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The Ultimate Guide To Snus vs. Nicotine Pouches

The Ultimate Guide To Snus vs. Nicotine Pouches
Written by
Published on
January 4, 2024
Read time
10 minutes

Looking for a Guide to Snus vs. Nicotine Pouches? You’re in the right place! Snus and nicotine pouches are both smokeless tobacco products, but they have some key differences! In this article, we explore those differences to give you guys a clearer appreciation of how they compare, how they’re used and most importantly the rules surrounding each.

Ingredients: Snus is a moist tobacco product that contains ground tobacco from the tobacco plant, water, salt, and flavourings, while nicotine pouches contain nicotine, plant-based fibres, water, and flavourings, but no tobacco.

Manufacturing process: Snus is pasteurised, a process that involves heating the tobacco to remove bacteria, while nicotine pouches are often manufactured using a steam-curing process to remove impurities and ensure cleanliness.

Health effects: Both products deliver nicotine, which is addictive and can have negative health effects. However, snus has been associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer and may also contribute to gum disease and tooth loss, while nicotine pouches are considered to be less harmful to oral health due to the absence of tobacco.

In summary, the key differences between snus and nicotine pouches lie in their ingredients, manufacturing processes, and potential health effects. While both products deliver nicotine, nicotine pouches offer a tobacco-free alternative and may present a lower risk of oral health issues.

Guide To Snus vs. Nicotine Pouches

What Is Snus?

Snus originated in Sweden in the early 19th century. It is made from a blend of ground tobacco, salt, and water, and is typically placed under the upper lip for extended periods. Snus is popular in Nordic nations, where it has played a significant role in reducing smoking rates for many years. Its widespread use has made the likes of Sweden one of the countries with the lowest smoking rates in the world!

Nicotine pouches are similar to snus in that they are also smokeless tobacco products however, they are absent of tobacco itself. While both provide an alternative to smoking, concerns remain about their health effects however, studies have suggested that both are less harmful than smoking nasty cigarettes.

The Production Process Of Snus

The production process of snus begins with sourcing high-quality ingredients such as finely ground tobacco, water, salt, and flavouring agents. The tobacco is typically sourced from various regions to ensure a unique profile. Once acquired, the ingredients undergo a rigorous production process that involves blending, pasteurising, and ageing to achieve the desired flavour and nicotine levels.

Health Risks Of Snus

On the negative side, Snus contains nicotine, making it addictive, which can often lead to dependence. There is also an increased risk of pancreatic cancer associated with use, although this risk is lower compared to smoking cigarettes. Additionally, users may experience oral health issues such as gum disease and tooth loss! While it may be a better option than cigarettes in some aspects, it’s important to remember that it’s not completely safe or even legal in the UK.

Is Snus Legal In The UK?

Snus is currently banned in the UK under The Tobacco for Oral Use (Safety) Regulations, as well as the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). This ban was brought into effect due to concerns about the health risks associated with the use of snus, including an increased risk of oral cancer and other serious health issues.

As of now, there are no plans to lift the ban on snus in the UK. However, nicotine pouches are legally available in the UK. Pouches contain nicotine but don’t fall under the same regulations, as they are not classified as tobacco products. They’re seen as a less harmful alternative and have gained popularity as a way for smokers to get their fix without the harmful effects of traditional tobacco products.

What Are Nicotine Pouches?

Nic pouches are small, smokeless, and tobacco-free products that contain nicotine, flavourings, and various plant-based fibres. They come in different compositions, such as a blend of nicotine, water, and salt, and are available in a wide variety of flavours, including mint, citrus, berry, and more. Pouches are available in different strengths, ranging from lower nicotine content for casual users and beginners to higher levels for those with a higher tolerance.

Unlike tobacco products, pouches don’t contain any tobacco leaves, eliminating the harmful effects of tobacco combustion. This makes them a much less harmful alternative for individuals who want to consume nicotine without the risks associated with smoking or chewing tobacco.

Popular brands include ZYN, Velo, Loop, and PAZ, among others. They’re sold in small, discreet cans or boxes, and are available in various pack sizes. Most brands offer nicotine pouches in individual servings for convenience and ease of use and feature a handy compartment for discarding pouches on the fly when a bin isn’t present or accessible.

Nicotine Pouches Last Longer Than Snus

Pouches last longer than snus for several reasons. Firstly, the moisture content in nicotine pouches is significantly lower, which allows them to have a longer shelf life. The lower moisture content helps to prevent mould and bacteria growth, thus extending their longevity!

Another reason for the longer shelf life of pouches is that they’re tobacco-free. Tobacco has a shorter shelf life and is prone to degradation, leading to a shorter lifespan.

Nicotine Pouches Won’t Stain Your Teeth

Unlike traditional ciggies and snus, pouches are tobacco-free and don’t contain colourings, which eliminates the risk of discolouration and staining. This is a HUGE advantage for those who are conscious about the appearance of their teeth and want to maintain their pearly whites.

