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How Does Snus Work?

Aug 20, 2023

By Howard Riell | March 17, 2023

There are a lot more people who know what snus is than how snus works. But for convenience stores, knowing both can prove essential to maximizing sales.

Doing everything possible to move merchandise in any category is imperative. The global market for snus is expected to rise from $1 billion in 2022 to $2.4 billion in 2029, according to research by HTF Market Intelligence Consulting. Major players in the arena include Swedish Match, ITG, RAI, BAT, Japan Tobacco and Altria.

What It Is: Snus is a moist, finely ground, unfermented smokeless tobacco product that can trace its origins back to Sweden of the 18th century. It contains just a few ingredients: salt, sodium carbonate, water and moisture-preserving agents.

It has been hailed as a less harmful alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. Nearly four years ago, in October of 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement that said "using snus instead of cigarettes puts you at a lower risk of heart disease, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, stroke and emphysema."

How It Works: Snus is routinely wedged between the user's upper lip and gum. It differs from dipping tobacco in that it commonly does not require repeated spitting. Since snus is not cured, it can go bad more quickly than cured tobacco. It can stay unrefrigerated for a week or more without spoiling. In general, it is refrigerated for as long as a few months for short-term storage.

Those who are inexperienced with using loose snus should follow this procedure: Open the box by placing thumb and forefinger on the sides and squeezing. After opening, place the thumb and index finger inside. Pinch a small amount and remove it from the can. Carefully place the wedge between the upper lip and gum. Position it slightly to one side for a more comfortable fit. Adjust the pouch if necessary. This can be done by using the tip of the tongue to gently slide it into place. Expect a bit of a nicotine buzz, which will vary based on the brand and amount used.

Use for as long as 60 minutes. It can be enjoyed anywhere. Users are advised not to swallow snus. An overabundance of nicotine in the system has been known to cause headaches, stomachaches, vomiting and nausea, a loss of appetite, heightened blood pressure, and even dehydration.

When finished, simply remove it from the mouth and toss into a trash can.

What It Is: How It Works: