I tried to quit smoking this month. I lasted a decidedly unimpressive five days. I have tried all the remedies – patches, gums and going cold turkey – but none of them worked. Meeting friends for a patch and a pint down the pub or joining a colleague for a stick of nicotine gum after work just doesn’t have the same social appeal as smoking.
In Sweden, ex-smokers have another option: Snus, small bags of moist tobacco that are placed under your top lip. Consumed in Scandinavia since the mid-19th century, the popularity of Snus rose significantly from the 1970s onwards, as people became increasingly aware of the dangers of smoking. The proportion of male smokers fell dramatically from 40% in 1976 to just 15% in 2002. Almost a third of ex-smokers used Snus when quitting, and those who did were about 50% more likely to succeed. Continue reading