29 June 2020

Snus – 8 things you need to know about it

Snus – 8 things you need to know about it

Snus, despite being known for centuries in the Scandinavian countries, is gaining more and more popularity. What exactly is snus and how does it relate to the e-cigarette and e-liquid industry? You will find the answers to these and other questions regarding snus in the article below.


1. What is snus?

Traditional snus (brown snus) is a moist tobacco product popular in Scandinavia. It looks like tobacco wrapped in a cellulose bag, resembling a tiny bag of tea. Sometimes it is referred to as ‘snuff’. Traditional product is made of a mixture of dried tobacco leaves and salt, which is moistened with hot steam. The finished product contains about 50% water and should be kept in the fridge. There is also a version of it without cellulose packaging, which is called “loose snus”. Usually, snus is applied by placing between the lower or upper lip and the gum. As result nicotine from tobacco is absorbed into the body from the oral cavity. Moreover, the nicotine content in snus is higher than in a traditional cigarette.


2. Non-tobacco snus

Non-tobacco snus (white snus) derives from traditional, brown snus. The only difference between the two is the nicotine carrier. Tobacco snus contains tobacco leaves, while non-tobacco snus is filled with cellulose. Powdered cellulose is soaked in a mixture of pure nicotine, aromas and pH-alignant (to make product pH more similar to the natural pH of the oral cavity). The mixture is additionally moistened with PG, however, the non-tobacco snuff is a little dry. It means that the user may feel the nicotine effect and a taste a few seconds after placing snus behind a lip.

3. Selling snus in the EU

There is a ban on traditional snuff distribution, which has been in force in the European Union since 1992. The only country exempted from this rule in the EU is Sweden. This is partly due to the fact that Swedes are very attached to snus which is their traditional stimulant. In Swedish, there is even an idiom ‘fint som snus’ – beautiful as snus, which is supposed to be synonymous of the highest quality or form.

In 1995 the European Union wanted to ban the product also in Sweden (which at that time was about to enter the EU). Sweden however, managed to convince the European Commission that this could lead to the rejection of EU membership in a general, national referendum. Sweden maintained the right to use brown snuff only at the territory of the country and committed itself not to export it to other EU member states. Snus is also not prohibited outside the EU, e.g. it is very popular in Norway, it is also distributed in the US. Morover, brown snuff can be legally sold in Switzerland.


4. White snus is not prohibited in the European Union

The legal situation of white snus is totally different. It does not contain any tobacco leaves, but only cellulose, which is a carrier for pure nicotine. For this reason, white snus is currently not regulated by the TPD legislation. Since non-tobacco snuff is not covered by the TPD directive, it means that it is not necessary to register the product in the EU. In addition, the sale of white snuff in the European Union is not prohibited in any way. Currently, white snus is treated as a food product and is additionally subject to REACH and CLP regulations. You can read more about REACH and CLP here: https://chemnovatic.com/blog/reach-clp-summary-example-purenic-99-pure-nicotine/


5. How the snus market is changing

Snuff is the most popular in Scandinavian countries such as Norway and Sweden, while the biggest producer is Swedish Match. What’s interesting, Swedes are one of the least-smoking nations of the European Union. It is estimated that only 5% of adult Swedes smoke cigarettes every day. Also, a fact is the growing trend of snus popularity in the Scandinavian countries over the years. The disappearance of smoking is seen as the result of a longstanding campaign aimed primarily at young people to raise awareness of the harmfulness of smoking. The availability and popularity of snuff on the Swedish market may have played some role in this phenomenon.

Sales changes of snus and cigarettes in Sweden


Source: Swedish Match

6. Is snus harmful?

Alleged harmfulness of alternative nicotine delivery products has been a subject of a heated debate, and it is true that opinions on this topic are divided. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that tobacco harm reduction products (and snus belonging to this group) are much less harmful than traditional cigarettes. Nicotine is a stimulant in every form, including snus pouches. However, by absorbing it through the mucous membrane into the bloodstream, you can avoid harmful combustion products and so-called passive smoking.

Everyone (both non-smokers and cigarette users) know about the harmful effects of smoking. The rescue for smokers can be drugs that help to quit. In a situation where it is impossible to resign from nicotine completely, the nicotine replacement therapy and modern alternative products like e-cigarettes, or snus can be really helpful.


7. Quality of raw materials matterspure nicotine for snus

Conscious and responsible manufacturers of tobacco harm reduction products are aware that cigarette substitutes are much less harmful than traditional, combustible cigarettes. Nevertheless, you should always make the highest efforts should to provide users of e-cigarettes or snus with the top level of safety. Chemnovatic supplies top quality raw materials for many years. Out PureNic 99+ pure nicotine is of pharmaceutical grade with purity more than 99.9%. It has gained worldwide recognition from hundreds of manufacturers. Chemnovatic freebase nicotine extract is perfect for snus applications. It is completely odourless, flavourless and crystal clear, barely influences the smell and flavour of the final product.

Chemnovatic PureNic 99+ pure EP and USP nicotine liquid come with a set of documents and certificates ensuring the adherence to quality, safety and legality standards. If you would like to find out more about our pure nicotine visit our B2B platform here: https://b2b.chemnovatic.com/purenic-99-nicotine-set-1799.html or contact our sales team sales@chemnovatic.com.

Properly selected, high-quality raw materials play an important role here as well as laboratory tests and product quality control.


8. Laboratory tests for harm reduction products

In the case of e-liquids, legal requirements impose laboratory tests. European TPD directive strictly defines the types of tests for e-liquids before the product enters the market. This is to ensure the health and well-being of consumers. The TPD laboratory tests intend to ensure that no hazardous substances such as heavy metals or mutagenic substances are in the e-liquids.

Not only e-liquids should undergo laboratory tests. Although snus, in general, is not subject to the TPD directive, it can be tested for security reasons and for the internal needs of the company manufacturing these products. In the case of snus, we test exactly the same parameters as in case of e-liquids, however, the sample undergoing testing is different. We check whether unwanted particulars are present in the composition of the product. The difference is that in the case of snus, we simply examine the presence of substances in the composition of a product.


Chemnovatic laboratory tests

Chemnovatic as a manufacturer of e-liquids and e-liquid raw materials uses TPD compliant products. With us, you will have a guarantee that your final e-liquid product would successfully pass TPD tests. To learn more about TPD legislation and procedures, read more here: https://chemnovatic.com/blog/tpd-vs-e-liquids-everything-you-should-know-about-tobacco-product-directive/

What’s more, we provide our customers with laboratory tests including toxicology and emission tests of ready e-liquids and composition tests of other tobacco harm reduction products. Every European country accepts our laboratory tests. Below you will find exemplary tests that we perform:

  • Heavy metals determination
  • Volatile Organic Compounds determination
  • Aldehydes and ketones determination
  • Nicotine, propylene glycol and glycerin determination

If you would like to subject your products to laboratory tests or talk to our advisors about the possibility of testing specific product parameters, please contact us at sales@chemnovatic.com


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Comments (2)

  1. Great blog information.

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