snus from a female point of view

New Snusers Guide

Hello new snusers and thanks for checking out our “new to snusing guide”. Here we will try and answer all of your questions and concerns regarding your decision on trying snus.
We at snus girl were all new to snus once, we all remember what it’s like reading all the facts and trying to decide on what brands and types are right for us, or if snus was right for us at all. I hope we can provide you with the information you need and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

What is Snus?

Hah it’s a funny name isn’t it! Pronounced Snuuus, It’s a Swedish oral tobacco product. Snus has been around for hundreds of years and originally was just fine cut tobacco, salt and water, made into a paste and placed under the lip. Back then snus was fermented which caused the product to contain higher amounts of bacteria and carcinogenics. Later snus became regulated under the Swedish food regulations and the manufacturing process was changed. Snus is today steam pasteurized which means it contains a minimum amount of bacteria and carinogenics. A few developments have happened during all these years but the principle is still the same and most brands keep true using only a couple of simple ingredients. Today it comes in a wide variety of flavors, textures and sizes and there is literally something for everyone! Snus has helped many people quit smoking for good.

Why use snus?

Everybody’s reason for wanting to try snus is different. Some want to quit smoking and chewing tobacco due to health concerns, work and regulations that ban smoking, or simply to try and save money with the increasing cost of cigarettes these days. Whatever your decision is, know that you are not alone and we have all been down that road. When I finally decided to quit smoking I researched everything I possibly could on all the other options and for me, snus came out the winner every time! As you read this article you will discover facts about snus that put’s it above other tobacco products in both quality and health.
Snus is also classified as discreet, which means that unlike chewing tobacco there is no spitting and most portions are invisible under the lip so nobody knows you are using it. It’s also kind of fun and naughty, getting your nicotine hit and nobody knowing what you are doing.

How is snus different from other tobacco products?

Most of us have heard of all the different tobacco delivery systems on the market but not many have heard about Swedish snus. I equate this problem to being very region specific (native to northern Scandinavia), and not receiving the advertising and worldwide popularity that cigarettes have. Unlike cigarettes that need combustion and chewing tobacco that is fire cured and loaded with chemicals, snus is steam pasteurized, air-dried tobacco that remains moist and true to its most natural form. The less processing the better it is for overall health. With smoking and fire curing comes extra carcinogens that can lead to cancer and heart disease.

Possible health benefits

Since Swedish snus is steam pasteurized it contains much lower levels of TSNA’S, the cancer causing substances. Snus is not a health product, as all tobacco use has risks, but the risk of developing serious illnesses relating to tobacco use is much lower then any other form of nicotine delivery system. This is a main factor as to why many use snus today due to its harm minimization benefits.  Since switching from cigarettes to snus I have noticed a change in my overall wellbeing. I am no longer coughing and wheezing, I have increased stamina and lung capacity and I am able to enjoy sports and physical activities that I had trouble keeping up with when I was a smoker.

Types of Snus

Overwhelmed by all the options available? Don’t worry; we all are when we start snusing! Snus comes in 2 main forms, loose and portions.

•    Portions: are little packets filled with snus and covered in a tea-bag like paper. There are many reasons people prefer portions over loose. Portions are clean and easy to use on the go.  I haven’t met anybody that can drive a car and form a pris of loose at the same time (although I would like to!), so portions are a quick and easy way to get your snus kick especially in public places or when you are too busy to form your own portion out of loose. Portions are usually a good option for those who want to quit smoking as they come in the quick ready to use product, just like a cigarette. Portions also come in two forms:

Regular vs White Portion Snus
Ettan Regular Portion and Ettan White Portion
•    White and regular. Regular portions go through an extra wetting process at the end of production to make them moister. White portions are drier on the outside and the moisture stays inside with the tobacco. Some people prefer white portions because there is less drip and they last a little longer than regular. It also looks a little bit fresher than a brown moist portion. Regular are a little more less irritating on the gums and the nicotine hit is quicker and enters the blood stream faster. Both have their good qualities and once again is up to individual choice on preference.

