Snus, like “loose”, is a tobacco product, produced by grinding it into powder. It was introduced in Europe by the 16th century as a medicine for migraines. In the 1700s, the Swedish people have been using it and has recently gained popularity as an alternative to smoking tobacco products. They are moist to semi-moist grounded tobacco that you put behind your upper lip.

Until just half a century ago, loose was the only type available, hence the name closely resembles the variation name. Now, you can choose from different varieties that suit you. Users would typically only get a portion or “prilla” at a time of the Loose variant for consumption, so a smaller variant that comes in a small bag was made available called “Portion”. Today there are different sizes in the market for your every need along with an array of flavors and strength.

Is it Legal?

The 1992 ban on the sale of Snus in the EU community has limited its distribution. But countries like Sweden (of course) and Norway are exempted from the ban. In the UK sale is still illegal, but not possession nor consumption. Now, you may ask how is snus getting more popular in the UK? The answer is with handpicked brands, affordable prices, and speedy delivery, users have learned to appreciate the hassle-free acquisition of such products. 

Major Types of Snus


For over 200 years, there hasn’t been much change in how Loose is made and its characteristics since it made its way into Swedish tradition. As mentioned users would take a portion of the moist tobacco grounds with their fingers and place it behind the upper lip. This allows for a quick release of its flavor and effect. It also comes with coarse, medium, and fine grounds of tobacco.

People who are not accustomed to using Snus would usually feel dizzy or may even want to lie down maybe except for Americans. They have their own variant called “chewing tobacco” which they, yes, chew rather than leaving it sitting between the lip and gums. 

Original Portion

Portion became popular and is actually getting more demand than the traditional Loose, since its introduction in the 1970s. Commonly called “Portion Snus” during production, they are packed in small tea bag-like sachets and moistened resulting in a dark-colored moist pouch. Its popularity stems from its ability to release an instant flavor and nicotine from a small pack.

White Portion

The White Portion is slightly milder than the Original Portion but in a sense that it’s a bland variant. The “White” moniker refers to the style of the Snus rather than its color. This type of Portion is made out of a drier tobacco grounds than of the original version. The less moist allows for a lesser drip which results in low salivation, the effect is a slow and lasting flavor and nicotine release. 

All White Portion

This all-white variant contains less tobacco wrapped in a white pouch to make it fit its name. With less tobacco and a blend of cellulose, it gives off a slower release in its flavor and nicotine. The user would usually wait for a few seconds before experiencing its effects.


A Can Of Loose

Although many of the producers put the portions in tin cans, a typical can of Loose Snus has about 42 grams of net weight. This is perfect for those who regularly consume the product and with the compact tin container, it’s easy to carry around and would last days or weeks depending on how much of it you need.


The most common portion of Snus comes in large portions. A single pack contains from 0.65 to 1.1 grams of this product. The amount primarily depends on the brand and the type of Snus. The full-sized pouch is capable of releasing an ample amount of flavor and nicotine when used, and it’s discreet and convenient packaging attracts users who’d want to get their fix in a smoke-free area.


The Slim variant is a slimmer variant of comparable size with the Large Portion. Its contents range just under 1 gram and allow for a more comfortable fit under the lip. It delivers a slow and lasting release of its flavor and nicotine because of the lessened moisture in the pack.


This format of taking Snus was introduced in 1984 because of the need to take the product more discreetly. This is also typically used for people who’d want to try Snus, so if you’re new to the product or just want to try out different flavors a “Mini” will be the perfect way to go about it.

Similar Tobacco Products

Now there are some similar products to Snus but the differences are all too significant to differentiate one from the other:

Nasal Snuff

This tobacco product is a dry powdered form unlike the Snus, which you insufflate or sniff through the nose. The products are sometimes mentholated or otherwise scented to provide flavor. 

Chewing Tobacco

Originally in the form of a short or long tobacco leaf and stem strands, however, some of the few brands have made fine loose strands or finely grounded into pieces of pellets. This product is placed between the cheeks and gums, which causes the user to salivate and from time to time spit out the “juices”. Although consumers like the taste of the original tobacco many of these products, nowadays, are sometimes flavored.

Dipping Tobacco

This is a common tobacco product in North American and is moist and grounded a little less than Snus. The user takes a copious amount with the fingers and just like chewing tobacco it is placed between the cheeks and gums, or behind the lower lip.

Because Snus has gained so much popularity as an alternative to smoking tobacco, there are a plethora of flavors that you will want to try at least once or choose one as your own “cup of tea”. Although many claims it’s a safe alternative, the product labels would tell you that there is no safe alternative to tobacco. Most of the time people use them because smoking is not a convenient option anymore and also if they’re trying to quit tobacco altogether. But one thing is very clear though, smokeless consumption of tobacco has largely benefited the public than the conventional practice.