SNUS: effects, dangers, what is this tobacco?

Originally from Sweden, SNUS is a non-smoked tobacco banned in France. He would be popular with footballers, as an image of Marcus Thuram and Karim Benzema shown on November 17 on the plane to go to Qatar suggests.

  SNUS: effects, dangers, c'est quoi ce tabac ?

Popular tobacco in Sweden a one Norway , the SNUS is banned in France. It is therefore not very well known there, at least, by the general public. Because, in the sports world, SNUS is said to be quite prevalent. On November 17, 2022, the footballer Karim Benzema relays an image with Marcus Thuram, on the plane that takes them to Qatar, on his social networks. We see the latter holding in his hand a small round box reminiscent of that of the SNUS, as our colleagues from the World . Marcus Thuram shared this same image in hiding the little box under an emoji , sparking controversy. What is SNUS? What are its effects ? Why is it banned in France? What are its dangers? Everything you need to know about SNUS.

What is SNUS?

SNUS is a type of tobacco that originated in Sweden and is still widely consumed there as well as in Norway and the United States. It is a smokeless tobacco unlike the cigarette , cigars or pipe tobacco. It's about a moist, sucking or chewing tobacco powder. This powder can be sold in bulk (it is brown in color) or conditioned in small sachets that are usually placed between the gum and the cheek . The sachet can also be placed under the upper lip as in Scandinavia or under the lower lip as in Denmark.

What does SNUS mean?

The term 'SNUS' in Swedish translates to English as 'tobacco snuff'. Snuff is finely ground tobacco. It comes in a dry (powder that can be inhaled through the nose) or wet (in a chewable sachet like SNUS invented by the Swedes) form.

What are the effects of SNUS?

  woman placing a sachet of snus under her lip
Woman placing a packet of SNUS under her lip

Le SNUS is a tabac mâché. The nicotine passes directly into the blood by being absorbed by the oral mucous membranes . It acts at the level of the brain by causing a feeling of well-being and pleasure at the origin as addiction progresses.

What are the dangers of SNUS?

The defenders of SNUS highlight the fact that the product is consumed without combustion and without smoke, which would reduce its risks compared to other smoked tobacco products, such as cigarettes in particular. He would not increase the frequency of lung cancer. Nevertheless, SNUS is associated with other dangers. Already he contains nicotine : 'We consider that one sachet of SNUS is equivalent to three cigarettes in nicotine absorption ' explains the association Addictions France . And 'nitrosated compounds' pointed out the National Assembly in 2013. These compounds are recognized as carcinogens . on 'taking is not without risk' confirm the site Tabac Info Service before informing that he ' greatly increases the risk of gingival lesions' and more broadly oral lesions depending on the location of the sachet in the mouth. In 2008, the Francophone Society of Tabacology estimated that there were 'high probability' so that :

  • SNUS increases the risk of pancreatic cancer
  • SNUS is associated with risks of pre-eclampsia and a decrease in birth weight in pregnant women.
  • SNUS leads to the development of lesions in the oral cavity 'reversible on stopping but gingival retraction remains unchanged'.

Studies have found an association between SNUS consumption and onset of myocardial infarction and 'its addictive potential is also established' recalled the National Assembly. Before adding that he 'Also does not aid in cigarette smoking cessation and would increase the likelihood of subsequent cigarette smoking in adolescents.'

Can you buy SNUS in France?

Non, SNUS is not legal in France. Its sale is prohibited. Wider, the marketing of SNUS is prohibited throughout Europe since 1992. Only Sweden has legalized it.

Sources : 

'Heated tobacco, SNUS, drugs and nicotine; Tobacco companies prepare for their future', Associations Addictions France, 2021.

Current knowledge of the health effects of oral tobacco with particular attention to Swedish snus, Report of February 1, 2008, DGS.

Information report, National Assembly, February 28, 2013.