What is snus?


Snus is a Swedish smokeless tobacco product that you use by placing it under your upper lip. It consists mainly of a blend of grounded tobacco mixed with water, salt and different aromas for an extra touch of flavor. Snus comes in either traditional loose variants or in convenient pre-packed portions. Snus as we know it today dates back to the 19th century and it’s available in many different flavors, strengths, variants and portion sizes.

The history of snus

It all started way back in 1492 when Christopher Columbus set sail across the Atlantic on his ship Santa Maria. His goal was to find a new sea-rout to India, and we all know how that turned out in the end. He didn’t find a new way to India but one of the things he did stumble upon and brought back to Europe was tobacco. The way it was consumed at the time, beside smoking it, was to grind it down to a dry powder and sniff it up with your nose. Snuff, as it was called, was considered to be a kind of medical multitool that could cure everything from migraines to syphilis. 

From the French royal court to the Swedish farmers

Snuff’s popularity exploded in the 16th and 17th centuries when the French ambassador Jean Nicot (the man that Carl von Linné named the plant after) brought the plant back home to France after his time in Portugal. The French queen at the time, Katarina de Medici, suffered from chronic headaches and Nicot recommended her to try snuff. It worked and soon after that everyone and their neighbor used snuff. The French court life was the latest craze in Europe and influent people all over the continent wanted to emulate that lifestyle, and that’s how the trend spread to Sweden. The first official Swedish toll document for snuff dates back to 1637. Little did they know that this was the start of something big. When snuff first was introduced it was a status symbol and the one thing that completed a gentleman’s outfit. The popularity of snuff resulted in that over 70 different tobacco plantations popped up all over Sweden, which in turn made it affordable and easily available for the Swedish populace. 

The evolution from snuff to snus

After the French revolution snus saw a drastically decline in popularity since it was associated with the aristocracy and nobility, a group of people that the revolutionaries hated with a passion. Smoking your tobacco was the new way to go, but not in Sweden. Up here in the north tobacco was still easy and cheap to come by. Farmers grew their own tobacco and they’ve started to use it orally instead of sniffing it. They used homemade tobacco grinders or their coffee grinders to make their own proto-snus which they then put under their upper lip. A practical choice and method that allowed them to enjoy their tobacco while working since it freed up their hands. It was also around this time that the industrial revolution has made its way to Sweden and tobacco entrepreneurs started to experiment and mass produce this new and immensely popular product that we now call snus.

The fathers of snus

Jacob Fredrik Ljunglöf and Johan Adolf Boman was two important pioneers that helped to shape snus to what it is today. Back then snus was named after the brand plus a number; 1, 2 or 3 depending on the quality of the snus. The first batch of Ljunglöf’s No.1, today called Ettan, was released in 1822 and it became an instant success thanks to its high quality and characteristic tobacco flavor. A snus that truly stood the test of time, Ettan is still the go to snus for a lot of users today. Ljunglöf’s desire to improve and innovative lead him, amongst many things, to develop a new manufacturing method that cut down the time it took to makes snus with months. This increased both the production capacity and the freshness of the snus. Boman entered the scene a bit later in 1866 with his brand General. A name not affiliated with the military meaning, but a term used to describe something of high standard, a fitting name that reflects the premium quality of the snus. The thing that really made General stand out from the competition was that it incorporated a touch of bergamot which gave it a flavor like no other snus at the time. Many consider this era to be the golden age of loose snus and many classic brands established during this time (Ettan, General, Röda Lacket and Göteborgs Prima Fint just to mention a few) are still around and enjoyed by snus users today.

The world wars and their effect on snus

During the start of the 20th century the average Swede consumed around 1 kg(!) of snus per year. It was also around this time the powder keg that was European politics exploded. Sweden needed to strengthen its defenses and one way to finance this increased military spending was to capitalize on the huge snus market. In 1915 the Swedish government established AB Svenska Tobaksmonopolet which gave them the monopoly on all tobacco trade in Sweden. By the time when the second world war ended the American way of life was the new big thing in western Europe. With this cultural exchange came cigarettes, and they took Sweden with storm! The soldiers smoked them, the movie stars and musicians as well, and so did the swede that wanted to embrace this new and hip lifestyle. It wasn’t until the late 60’s and early 70’s that snus started to gain its footing again when the health risks associated with smoking caught the public eye. It was also around this time when the first successful portion snus, Tre Ankare, was released which helped to boost the popularity of snus even more. Snus was no longer something messy that only old men on the countryside used. These pre-packed portions offered a more discreet and convenient way to enjoy snus. It was now something that people carried with them in the back pocket of their jeans, in their purses and in their inner pocket of their suits. Snus was now something for everyone.