Better still, they don’t leave a lingering smell of tobacco on the breath, making it easier to interact with others without having to shield your mouth through fear of potent breath! Furthermore, pouches are available in various flavours, which not only provide users with a pleasant taste but also help to freshen their breath.

Snus Usually Tastes Like Tobacco

Its origins can be traced back to tobacco powder, which was traditionally used by indigenous people in North America. However, the modern form of snus was accidentally created in Sweden in the early 19th century. This led to the development of Swedish snus, which became popular in Scandinavia and eventually worldwide…

Historically, snus was used for medicinal purposes, such as a remedy for toothaches and headaches. It was also used recreationally, with users placing a pinch of snus under their lip to enjoy a buzz without the need to smoke. In recent years, snus has gained attention as a substitute for cigarettes, particularly in countries where smoking is heavily regulated but remains illegal within the UK.

Are Nicotine Pouches Legal In The UK?

They are! Thanks largely to being tobacco-free. They’re available for purchase both in stores and online, making them easily accessible to consumers looking for healthier nicotine alternatives. The sale and use of nicotine pouches in the UK market are regulated, with specific guidelines in place to ensure they are safe and meet certain standards.

The UK government has set age restrictions for the purchase of nicotine pouches, with a minimum age of 18. Additionally, there are regulations regarding the advertising and promotion of nicotine pouches to ensure they are not marketed to or used by minors.

The use of nicotine pouches as a nicotine alternative is recognized in the UK, with many individuals turning to these products as a less harmful option compared to traditional tobacco products. Overall, the legal status of nicotine pouches in the UK reflects their acceptance as a legitimate alternative, while still being subject to regulations and restrictions to ensure responsible distribution and consumption.

How Do You Use Nicotine Pouches?

It couldn’t be easier! Start by washing your hands to ensure cleanliness. Then, take a pouch and place it between your lip and gums. The pouch will release nicotine slowly, and it’s best to keep it in place for about 15-30 minutes to allow the nicotine to be absorbed into your system.

If you experience a tingling sensation, don’t worry, it’s normal with the release of nicotine being absorbed. However, if it becomes too intense or unpleasant, simply remove the pouch and rinse your mouth with water!

Are Nicotine Pouches Allowed On Aeroplanes?

Nicotine pouches are generally allowed on most flights, but there are regulations and guidelines that travellers need to follow. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), nicotine pouches can be packed in both carry-on and checked baggage. However, they must be in their original packaging and should comply with the liquid restrictions for carry-on items. During the flight, nicotine pouches can be used, but smoking of any kind, including the use of e-cigarettes, is prohibited – of course.

Our advice, as always, is to check with your airline on restrictions ahead of travel. This way, you’re prepared for every eventuality and run less risk of being caught out, or worse, losing your precious pouches altogether.

Comparison – Snus Vs. Nicotine Pouches

Both products are smokeless and designed to deliver a nicotine kick without the need for cigarettes. However, there are key differences between the two that can impact their use. Understanding these distinctions can help individuals make informed choices about which product may be the right fit for their preferences and lifestyles.

Nicotine Delivery And Usage

There are various methods for nicotine delivery and usage, each offering unique benefits. Both options provide an immediate and consistent release of flavour and nicotine. Placed under the upper lip for convenient and discreet use. Pouches such as ZYN and Velo offer ultimate versatility, thanks to their extensive variety of flavours and strengths, and can be used anytime, anywhere. These modern products often utilise ‘Instant Rush’ technology for a quick release of nicotine, providing a faster and more intense experience.


The average cost for a single can of pouches ranges from £5 to £8, depending on the flavour and retailer. Cheaper options can be found through promotions, multi-pack purchases, and subscription services. Conversely, more expensive options may include premium or limited editions that can cost upwards of £10 per can.

Where possible, take advantage of bulk discounts and subscription services from Nic Pouches Direct, a popular online retailer right here in the UK. Bulk purchases and subscriptions often result in lower per-unit, while certain products may be discounted through sales or special offers.


In conclusion, snus and nicotine pouches are different in a few ways. Nicotine pouches are notably newer to the UK market and are typically made of either plant fibres or cellulose fibre, that contain nicotine and flavouring without the added tobacco and health risks found in snus. They come in various flavours and can be used anywhere. Both products are smokeless and designed to deliver a nicotine kick without the need for cigarettes, but nicotine pouches offer more versatility and pricing options than snus making them a more popular and legal alternative. With this in mind, for those looking to make the switch from smoking or vaping, pouches are certainly worth consideration.

Author Avatar
About Jax
I'm Jax, the resident creative here at NPD and for the past eight years, I've been knee deep exploring nicotine alternatives - collaborating with top global brands on visual content as well as creative copy. As your go-to for all things Nic Pouches, I'm here to simplify the process, providing researched blogs and guides so you can make informed choices... effortlessly.
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