Kids Are Replacing Vapes with Snus, But the Impact on Their Health is Even Worse

By: Alec Donaldson | Published: Jan 25, 2024

Parents across the world are becoming increasingly worried about their children’s health as they drop the vapes and take up “Snus.”

The addictive tobacco pouches and nicotine pods have become a sensation on social media apps such as TikTok. Yet, health experts are now warning parents the long-term effects could lead to severe illnesses, including heart disease and oral cancer. 

New Tobacco Craze Sweeping U.K.

With vaping seeing a dramatic decrease in popularity in recent years, another trend known as Snus has become popular among teenagers from the United Kingdom and parts of the States.

Tin cans of Camel snus, a smokeless tobacco brand of Reynolds American Inc., at a cigar shop in New York City

Source: Ramin Talaie/Corbis/Getty Images

Pronounced “snooze,” the product refers to tobacco pouches and small nicotine pods, once used by those trying to stop smoking. 

Dip Origins in Sweden

The small pods, which resemble tiny tea bags, are also called dip and have been used in Scandinavian nations such as Sweden for decades.

A few tins of Sweisdh Snus sit on a wooden table

Source: Ramin Talaie/Getty Images

Typically, a user will place one of the small pouches or pods under their top lip, and it will slowly release nicotine into the bloodstream for up to two hours.

TikTok Sensation Attracting Teens

Recently, teens across the U.K. have become infatuated with the pouches after seeing videos of the product on TikTok, per The Daily Mail

A teenager uses his grey iPad to watch videos on social media

Source: Freepik

Brands such as Nordic Spirit and Killa use clever marketing techniques and release flavors such as cola and watermelon, to attract the younger generations.

Modern Celebs Further Increase Popularity

The increased popularity in the United Kingdom over the past decade could have partly been influenced by celebrities who use Snus.

A photograph of British YouTuber KSI at an event in Leeds, England

Source: George Wood/Getty Images

English soccer star Jamie Vardy has been spotted with tins of snus on several occasions. The British YouTuber and face of the Prime drink company, KSI, has also been seen using the tobacco pouches.

Not Legal in the United Kingdom

While British teens appear to enjoy Snus, it’s illegal for anyone under 18 to purchase pouches and pods.

A man uses his silver laptop to order a product from an online store

Source: Freepik

Most of the products are sold online from websites that spend considerable time on marketing. Users are asked to confirm their age, and after placing an order, the Snus will arrive within a few days. 


Heavy Hit of Nicotine

As the nicotine pods were initially intended to be used by those trying to quit smoking, they pack a heavy dose of nicotine.

A small see-through container holds numerous snus pouches

Source: Freepik

A regular pouch will have around 4mg per dose. Yet, others can have as much as 30mg, which is over twice that of a typical cigarette, which comes in at 12mg. 


Rising Worry from Parents

Limited data leaves users without fundamental knowledge of the potential long-term effects of tobacco pouches.

Two worried parents sit on their couch as they speak with a woman in a pink shirt

Source: Freepik

However, many health experts have begun to hypothesize a link between Snus and oral cancer, heart disease, and respiratory conditions. 


Doctor Speaks About Potential Health Risks

Speaking in an interview with The Daily Mail, Dr. Naveed Akhtar argues just because the pods are healthier alternatives to smoking doesn’t mean they don’t produce health concerns of their own. 

A doctor speaks with a patient who arrived for a check-up

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“When comparing Snus to smoking and vaping, it’s crucial to recognize that all three have health risks. Smoking remains one of the most hazardous behaviors, with a plethora of health issues associated with it,” said Dr. Akhtar.


Snus Not a Safe Option

According to the doctor, those seeking to live a healthy lifestyle should still be aware of the potential dangers associated with Snus.

Mark DeRosa of the San Francisco Giants pictured using Snus during warm-ups

Source: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

“Snus, in this context, might be a less harmful alternative to smoking but should not be seen as a safe option and still carries health risks, including links to heart disease, oral health, and overall fitness,” he told The Daily Mail


Doctor Claims More Data Is Needed

Dr. Sarah Brown, who wrote a piece for the Nursing Times last year, claims more research must be completed to better understand the long-term health effects of smokeless tobacco. 

A female doctor dressed in a white coat is pictured at her work desk

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“This should include data on usage, perceptions, and how products are acquired, with work in schools to make pupils, parents, and teachers aware of any dangers. The legal loophole whereby nicotine pouches are unregulated and can be sold to children needs to be addressed,” she told The Daily Mail


Brown Calls to the Parents

Since publishing the article, Dr. Brown has also pleaded with parents across the U.K. to read up on the dangers associated with Snus. 

A nurse places her arms on a worried parent as she sits across from a doctor

Source: Freepik

She’s called on health experts to “make parents who use them aware of the dangers of nicotine poisoning to children, and ill-advised statements regarding the safety of smokeless tobacco need to be challenged.”