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Nicotine Pouches vs Snus

Nicotine Pouches vs Snus: Understanding the Differences

It is common for people - and the media - to mix up nicotine pouches and snus, but the truth is that they are two distinct smokeless products. Although both offer a smokeless experience, they differ in terms of their composition, usage, and legal status. This article compares these two products, highlighting their key features and clearing up some common misconceptions.

What is Snus?

Snus is a smokeless tobacco that originated in Sweden in the 18th century. It is made by mixing air-dried tobacco with water, salt, and flavourings. Snus comes in two different forms: loose and portioned. It is placed under the upper lip, offering a discreet way to consume nicotine. Snus is widely popular in Sweden and deeply rooted in Scandinavian culture.

What are nicotine pouches?

Nicotine pouches are a recent addition to the market. They are small pouches that contain a variety of ingredients, such as nicotine, water, different flavors, sweeteners, and other ingredients. Unlike snus, nicotine pouches do not contain any tobacco.

Are nicotine pouches safer than snus?

Nicotine pouches are considered a safer option in comparison to Snus. This is because they do not contain tobacco and do not expose users to the harmful substances that are present in traditional Snus products. However, it is important to note that both nicotine pouches and Snus products still contain nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance.
How long do the effects of snus and nicotine pouches last?  
The effects of snus and pouches vary based on their strength and individual usage patterns, lasting between 30 minutes to an hour.

Key Differences

There are a number of key differences between Snus and nicotine pouches to be aware of, including:


Snus and nicotine pouches have distinct appearance differences, reflecting their unique compositions. Snus, being tobacco-based, usually appears as a moist, dark brown colour and comes in two forms: loose, which is similar to moist, ground tobacco, and portion, which is contained in small pouches.

On the other hand, nicotine pouches have a clean, white or off-white appearance that indicates their tobacco-free nature. These pouches are uniformly sized, dry to the touch, and designed to be used discreetly and comfortably under the lip.


Snus is made from ground tobacco and contains both tobacco and nicotine. It comes in loose form or as portioned pouches and delivers a pronounced tobacco taste. On the other hand, nicotine pouches are tobacco-free alternatives that contain nicotine extracted from plants or manufactured synthetically and often flavoured with mint or fruit.

Taste and Smell

Snus delivers a tobacco-forward taste, although some varieties are available with added mint or menthol flavours. Nicotine pouches, on the other hand, come in various flavour options, including mint, fruit, and more.


The sale of snus is prohibited in EU countries, except Sweden, where it originated. In contrast, nicotine pouches are tobacco-free and, therefore, more widely available.


Both snus and nicotine pouches are designed for oral use, where the product is placed between the upper lip and gum.

Shelf Life

Snus has a shorter shelf life than nicotine pouches due to its higher moisture content. This high moisture content can lead to quicker degradation and spoilage, affecting its quality and longevity. Therefore, it's important to store snus to maintain its quality. Nicotine pouches, on the other hand, typically have a longer shelf life because they have a dry, tobacco-free composition, which makes them a more stable product over time.

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