Two people sitting on a bed and their luggage on the floor - close up detail

What Is Snus and How Does It Work?

Snus is the name for a group of oral smokeless products that are found either loose or in sachets that look like tea bags (known as portion snus). Snus products typically contain tobacco and provide nicotine for the adult user.

Adult users consume snus orally - there is no combustion involved, and accordingly there is no smoke, smoke smell or ash. For an adult smoker making the switch from cigarettes, snus could act as a smoke-free alternative to continued smoking.

However, snus is not risk-free, and it contains nicotine, which is addictive. The best choice any adult smoker can make is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether. Smoke-free products are not alternatives to quitting and are not designed as cessation aids.

How Does Snus Work?

Adult users use snus orally, by placing it in their mouth for a nicotine experience. However, the placement of snus and the method of use may differ from product to product. Always follow manufacturer guidance per product on how to use snus.

The duration of snus depends on several factors, such as the brand, size of the product and the form it comes in. Look for information provided on the packaging to learn more about how long a product is likely to last. After use, an adult user should dispose of their snus by following manufacturer guidance.

What Are the Different Types of Snus?

Adult users will typically find snus in one of four common forms. Each has slightly different properties and provides a unique experience.

Loose Powder

In 18th Century Sweden, manufacturers created modern snus for the first time in the form of a loose powder. This powder consists of ground tobacco, which adult users can mould into portions and sizes that best suit their preferences. Common loose powder types are coarse, medium, and fine ground.

Original Portion

Unlike loose powder, original portions are pre-packaged and ready for consumption - which may be convenient for an adult user. Manufacturers produce original portion snus from ground tobacco, which they moisten to help it deliver nicotine and flavour to the adult user with immediate effect. The product is darker than other snus pouches.

White Portion

White portion snus is dry, unlike the original portions. This may provide less drip during use, lower salivation and a more drawn-out flavour experience for the adult user. Evident through the name, white portion snus is typically not as dark as the original portions, and it has a slightly white colour.

All-White Portion

Adult users can identify all-whites by their white appearance. They usually contain a mix of cellulose and tobacco, which combine to create a dry product. All-whites typically release flavour over a few seconds.

What Are the Different Sizes of Snus?

In addition to different forms, there are different sizes of snus pouches. This does not affect loose powder snus, but it is an important factor for any pre-packaged product.


Larger portions typically contain between 0.65 and 1.1 grams of tobacco, depending on the product and brand.


Slim portions are smaller than large portions. Due to their size, they could be more comfortable for an adult user. However, this should be substantiated on a product-by-product basis. Each portion typically contains 0.7 to 0.9 grams of tobacco, depending on the specific product.

Super Slim

As a smaller portion still, an adult user might choose this size for the added discretion and potential comfort of a smaller pouch. Super slim portions usually have around 0.5 grams of tobacco.


The smallest pouch available, mini portions, typically contain around 0.3 to 0.5 grams of tobacco, depending on the product and brand.

What are the Differences between Snus and Nicotine Pouches?

Nicotine pouches are another oral smokeless option for adult smokers or adult nicotine users, and on first look they may appear quite similar to snus. Like snus, the pouch is consumed orally, by placing it in the mouth for a nicotine experience. There are some differences between these two oral smoke-free alternatives.

Some of the main differences between snus and nicotine pouches include:

  • Ingredients - snus contains tobacco, whereas nicotine pouches usually do not.
  • Shelf Life - nicotine pouches generally have a longer shelf life and do not need refrigerating.
  • Different sizes - generally, snus comes in larger portions / sizes. However, the size of a product varies by brand.
  • Different moisture levels - nicotine pouches usually contain a higher level of moisture with a higher pH content, although this is not always the case. Always check manufacturer information for accurate moisture levels and pH content per product.

Find more information on snus vs nicotine pouches by following the link.

For adult smokers looking to switch to a smoke-free alternative, there are other options besides snus and nicotine pouches, such as chewing tobacco. This product is also placed inside the mouth for a nicotine experience. However, the key difference between snus and chewing tobacco is that the adult user should chew the latter for it to work effectively.

The right oral smokeless alternative for one adult smoker may not be right for another - it comes down to personal preferences. Snus, chewing tobacco, and nicotine pouches are all options an adult smoker may wish to consider when switching from cigarettes.

This article is for general information and educational purposes. Some of the information in this article is based on external, third-party sources and we make no representations or warranties of any kind regarding the accuracy, validity or completeness of such information.

Get your free
sample of ZYN
nicotine pouches

Submit your information and visit
the selected retail kiosk to collect
your free ZYN sample.

Two women sitting at bar table. They are holding ZYN nicotine pouches and a ZYN can in their hands.

This product is not risk free and contains nicotine, which is addictive. Only for use by adults.