 “Keep your hands of my snus” – The Swedes

An interesting little curiosa and testament to the Swedes’ love for snus was when Sweden joined the European Union in 1995. Selling snus was, and still is, banned in the EU but the Swedes where clear on one thing, if they were to join the snus must stay. As today Sweden is the only country in the EU allowed to sell snus.

How is snus made?

Swedish snus manufacturing is an art and it has evolved during the centuries in the quest for perfection. It all starts with the tobacco. It’s carefully selected to ensure highest quality and best flavor. Different types of tobacco are used depending on the desired character of the snus. Some of the more common tobacco plants used are Virginia, a tobacco plant with medium high nicotine content and a lot of flavor. Rustica which has a mild flavor but a high nicotine content. Burley, a tobacco plant that has a dark, strong and a bit bitter taste. The selected tobacco leaves are then air dried before being shipped to the factory where they’re ground down to a fine blend which serves as the base for the snus. Some water and salt are then added to the mix which gives the snus its texture and an extra touch of flavor. The next step is the heating process. The blend is pasteurized, not fermented. This method both helps to bring out the flavors while it also minimizes the level of TSNA’s (Tobacco specific nitrosamines). After the heating process the snus is refrigerated and some additional aromas such as mint, berries, fruits are added depending on the snus and its desired flavor. The next and final big step is to pack the snus inside sealed cans that protects the snus from contamination. If it’s a loose snus than the tobacco blend goes straight inside the cans while portion snus is packed inside pouches made from the same cellulose material used for tea bags. The cans of snus are then store refrigerated (max 80C) before they’re shipped off to the retailers. During every step of this process the snus is monitored and tested in order to ensure that it meets the high standard of Swedish Food Legislation laws.

Today and the future

The selection of snus available today is big and varied, and it keeps growing. Classic brands such as General, Göteborgs Rapé, Röda Lacket and Ettan are still going strong while modern brand like Siberia, Jakobsson’s and Oden’s has brought some fresh air to this century old Swedish tradition and commodity. You got loose snus that enable you to bake your own portions. There are several different types of portion snus with their own strengths and qualities; Original, White, White Dry, Slim, Large, Super Slim and Mini. Many of the portions are a combination of these categories.

What are Nicotine Pouches?

The latest innovation on the snus market are the tobacco free and all white nicotine pouches from brand such as LYFT, Skruf Super White and White Fox. These discreet types of portions provide the same satisfying feel as a regular snus portion while they’re designed to not leave any stains on your teeth. At Mysnus.com we got them all!

Nicotine Free Snus - the newest addtion!

Are you looking for of a product that can provide the same satisfying sensation as Swedish snus, but without the inclusion of tobacco or nicotine? If so, you've come to the right place with MySnus's assortment of nicotine-free snus! These nicotine-free alternatives go by various names, such as energy snus, energy pads, energy pouches, caffeine snus, and more. What unites them all is their 100% nicotine- and tobacco-free composition. MySnus.de boasts a vast and ever-expanding selection of these Power Pouches, available in an array of delightful flavors.

How works nicotine-free snus?

Have you ever pondered how nicotine-free snus can deliver a stimulating experience devoid of tobacco or nicotine? One example involves certain products containing caffeine, exemplified by the pouches from the renowned brand Lewa or Scooper Energy. Instead of tobacco, those brands feature a filling crafted from natural plant fibers, giving them their distinctive all-white appearance. Other invigorating additives, such as guarana combined with vitamins, can also be found in portions from Lewa.

Nicotine-Free Snus - A substitute for enjoying snus differently

Are you aiming to reduce your nicotine consumption? Nicotine-free snus can assist you on your journey. With no tobacco or nicotine, yet still offering the same familiar sensation, delightful flavors, and invigorating experience as traditional Swedish snus, it provides an alternative way to relish snus.