The history of snus and how it all began
In the 15th and 16th centuries, snus was popular.
The Swedish snus we use today, which is applied as a pinch under the lip, has a 200-year history. Many farmers had their own trees where they manufactured snuff in squalid conditions. Christopher Columbus sailed ashore on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola in the late 1400s and witnessed the inhabitants ingest a powder. This was dubbed nasal snuff.
Tobacco was a major component of the powder, and the sailors took tobacco plants back to Portugal and other European countries. Tobacco plants were thought to provide a variety of medical benefits, one of which being the ability to treat migraines. In the 1500s, the French royal family began using nasal snuff for this purpose, and it quickly became popular since it looked to work.
The tobacco was carried back to Paris and the royal palace by Jean Nicot, the French Ambassador to Portugal. Nicot became so linked with tobacco as a result of its popularity that our own Carl von Linné named it after him.
Snus is born in the 17th-19th centuries.
Swedish royalty was heavily inspired by French royalty, as were most royal houses at the time, and nasal snuff arrived in Sweden a few decades into the 1600s. For a time, it was only used by the upper class, and it was regarded as a luxury item kept in precious metal cans. Sweden eventually started cultivating its own tobacco in Skne and Smland after decades of importing it.
As the French Revolution unfolded, the use of nasal snuff fell rapidly. It was too closely connected with the upper class, so when the bourgeoisie seized control in France, they switched to cigars.
Around the same period, people in Sweden began to change their cigarette habits. Swedish snus was introduced, and because to a low-cost manufacturing procedure, it nearly eliminated the usage of nasal snuff and chewing tobacco.
Farmers supervised production at first, but it soon became industrialized, and a variety of manufacturers with associated brands emerged. The largest were General Snus, Röda Lacket, and Ljunglöfs Ettan.
Manufacturing techniques now are very similar to those used in the 1800s. Tobacco is dried and ground before being combined with water, salt, baking soda, and flavour. Swedish Snus is fermented at high temperatures before being packaged at the end of the process.
The biggest difference now is that in the 1800s, fermentation took half a year and locally grown tobacco was used. Tobacco from all over the world is now used in the manufacturing process.
The European Union in the Twentieth Century
Swedish snus usage was steadily increasing in the early 1900s, and the now monopolized tobacco sector was thriving. Several thousand tons were sold each year to fund Sweden’s defensive system during World War I.
Other tobacco products, particularly American cigarettes, were gaining popularity. For a few years, this resulted in a drop in snus consumption as people became more aware of the serious health dangers associated with cigarette smoking.
As news of cigarette-related health problems spread, snus began to be promoted as a smokeless alternative. Unfortunately, when a new American “smokeless tobacco” was introduced in the 1900s, the EU became concerned about the potential health dangers, particularly because it targeted young people. As a result, the European Union banned all oral tobacco products across the board in 1992.
Snus has been a popular smoking cessation method in recent years. Fortunately, studies have shown that increasing your chances of success by 45 percent increases your chances of success. In fact, several studies reveal that snus should be pushed as a smokeless alternative to cigarettes because it is significantly less dangerous.
When snus was first created in Sweden a few hundred years ago, customers had few options in terms of flavor, shape, and size, which limited the potential consumer base for the snus industry. The sales curve for snus did not actually begin to point straight upwards until the 1970s, when the first portion snus saw the light of day.
Since then, a slew of new and inventive products have joined the ranks of classics like Ettan Loose, and the battle between the top snus manufacturers and newcomers has been fiercer than ever. There is a snus for every taste and occasion on today’s snus market.
The vast array of snus items on the market now differs not only in flavor and intensity levels, but also in size, comfort, and moisture.