Whtie Bite and Purified Snus
White Bite, Purified Portion
•    Purified Portions
I like to call these portions purified. The reason for this is that the tobacco used in these portions have been cleansed which removes more of the TSNA’s. Again, TSNA’s are the carcinogenics found in tobacco and although snus contains really low levels and is not known for causing cancer, these portions contains even lower TSNA levels. These portions are tiny and flat and is a very discreet way of snusing since it doesn’t show under your lip. The most common brands for these portions are Northerner and Art. There’s also a new brand called White Bite wich is a tobacco derived nicotine product that doesn’t contain any tobacco. Unlike snus you start with chewing the White Bite portions a few times very gently. This is to release the nicotine and whenever you feel like you need more nicotine just chew it a bit again. These portions feels very clean and fresh and it really is a revolutionary new product. I have only seen these for sale on the Northerner so far.

Portion Snus Size comparison
Mini Portions, Regular Portions, Long Portions
•    Sizing: Snus comes in many sizes ranging from large to small and long.  Everybody’s mouth size is different and so are their snus needs and nicotine levels. Portions come in large, medium, long and small, and then there is the amount of tobacco in each portion bag. Some are full and some are medium filled, depending on the brand. Remember the larger the portion, the more it will be noticeable (for example snus lip, bulging out etc), and the large portions also tend to come down over my teeth and are visible when smiling. My preference is for a long portion.  It’s rectangular in shape and hugs your gums across lengthwise rather than showing in width. Small portions are good too, especially for beginners. They are very discreet and usually not as strong as full sized portions

•    Loose: ahh my favorite snus of all!  Loose is exactly that, the loose, natural variation, and it is left
Loose Snus
up to the consumer to form into portions individually. It's black, moist and sticky and most brands are easy to form. Loose is an acquired taste as not everybody likes having bits of tobacco in their mouth, or having to form their own pris using their hands or a special tool. For me loose is the ultimate snusing experience and it leaves me with a warm comforting feeling like no other. As mentioned before it's not as convenient as portions so its best used in the privacy of your own home or at friends’ houses or anywhere you feel comfortable the most. To me there is nothing like using the raw product and forming it into something that is just designed to fit you, it has to be tried at least once.
Loose is also good for those looking to quit chewing tobacco, as it follows the same principles, but just better! Loose also comes in different grains from course (you can actually see the little chunks of tobacco), to fine, which is one smooth homogeneous mixture.  The fine/smooth varieties tend to be easier to form and last a little longer in the mouth without falling apart.

Strengh

Snus comes in a variety of strengths and depending on your previous nicotine habit, will determine what strength you need in snus. The range of nicotine levels is as follows:
None: some snus contains no nicotine at all and is instead made of vegetable matter such as carrots, to provide the feeling of tobacco without the nicotine.
•    Low mini:   1-5mgs   
•    Strong mini: around 6-7mg’s      
•    Standard: 8-9mgs      
•    Strong/Sterk:    11-13mgs
•    Extra strong/Sterk: 14-22mgs
I always recommend getting a snus that is a little stronger than what you are previously used to. This is because if the nicotine is not adequate enough, you are tempted to return to smoking/dipping and thus set yourself up for failure. If you only smoke a few cigarettes a day then a mini/mini-strong should be adequate, a pack a day use standard to strong and more than that extra strong. If you are a dipper then get standard to extra strong to give you the same kick as chewing tobacco.

Flavors

This is my favorite thing about snus, all the different and wonderful flavors on the market. People
snus flavors
who smoke cigarettes are limited to menthol and regular, with snus you can have your favorite candy in a snus, your favorite mint or chewing gum, or simply just enjoy the smooth and pure taste of tobacco alone. Some of the snus flavors that are available regularly are mint, bergamot, citrus, licorice, melon, berry, wintergreen, eucalyptus, and some even have elements of elderberry, juniper, fruit, lingonberry, whiskey and culinary herbs. Some companies even offer limited edition flavors that can get really crazy, like chocolate, cloves, mango, coffee and vanilla. So many options are available and it’s so much fun to try them all!

