It might sound cute and cuddly, like it wants to give you a big hug. But snus is actually the Swedish name for smokeless tobacco or snuff. American tobacco companies brought snus from Sweden to the United States, looking to replace sales lost from fewer smokers. Like chewing tobacco, snus is placed between your lip and gums. But unlike chewing tobacco, the snus “juice” is meant to be swallowed. Yuck!
When you smoke, the nicotine hits your body within five minutes. With snus, it takes about 30 minutes to absorb. Wait a minute — that must mean snus is not as bad, right? Wrong. Whether you smoke cigarettes or use snus, the levels of nicotine in the body are nearly equivalent after half an hour. As with cigarettes and chewing tobacco, snus users become dependent. Despite the “better alternative to cigarette” claims, there is clear evidence that snus users develop cravings and nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Snus also creates greater risk of oral lesions and tooth decay.
Smoking a cigarette takes seven minutes. “Snusing” takes half an hour. We’ve seen what you can do in seven minutes. Imagine what you can do in 30.