Posted by: Sarah | October 9, 2010

Tobacco Teabags?!?!


It’s so nice to get comments from readers.  Last week I received one froma lady called Donna in response to my 6 Things That Frustrate Me About Norway post where “Fit People” featured as #5.  Donna reminded me that whilst the Norwegians are ultra fit, there are many that smoke and I figured that it was about time I introduced readers to a vice that is popular in Scandinavia – Snus. 

I guess I’m quite naive because I had never heard or seen of this stuff before moving to Norway.  Snus is an oral tobacco product – it’s like a miniature teabag containing moist tobacco that you place under your top lip for extensive periods of time.  You see it for sale in most supermarkets and newspaper shops – it’s generally stored in a fridge behind the counter with “SNUS” in black letters.   It comes packaged in a little round tin with two sections – one for fresh snus and one to place used snus bags. 

It’s grown and consumed primarily in Sweden with but usage is on the decline from 22% of men using the product in 2004 to 12% in 2010. However, according to research, snus consumption in Norway has been greatly on the rise over the past few years:  11% of men use moist snus daily – compared to less than 1% of women.  It’s so popular in fact that Swedish Match (the company which manufactures the product) has seen a 164% growth in sales in their “Nick and Johnny Strong White” – a specially adapted brand of snus for Norwegians where the tobacco is moistened before being sealed into the bag.   It has a mild, pure tobacco taste with a hint of liquorice. 

Using snus has been a highly effective way for Swedes to quit smoking.  When the Government introduced a ban on smoking in public places in 2005, many turned to snus as an alternative and because it’s not intended for inhalation, it does not affect the lungs as cigarettes do.  However snus contains more nicotine than cigarettes and little is known about the long-term effects of usage over time given its application to a localised area in the mouth.

Eliot and I aren’t smokers so we won’t be trying the ‘tobacco teabags’ anytime soon.  I don’t have any idea how much these little tubs cost but I’m guessing it’s not cheap given the tax here in Norway.

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Responses

  1. I was in London and someone from Norway gave me one of these. It was nice, less drip than our dip. Well those were his words. My only regret on that trip is I didn’t bring money to drink in the pubs. That’s where the culture is.


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