How to use snus

How to use snus

Snus is unique and unlike any other tobacco product on the market for so many reasons, especially with its usage. First and foremost, snus is placed under the upper lip. This makes snus spit-free and more discreet then other tobacco products. Nobody has to know you are doing it and the fact that there is no spitting should appeal to everyone alone! That’s not to say that you can’t put a portion in your lower lip, some people do that and it’s up to the individual on what they prefer. I for example like to place my portions on the upper left hand side of my mouth and my loose pris’s on the upper right hand side. This is due to the fact that I’m left handed and find it easier to transfer my hand made portions to the right side with my left hand, but everyone has their preferred method. People also keep the snus in their mouth for different periods of time. As a general rule I don’t like dripping tobacco, so only keep portions in for 40 mins max, but sometimes longer with white portions. Loose I can generally keep in a little longer, especially with fine grained snus that doesn’t fall apart that easy.  Smaller drier portions can actually last a pretty long time and if you are busy can forget you even have them in.

Which snus is right for me?

With so many options on the market, snus really is an individual thing and everybody has their own favorites, likes and dislikes. One word of advice is that when you snus, your taste buds and palate change over time, so if you try something and don’t like it now, give it a little while and come back to it later, you might find that what you disliked before you actually really like now.
For beginners I recommend going with flavors that you actually like now and buying a few assorted cans in the desired strength category mentioned above. As a general rule for example, if you like licorice or mint, chances are you will like those flavors in a snus, and since all brands offer something different in taste and you can always read our reviews to see our flavor profiles and characteristics reminiscent in each brand.  I also recommend getting a pure tobacco snus as well, to try its unique qualities and learn to appreciate the real unadulterated form that is unlike anything else on the market.

Purchasing

Buying snus is very much dependent on where you live.  If you are in Sweden, you can go to vending
snus vending machine
Vending Machine in Sweden
machines and stores to buy your snus (I’m so jealous of you!), but for the rest of us our choices are purchasing online and at the occasional participating tobacco store. Snus is not that popular yet in many parts of the world so if you are lucky enough to find a tobacco store that sells snus, always check the expiration date before buying, as their turn over is not always that large. Your best option these days is to purchase from an online retailer, like for example Northerner.com Yes you have to pay for postage but you are given the best service and the snus you get is kept at optimal condition and freshness.

Storage

Most Snus is labeled by the Swedish government as a food product, and like all perishables, is best kept in the fridge to maintain freshness and moisture content; but don’t worry, it’s not like milk, you can happily carry it around in  your pocket or bag all day with no ill effect. Most manufacturers recommend their retailers to keep snus below 8 degrees Celsius (46F) to keep it fresh longer, but since snus contains almost no bacteria it can as well be kept in room temperature. I find the perfect place for snus is in the butter case in my refrigerator, it’s the perfect climate and easy to reach for.
Snus also has an expiry date, which is usually 6-12 months from manufacturing. It’s not a huge deal though, I have many times used out of date snus to no ill effect, but always try to get the freshest available.  All online retailers are well aware of the expiry date of their products and will strive to give you the freshest and best snusing experience possible. Occasionally online retailers will offer you bargain bin snus deal with much lower prices. These usually consist of soon to expire snus but and perfectly fine and still really good. If you are purchasing one of these specials or even any snus in a large quantity (as in more than 1 weeks’ worth), I always recommended to store your snus in the freezer. This not only preserves freshness, but keeps it organized and out of the way and allows you to take advantage of special pricing and bulk deals when they become available.

