TIKTOK TALK: Unraveling the Mystery of 'Swedish Snus' – Experts Decode the Buzz in Britain
A new trend on TikTok, racking up millions of views, features young Swedish women enjoying snus. Each person is seen with a small pouch hidden under their gums accompanied by the caption “Tell me you’re in Sweden without telling me you’re in Sweden." This phenomenon has left people worldwide curious about what Snus is and why it is so popular in Sweden. While the traditional Swedish snus is currently illegal in the UK, the tobacco-free alternative used by women in the clip, known as nicotine pouches, are legal. So, how do they differ and what is this Swedish trend all about?
Markus Lindblad, Founder of Swedish nicotine retailer, Haypp, explains everything you need to know about the trending video.
Snus VS Nicotine Pouches
The sale of snus is illegal within the UK but legal in Sweden. Snus is quite similar to nicotine pouches but there is a difference. Snus, a smokeless tobacco product, originated in Sweden. It is most commonly found in the form of small, pre-packaged pouches filled with tobacco, which users place under the upper lip. Nicotine pouches (also known as tobacco-free snus or nicopods) come in tea bag-like pouches. However, they contain nicotine extracted from tobacco plants or synthetic nicotine, and do not contain any tobacco leaf material.
How does Snus and nicotine pouches work?
Like all tobacco products, snus contains nicotine, which is absorbed into your bloodstream through the mucous membranes of your mouth. Nicotine is highly addictive and is known to induce a buzzed or ‘chilled-out’ feeling. This sensation results from Nicotine absorption into the body, leading to an increased heart rate and blood pressure, accompanied by an adrenaline surge. Users often experience a sense of happiness and calm when using snus, as the nicotine stimulates the body to release dopamine – the ‘happy hormone’ – which is the body’s ‘feel good’ neuro-transmitter.
Effects of Snus
The effects of nicotine pouches or snus pouches can vary based on factors such as weight, metabolism, and the method of using the pouches. However, here is a general timeline of the effects:
- - Immediate - 10 minutes: The nicotine, absorbed through the mouth's mucous membrane, leads to increased heart rate and blood pressure.
- - 10 - 20 minutes: The nicotine reaches the brain, triggering the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, which induce pleasure and relaxation.
- - 30 - 40 minutes: Nicotine levels peak in the bloodstream, influenced by individual metabolism and pouch strength.
- - 2 - 3 hours: With a half-life of around two hours, nicotine concentration decreases potentially leading to cravings or withdrawal symptoms.
- - 8 - 10 hours: Most of the nicotine and its byproducts are eliminated through the kidneys. Regular users, however, may experience longer clearance times.
Is Snus better than smoking?
Tobacco-related illnesses are much less common in countries where use of snus and nicotine pouches is more prevalent, such as Sweden and Norway. Sweden is on the verge of having fewer than 5 percent smokers in its entire population, which will qualify it as a smoke free nation. In Norway only 1 percent of young women smoke, while 12 percent use snus daily.
It is claimed that if the entire EU had the same smoking levels as Sweden, where a significant portion of the population uses Snus, 210,000 fewer Europeans would die each year from tobacco-related diseases. The UK currently, has the third-highest number of smoking-related deaths in Europe. However, it is suggested that adopting a policy similar to Sweden’s could reduce the annual number of smoking-related deaths among men in the UK by 28,410, decreasing from 52,414 to 24,004.
For more information, please view our Nicopedia Blog.