Although snus is a relatively new product here at City Cigar, it has a long history. Created in the early 19th century in Sweden, it was designed as a moist version of dry snuff. It was also improved in its method of use; rather than being inhaled through the nose, snus could be enjoyed by a discreet placement under the upper lip.
So how does snus differ from American chewing tobacco? Primarily, this smokeless tobacco is spit-free. It sits in place, under the upper lip, and fills the mouth with tobacco flavour. Another difference is that it is pasteurized, which adds to the quality and richness of flavour. And Swedish snus is of a high enough quality that it’s classified as a food product by the Swedish government.
One of the most common questions about snus concerns its relative safety. Is it safer than cigarettes? Is it safer than dipping and chewing tobacco? What are the cancer risks with this type of tobacco intake method?
According to one study, there is a 90% less chance of developing most forms of cancer with snus relative to smoking tobacco. This is especially true of lung cancer, since there is no combustion with snus and therefore a lack of the carcinogens that are the byproduct of it. In fact, there is some proof that there is no statistical difference in lung cancer rates between people who use snus and people who don’t use tobacco in any form.
It’s also important to note that the pasteurization process of snus kills off tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNA’s) which have been linked to lung, oral, esophageal and liver cancer. And snus is kept refrigerated after production, not fermented at room temperature, which keeps the TSNA levels as low as possible.
This may sound too good to be true, so is there any increased cancer risk at all? One study has found that snus users had a slightly higher risk of pancreatic cancer compared to non-tobacco users, although this risk is also less than for cigarette smokers.
At City Cigar, we currently carry the General Snus brand of Swedish snus. For more on our specific stock of General Snus, please see this page at the link below. You can also contact us with any questions!