Answers to Your Snus Questions

A notice on the Federal Register that indicates the Swedish Match General Snus Modified Risk Tobacco Product Application (MRTPA) will be published tomorrow.

Since accepting the General Snus application in August of last year, the FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) has on several occasions asked for additional or clarifying information. These amendments will now be available for a second 30-day public comment period ending August 31.

After this comment period ends, FDA Tobacco Czar Mitch Zeller should be able to finally make a final decision on the fate of the General Snus MRTPA.

Published in Larry Waters Reports!

NICOTINE LEVELS:

Yes, Virginia, there ARE significant differences in the levels of Nicotine in Swedish Snus and American Snus. It has to do with profit and greed on the part of Big American Tobacco, versus giving consumers what they are asking for by Swedish Snus manufacturers. You can read why in a number of my articles, but THIS ONE boils it down if you're interested....and you should be.

SWEDISH SNUS NICOTINE LEVELS:

Swedish/Scandinavian Snus comes in 5 levels of Nicotine:

  • None: This is Swedish Snus without any Nicotine
  • Low: Usually found only in Mini-Portion sized snus, they generally contain 4-5 mg/g. of Nicotine.
  • Mini Strong: Found only in Mini-Portion sized snus, this new category is designed for Mini-Portion Snus fans who want more nicotine. They generally contain 6 mg/g. of Nicotine.
  • Standard: This is Swedish Snus that contains 8 mg/g. of Nicotine. This is the orally absorbed equivalent to one cigarette but will last longer in your bloodstream than inhaled nicotine.
  • Strong/Stark/Sterk: This is Swedish Snus that generally contains 11 mg/g to 13 mg/g of nicotine.
  • Extra Strong/Extra Stark/Ekstra Sterk: This is Swedish Snus that generally contains between 12 mg/g to 22 mg/g of Nicotine.

Ironically, Swedes prefer the Standard 8 mg. nicotine snus. It was the results of studies and consumer focus groups in Norway and the United States which led to the creation of the Strong and Extra Strong Swedish Snus's.

AMERICAN SNUS NICOTINE LEVELS:

Very little is known about the Nicotine Levels of American Snus as the FDA does not require American Snus manufacturers to disclose it.  As of April 1st, 2008, here is all we do know and none has been independently confirmed:

  • Camel SNUS: R.J. Reynolds has both asserted by email and telephone to me that Camel SNUS contains 8 mg. of nicotine.  Since Camel SNUS only contains 0.6 gram of total weight, we don't know if the 8 mg of nicotine Camel claims is per pouch or per gram.  If per gram, that would put Camel SNUS in the Low Nicotine category.  Either way, since the flavor only lasts, according to Camel, 10 to 30 minutes, you will need to use more of it as Swedish Snus lasts between 45 minutes to over 2 hours.  How much nicotine can be orally absorbed in 10 to 30 minutes is only estimated to be 20%, especially since Camel is a dry snus.
  • Marlboro Snus was originally revealed by researchers to contain at least 20% less nicotine than Swedish Regular Snus. Marlboro's website said 3.5mg per pouch to 3.9mg/pouch.  Recently, the have upgraded that amount claiming approximately 7.75 mg per...pouch or gram, we're not sure.  If by gram, that's just another way of saying 3.5 mg/g to 3.9 mg/g since Marlboro snus pouches only weigh 0.6 grams like the Camel's.
  • Triumph Snus, in an exclusive story by my humble self,  inside sources at the Triumph Snus Manufacturer say that Lorillard had the nicotine reduced to 4-5 mg. once the initial offering of "Free" sample cans were depleted and Lorillard began charging for it.  Ronald Milstein, SVP and General Counsel of Lorillard Tobacco, in a one on one phone interview with me, refused to confirm or deny the allegation.  He stated he would not comment on the nicotine levels of the two Triumph Snus offerings.
  • Some American Snus companies are releasing their nicotine figures such as PMUSA, R.J. Reynolds, and American Smokeless Tobacco.  Others like Nordic American Smokeless, Liggett/Vector, and Skoal do not.

What is emerging is a trend and very different marketing philosophy between America and Scandinavia on the purpose of snus.

American snus manufacturers are concentrating on making 1/2 gram products which are sweet, mild in flavor, low in nicotine, and short lasting which forces the consumer to use many more of their portions than they would of Swedish Snus.  The American marketing drive currently is that snus is for when you can't smoke; not to replace cigarettes.  The sell them as complimentary products since most of American Snus Companies also make cigarettes as well.  The ones that don't are just following along.

Scandinavian Snus; rich in taste, high in nicotine, long lasting; is designed to replace the need for cigarettes.  With pouches of most Scandinavian snuses now lasting over 2 hours as compared to the 10 to 30 minutes American snus manufacturers claim for their products, you will have to use considerably more American Snus to maintain your comfort level and will less likely to be able to give up cigarettes complete.

THE ARTICLE mentioned above gives you a quick, but thorough understanding of American Tobacco's motives.  Also read the FAQ on TASTE. Drug cartels could learn from Big American Tobacco.

Published in Snus FAQs

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