Safe to Use?
For the sake of the lawyers, let it be known that no tobacco product of any kind is 100% completely and totally safe for every single individual on the planet. Neither are many food products containing high amounts of sodium, processed sugar, or trans-fatty acids. Neither is walking across the street. That being said, lets talk about Swedish Snus and American Snus.
AMERICAN MANUFACTURED SNUS: As of January 2009, we simply don't know. American snus is not regulated by the FDA. We just don't know.
American Snus is particularly known for being sweet. We have discovered that cigarettes contain 8% to 18% sugar to give the smoker a "sugar rush" as well as a nicotine one. That's inhaled sugar.
How much sugar is in American Snus to make it so sweet? If you are a diabetic, that's a big concern. For anyone else limiting processed sugar intake for health reasons, it's a concern too because any snus is orally absorbed and lasts longer in the blood stream.
We don' know the TSNA levels of American Snus (the naturally occurring cancer-causing agents in tobacco). The American Manufacturers don't release it and we have no idea how or what process (if any) they use to lower TSNA's.
We have no idea of what ingredients/additives/substances are contained in American Snus. We don't even know how much "snus" is in their tiny pouches compared to the total weight. We have no idea what kind of tobacco US manufacturers of snus use. They don't have to tell us (yet) and don't whenever possible.
The only thing we DO know is that Camel, Marlboro, and most other American Snus manufacturers go out of their way to strongly emphasize: don't EVER swallow the pouch. Why? What are they made of? Why do they make such an issue of it? We don't know.
SWEDISH MANUFACTURED SNUS: Since 1970, legislation was enacted in Sweden causing Swedish Snus to be re-classified as a Food Product. Their version of the FDA set very strict guidelines on Swedish snus content, manufacturing methods, ingredients, and product disclosure.
This caused a massive change in the Swedish Snus Industry: snus recipes were changed or discarded, new manufacturing and safety processes had to be put in place. New snus recipes were developed. And, like American food products where the ingredients and the levels of potentially harmful substances like fat, sugar, sodium, etc are required to be disclosed, Swedish snus manufacturers now had to disclose and be at or below the Swedish Government Mandates in order for the product to be labeled 'Snus'.
Keeping in mind the legal disclaimer (of sorts) in the first paragraph in mind, it has been scientically proven over and over; in both short and decades-long studies, that Swedish Snus is the "least harmful" oral tobacco nicotine delivery system on the planet (it does come nicotine-free also).