Changes you might notice

Snus can be daunting for those who have never used it before. You will start to see changes as your body adjusts from one nicotine product to the other. If you are doing a lot of loose snus you will start to notice the salt crinkling up the under skin in your lip a little. This is perfectly fine and will be normal again by morning. Some people using portions might notice a slight irritation on the gums and lips. I compare this to just getting braces, and your skin will adjust accordingly as time goes on. The skin might also look a little red or inflamed to begin with but this goes away. It’s important to keep well hydrated and keep the portion moisturized. If it feels dry, move it around with your tongue a little and get the saliva flowing. This allows for less irritation and will stop pulling and tearing when it’s time to take it out.
It’s important to get the right nicotine level for your usage. If you start to notice light headedness, shaking or headaches, take the portion out, sit down for a few minutes and drink some water. Start again with a lighter strength and see how you go with that till you find what’s right for you.
Some strong snus has a burn or sting to it that can be quite painful. Here as Snus Girl we love it, but it can be a little bit daunting. This is nothing to worry about; it’s just the reaction of the strong snus to the tightening of the capillaries and blood vessels in your lip. It deliciously hurts, and you too might just get addicted to it like we do!

We hope you will find this information helpful in your decision to try Swedish snus. Again, if you have any questions feel free to contact us.
9 comments on "New Snusers Guide"
  1. Hello, thanks for the Snusers guide! Very helpful.


    Also, not to nickpick, but word "Strength" is missing a "t". Thank you for taking your time to review snus products and sharing your results!

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  2. Anonymous23.12.13

    When I first tried General Mint it really stung. Now not so much. Is that normal?

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  3. Anonymous12.5.14

    Hi! Great site! Thanks for sharing! I am currently using Skruf stark portion. But lately its been a mess.. They taste weird, smell weird, seem to not contain enough nicotine.. For every new container, there is something new.. And then I get lucky, and get a container which taste and smell right again.. Earlier this happend occasionally, now its more the rule.. Last week I got to containers who was "myglet", those I was lucky enough to get to return.. But I am now at the point where I just cant be bothered any more! And i cant afford it either.. So my question is, what can you recommend for me to switch to, who is simular in taste etc? I really dont care for other flavors than this kind.. Thanks !!!

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  4. Brilliant info page! Thanks.

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  5. heya I've got a few q's could you msg me? - Eve x

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  6. Anonymous7.10.14

    email ipaladinxi@yahoo.com.. I quit smoking cigarettes for over a year.. been on the ecigs. I recently developed some kind of lung condition.. I am 34 years old.. not sure what it is,, hopefully just a case of asthma.. awaiting xray results.. I switched to snus.. right now im using the mini catch portions.. They seem to be doing the trick.. i might stick with the mini portions cause i wanted to lower my nicotine level anyway.. whats weird is, even with the mini portions.. I am getting heart burn.. or some kind of acid reflux.. is this normal? I am not swallowing any juice.. and i leave them in usually around 20 mins sometimes 30 mins.. than i set my timer on my watch and try to at least wait an hour before using another portion.. just would like your advice on this method.. and about the acid reflux.

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  7. I just spent half an hour writting an essay here when the page got refreshed on my phone..
    A quick summary:
    - the guy before me is nitpicky
    - have you ever tried makla
    - it'd be nice if you could make a side-be-side comparison of makla znd snus
    - what makla is like to me (feels stronger, might say manlier, though the packaging is way more elegant - nice balance)
    - EU's ban prohibits selling snus, but makla is classified as chewing product (the used the same as loose snus
    - some personal experience.. :)

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  8. Tired suns for the first time today from a friend. Within a couple of minutes I was sweating a lot and felt so light headed that I couldn't stand up. I instantly threw it away. Then I was sick several times and continued to feel like this for the next hour before I was sick again. Any ideas why I felt like this

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  9. i just started about four weeks ago. at first it was agonizing and painful on my mouth. but you are right i now love the pain. the buzz is glorious. unfortunately Swedish is extremely difficult to come by near me. Washington state that is. i just finished my third can of camel snus and my first of general. i love it.

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