Swedish Match got green light for snus in USA

Swedish Match got a Green light for Swedish snus in USA

Now it’s free for Swedish Match to promote Swedish snus in USA as a healthier tobacco product than cigarettes. The company now can sell eight types of portion snus in the country.

Swedish Match got green light for snus in USA

Swedish Match has received a green light from the American Regulatory Authority, FDA, Food and Drug Administration, to sell eight different types of portion packaged snus in the United States.

This is something Swedish Match has tried to convince FDA for a long time, that snus is a less hazardous tobacco product than cigarettes. The company wants to sell snus in the US as a healthier
alternative to cigarettes. The FDA now considers that Swedish snus is likely to be a less toxic, but only if the user only uses snus and nothing else.

No tobacco product is safe

The Vice president of Swedish Match said in a written comment that the announcement by the FDA does not give the snus brand General a so-called modified risk status. The announcement is an approval for the commercialization of new products under a separate and parallel process.

The company is still awaiting a decision from the FDA on the application for modified risk status, which was originally expected in September.

Swedish Match want to market the product with the label “No tobacco product is safe, but this product has a considerably lower health risk than cigarettes”. But using this label and “Approved by FDA” is something the company can’t do right now. The label “Approved by FDA” require a separate permission.

It’s already possible to buy snus in the US, but the FDA decision means that the authority has conducted a review of the health risk for Swedish snus. Swedish Match cannot claim that FDA has approved the product and the product must have the same warning labels as other smoke free tobacco products.

FDA – Probably less toxic

This is something that FDA don’t say, but in the decision they say that the product has a low probability to introduce tobacco to new users, or difficult for users to quit or relapse. This relies, however, on that the product is promoted as said in the request to FDA.

Swedish Snus can already be bought in the US, but the difference with this decision is that FDA, according to a press release, made a “rigorous and scientific based” review of the risk associated with the product Swedish snus.

Source: http://www.expressen.se/nyheter/svenskt-snus-far-gront-ljus-i-usa/

If you can’t buy Swedish snus where you live, you can always learn how to make you own Swedish snus at home.

What is your experience of Swedish snus? Have you tried any of Swedish Match snus products or do you make your own snus at home? Leave a comment and let me know.


Image: Wikimedia



Swedish Match got green light for snus in USA — 8 Comments

  1. Hello Anders,

    Thank you for the traditional Swedish snus recipe!

    In the US, Camel SNUS is widely available. It is not regulated as a food product, so the ingredients are somewhat of a mystery. It is too sweet. Like all tobacco products, it is expensive.

    Swedish Match being available in the local store would be a welcome event. Mail order from Sweden is expensive but worth it for commercial snus.

    I like to garden, I like to cook. I really like snus!

    Your snus recipe will have me growing tobacco this season.
    What types of tobacco would you recommend? Burley, White Burley and Brightleaf seem like good candidates.

    • Hello Richard

      I have never tried Camel or any other US snus, but I don’t think I would like sweet snus very much. And as you said, we don’t know how it has been prepared and what kind of tobacco it contains. In Swedish snus you know that it is only air dried tobacco, no flu cured tobacco has been used for a very long time in Sweden.

      Here in Sweden the government has been trying to tax snus users to stop using tobacco, that’s what made me start to make my own snus at home. There’s not as high tax on tobacco flour, but I have heard a rumor that they want to rise that as well. So as I see it, it’s best to be prepared and be self-sufficient.

      Last season I tried to grow Virginia, but I think I started to late because almost all the leaves stayed green and did not turn yellow. This year I am starting six weeks earlier than last year so I hope I have more success this year. Snus made from green leaves are nothing I can recommend.

      From what I have read Virginia tobacco is the most common type used in snus, it has a mild taste suitable for snus. But a Swedish snus can contain up to 20 different varieties of tobacco. I know that other home growers have used Alida, Havana, small stalk black mammoth. Alida is a Swedish Virginia variation suitable for the climate in Sweden. Black mammoth is an American tobacco with big leaves with a dark tobacco rich in flavors. You will find a lot of seed varieties on the international market.

      This year I’m trying Burley and the Virginia varieties Brown leaf and Shirei. You can follow the progress on Instagram.

  2. Hello Anders

    I am not sure I would really call the Camel product snus. Candy flavored portions with low nicotine levels would be a better description.

    The history of Swedish snus is interesting. From what I can understand, the Swedish government took over the largest snus manufacturer almost 100 years ago to finance the public pension plans. The owner of the business was so angry, he burned the recipes and ingredient lists.

    In the US, whole tobacco leaf may be purchased without tax if the stems are included. It is still considered an agricultural product in whole leaf form. I have ordered some pre-cured Virginia and Burley whole leaf to experiment with.

    Holding constant temperature while ‘cooking’ seems like the critical part of the manufacturing process. Water bath home yogurt maker design may be good to copy for small snus batches.

    • Hello Richard

      The government took over all tobacco factories in 1915, but Ljunglöf was then one of the richest families in Sweden. They only used the tobacco of the highest qualities in their premium brand Ljunglöfs Ettan, a brand still in production today.

      If you can buy whole tobacco leaves it is easy to grind it to flour. A food processor or a small stone grain mill will do the job. Tobacco leaves are very brittle and easy to crush to small bits. I have bought one mill similar to this one on Amazon: NutriMill Harvest Grain Mill

      The temperature will affect the end result. A lower temperature will produce a milder snus and with a higher temperature you get a more smoky flavor. Now I almost always make my snus in 36 hours in the higher temperature range, around 90°C. That temperature should be no problem with a water bath, something I know others have use to make snus with good result. You also have to consider the TSNA-levels that may be a bit higher with lower temperatures.

  3. A mixed log of real Swedish snus arrived today. It has been probably 2 years since I order direct from Sweden.

    I open a can and take a smell… a rich moist earthy tobacco scent greets my nose.

    I open a tin of the Camel “snus” I have been using.
    I take a smell… it smells like stale dry dusty cigarette tobacco.

    Conclusion: If you are in the US , spend a little extra and order quality Swedish snus direct from Sweden. Your taste buds will thank you.

    Now I have the correct flavor profiles to compare home made snus to.

  4. Hello Anders,

    In the US, cigarette smoking is (was) the preferred choice of nicotine delivery. Taxes and bans on smoking in almost all public areas have worked in reducing tobacco use.

    From my studies, Sweden is unique in the widespread use of snus. Dip, the most famous being Copenhagen mouth tobacco in the US is not widely used. The need to spit rather than swallow limits the customer base in most settings.

    Vaping with electronic cigarettes has become popular enough that even small towns seem to have a dedicated ‘Vape Shop’. Vaping does give the illusion of smoke. I used vaping as a bridge between tobacco smoking and snus only. Electronic cigarette ‘smoke’ only includes extracted nicotine. The additional amines are missing. Also most nicotine extract used in ‘vape juice’ is sourced from china. The purity from pesticides and other contaminates is suspect at best.

    The good thing I learned from vaping is all of the flavorings used in modern food products are readily available from vape juice vendors. This includes tobacco flavoring for those so inclined.

    Food grade sodium carbonate is not easily available in the US. Fortunately, heating Arm and Hammer baking soda in a toaster oven at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes changes sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to sodium carbonate.

    I am waiting for an inexpensive w1209 temperature controller to arrive. Precision temperature control comes in handy for all sorts of things.

  5. Hello Anders,

    I just found Swedish Match snus under the General brand at the corner store in the US.

    White, Wintergreen and Mint full size portions are available.
    More pieces, less cost, and tastes much better than Camel snus.

    Camel snus just lost a US customer to Swedish Match.

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