Snus is the newest kind of dissolvable smokeless tobacco products recently introduced to U.S. tobacco consumers. Originated in Sweden, this moist tobacco product is looking like small teabags, as the tobacco is contained in dissolvable sachets.
Generally, a portion of snus is put between lip and gum and sucked for up to 20 minutes, and then removed. Snus is marketed as a spit-less product, but this can be achieved only if placing snus in a particular location in the mouth which almost lacks saliva.
In Sweden Snus is a traditional product, consumed by a great part of adult men. Snus is made from air and sun-cured tobacco, which also goes through the pasteurization procedure in order to destroy bacteria. During the storage by the manufacturers or by the sellers Snus is stored in refrigerators under certain temperatures and humidity levels.
In Sweden Snus is covered by the Swedish Food Act, under which the product should correspond with quality standards, named as the Gothiatek system. This system of quality indicators involves manufacturing snus applying a particular system that reduces the levels of tobacco specific nitrosamines (TSNA), carcinogens contained in tobacco.
Whereas Swedish Snus makers don’t market their products as safe, they are regarded as being less harmful the cigarette smoking because of the lack of tobacco smoke and low levels of nitrosamines. Snus provide high levels of pH, so that the speed of nicotine absorption increases, however the amount of nicotine in snus is similar to that in cigarettes.
Among health risks related to the consumption of Snus there are the following:
• Snus can trigger dental diseases like caries.
• Snus users are more likely to suffer from hypertension compared to non-users.
• The risks of cardiovascular diseases are two-time higher among Long term Snus consumers than among non-users.
• Female Snus consumers may be likely to have the same complications during pregnancy as the cigarette-smokers.
• Snus consumption causes nicotine addiction because these products contain nicotine as well as ordinary tobacco products.
Meanwhile, there is no regulation covering manufacture, sales and marketing of Snus in the United States. And the process of producing Snus and processing tobacco for Snus greatly differs from that in Sweden. Tobacco companies, which make Snus reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Snus is portioned moist tobacco product and the sachets and packages are almost identical to other smokeless tobacco products.
The majority of smokeless tobacco products sold in the U.S. are made from fire-cured tobacco, processed using the fermentation technology that impacts on the levels of tobacco specific carcinogens. U.S. Food and Drug Administration required Snus makers to place the same warnings as on other smokeless tobacco.
According to several public health groups smokeless tobacco products bear the same health risks as cigarettes, However, until smokeless tobacco is not regulated, their manufacturers may state anything they want about these products.