Snus ( /ˈsnuːs/; Swedish pronunciation: [snʉːs]), or Swedish snuff, is a moist powder tobacco product originated from a variant of drysnuff in the early 19th century in Sweden, consumed by placing it under the lip for extended periods of time. The precursor of snus, the dry form of snuff inhaled through the nose, was introduced in Europe much earlier. Snus is a form of snuff that is used in a manner similar to American dipping tobacco, but typically does not result in the need for spitting. Snus is also unique in that it is steam-pasteurized rather than fire-cured, is not fermented and contains no added sugar. The sale of snus is illegal in the European Union, but due to exemptions, it is still manufactured and consumed primarily in Norway and Sweden. Its popularity is growing in the United States as an alternative to smoking and traditional “chewing” tobacco. In Sweden, snus is often used to quit smoking, which has led to a significant decrease in the prevalence of smoking among men. In fact, Sweden has the lowest male smoking rate in the European Union. Females in Sweden, who are less likely to use snus, have similar smoking rates to neighbouring countries.
Previously, Swedish snus was only available by mail order within the United States; however, an increasing number of tobacco retailers have begun to stock popular Swedish snus products. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Philip Morris USA, and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company now produce similar products called Camel Snus, Marlboro Snus, and Skoal Snus, respectively. While it’s packaged in much the same way (moist tobacco in a small pouch), production methods vary considerably from traditional Scandinavian methods. Additionally, differences in the way American snus is formulated may also diminish some of the possible benefits. Swedish Match, the leading manufacturer of Swedish snus, is currently test-marketing snus in Canada, Russia and several regions throughout the United States.
Some forms of tobacco consumed in the mouth may be categorized as: