco.

When just over a million Swedes migrated across the Atlantic from 1846 to 1930, they brought with them their Swedish customs and manners, including the snus tradition. The use of snus was so common that Americans called the main street of Swedish-American districts Snus Boulevard. Snus became one of the hallmarks of the Swedes.

In the 1970s, the first portion of snus was introduced, an important step for snus to reach a wider audience. Since then, the sales curve has pointed upward.

Differences between the Snus and the traditional Cigarette

The Sus is considered as a less harmful alternative than the common Cigar, since the consumption of the Snus lies in only placing one of the small snus bags under the lip, the saliva does the work of undoing its content. This will be ingested by swallowing the same saliva and the tissues of the mouth will absorb the tobacco substances so that the brain begins to perceive them and generate this chain of comfort that smokers feel.

The consumption of Snus leaves out having to burn the cigarette, thus eliminating the annoying smoke that it leaves, which in turn reduces the risk of damaging the lungs with the smoke. When the cigarette burns, it releases more than 7000 chemicals, of which at least 70 cause cancer.

However, it must be clear that both are made with tobacco, so if or if they contain nicotine, this is an organic alkaloid compound (C₁₀H₁₄N₂) that can be addictive like alcohol, cocaine and morphine. While it does not cause cancer or is excessively harmful by itself, nicotine is highly addictive and exposes people to the extremely harmful effects of tobacco dependence.

The Effect of Nicotine

Nicotine is both a sedative and a stimulant. When the body is exposed to nicotine, the individual experiences a “hit.” This is partly because nicotine stimulates the adrenal glands, causing the release of adrenaline.

This rush of adrenaline stimulates the body. There is an immediate release of glucose, as well as an increase in heart rate, respiratory activity, and blood pressure. Nicotine also causes the pancreas to produce less insulin, which causes a slight increase in blood sugar or glucose.

Indirectly, nicotine triggers the release of dopamine in the pleasure and motivation areas of the brain. A similar effect occurs when people use heroin or cocaine. The drug user experiences a pleasant sensation.

Ban in Europe

Sweden is the only country in the European Union that has met the goal set by the World Health Organization of reducing its tobacco consumption to a percentage of less than 20% of its population. Consuming snus does involve exposure to nicotine, which is an addictive substance, but not to smoke, which makes it much safer than smoking. ”

The truth is that the idea of ​​being able to reduce tobacco consumption without having to suffer withdrawal syndrome or give up the ritual that involves nicotine can be very attractive. Despite this, Europe allows the sale of cigarettes, while snus is an illegal product. The reason is in the background and the lack of studies on the true toxicity of this product when Brussels decided to ban it for the first time in 1992.

The World Health Organization is totally against the promotion of Snus and vapers, as it is of tobacco, since they claim that it can “unleash a false sense of security.” What they recommend, therefore, to reduce the risk that smoking has for health, is very simple and consists of quitting.


Remember that the consumption of these products are harmful to health, so we recommend reducing your consumption if you already tend to do so, or avoid them completely. There are many ways to quit smoking. There are also resources to help you. Your family, friends, and co-workers can serve as support. But to be successful, you really must have the desire to quit smoking.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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