Snus Vs. Nicotine Pouches: What They Are and Which One is Better

Quitting smoking is not easy; fortunately, alternatives such as snus and nicotine pouches exist.

Smoking has declined in popularity in Canada, a welcome development in the health landscape of the country. Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada reported a drop in smoking rates by almost 6% in over a decade. Because cigarette use has been linked to all sorts of health issues, including lung disease and cancer, many people have turned to alternative products to relieve their desire to smoke.

Various smoking alternatives have cropped up in the past few years in an attempt to curb cigarette use. As our previous CBD oil feature revealed, cannabinoid oil is one of the proposed natural alternatives to cigarettes. But today, we’ll focus on two harm-reduction alternatives: snus and nicotine pouches.

Because nicotine dependence is one of the hurdles smokers face when quitting, snus and nicotine pouches are good options since they still contain nicotine, minus many smoking-related dangers. In many ways, snus and nicotine patches have similar qualities. Both are smoke-free and often contain similar nicotine levels.

A nicotine pouch is a tobacco-free product that delivers nicotine through the gums. Snus, on the other hand, comes in the form of powder and contains ground tobacco. We’ll compare these products in order for you to decide which one is for you.

Here are three major comparison points between snus and nicotine pouches:


Both snus and nicotine pouches come in small pockets that are placed between the lip and gum. They then release doses of nicotine for a smoke-free experience. However, they differ in terms of the duration of nicotine release. Nicotine pouches often have a quicker nicotine release due to their high moisture content and pH level. Because the pouches do not require saliva to moisten, the contents are activated almost immediately. Also, because they do not contain tobacco, nicotine pouches can keep for a longer period with a relatively stable shelf life.

On the other hand, snus tends to release nicotine in a more prolonged and sustained manner. The intensity of the snus sensation builds up while it is under the lip, depending on the portion and the moisture content. As it contains plant material, snus has a short shelf life, and some brands require refrigeration to preserve the freshness.


Snus pouches contain ground-up tobacco. It is a smokeless alternative to cigarettes and is placed under the top lip. Some countries, such as Sweden, have limited the number of chemicals like cancer-causing nitrosamines in their snus products. To present itself as a viable alternative to cigarette smoking, Camel Snus advertised its products as a way to reduce certain types of diseases such as lung cancer and oral cancer.

On the other hand, nicotine pouches do not contain tobacco at all, which means they’re not going to cause enamel staining or bad breath. Swedish Match’s ZYN pouches are some of the leading nicotine pouches on the market today and they’re entirely tobacco-free. More importantly, ZYN pouches come in different strengths, from dry pouches, which contain 3mg of nicotine, to dry strong, which has 6mg. The high-quality nicotine from these pouches is carefully extracted and purified from the tobacco plant using high-tech distillation procedures. Tobacco content is an essential delineation between snus and nicotine pouches and determines the clientele the two products will serve.


Snus has a distinct tobacco flavor, and companies often add mint and menthol as an additional flavor sensation. Because snus contains such few ingredients—tobacco, water, and salt—the natural flavor of tobacco shines.

Although the taste of tobacco is one that previous smokers may specifically look for in their cigarette alternatives, nicotine pouches can provide a more refreshing experience. When the taste of tobacco becomes heavy and overbearing, nicotine pouches preserve the freshness of the breath through cooling mint sensations. As the 2022 Nicotine Pouches Market report reveals, some brands even provide unique flavor additions such as bergamot, wildberry, mocha, and elderflower to enhance their users’ experience.

Nicotine pouches have vital differences that make them an excellent alternative to smoking. They are tobacco-free, have a longer shelf life, and come in various flavors.

Quitting smoking is not easy; fortunately, alternatives such as snus and nicotine pouches exist. Knowing the advantages of these two options, the choice you make ultimately depends on your needs and preferences.