Nicotine consumption has changed drastically in the past few decades, with a growing number of people switching from cigarettes and vapes to smoke-free alternatives—such as nicotine pouches and snus. 

These reduce many of the health risks associated with inhalable tobacco products, including lung cancer and other respiratory issues. Nicopods and snus are also more convenient, as you can use them in areas where smoking or vaping is prohibited. They don’t produce secondhand smoke either, eliminating the risk cigarettes pose to others around you. 

To understand the differences between these two similar products, read this comprehensive ZYN vs. snus comparison. It will provide useful information about both products and help you decide which one is better for you.

  • Zyn Cool Mint Mini nicotine pouches

    Zyn Cool Mint Extra Strong

    $3.90
    Range Price
    10 - 19 $3.80
    20 - 29 $3.70
    30 + $3.50
  • Sold out

    Velo Freeze Max

    $5.50
    Range Price
    10 - 19 $5.40
    20 - 29 $5.30
    30 + $5.10
  • Sold out
    Velo Max Arctic Frost nicotine pouches

    Velo Arctic Frost Max

    $5.50
    Range Price
    10 - 19 $5.40
    20 - 29 $5.30
    30 + $5.10
  • Sold out
    Velo Ice Cool nicotine pouches

    Velo Ice Cool Strong

    $5.50
    Range Price
    10 - 19 $5.40
    20 - 29 $5.30
    30 + $5.10

Snuff, Snus, and Nicotine Pouches—A Brief Overview

The development of modern smokeless tobacco products goes back to 16th-century Sweden, where the local aristocracy first developed snuff—tobacco ground into a fine powder and inhaled. 

Today, there are two types of snuff:

  1. Dry snuff—virtually identical to the original product, consumed nasally
  2. Moist snuff—loose tobacco, consumed orally 

With moist snuff, you place the tobacco between your gum and lip. The nicotine is absorbed by the mucous membrane in your gums, where it enters the bloodstream. 

Moist snuff caught on quickly because it provided a more intense nicotine buzz than cigarette smoke. The product was messy because it required spitting—tobacco is dangerous when ingested directly due to a strong nicotine concentration and the presence of other harmful chemicals. 

Snus vs. Nicotine Pouches

The similarly-named snus was introduced as a cleaner and cheaper type of snuff. To make snus, powdered tobacco is enclosed in a small pouch. Users insert this pouch between their upper lip and gums and remove it when the nicotine has been absorbed. 

Snus doesn’t produce nearly as much saliva as snuff, and any remaining spit can be swallowed safely—the tobacco remains in the pouch, and there’s no danger of ingesting it. 

White snus (also referred to as a nicotine pouch or nicopod) is the less hazardous, tobacco-free version of snus with an identical delivery method, and ZYN is one of the most popular brands of nicotine pouches. 

To recap, the table below contains an overview of smoke-free tobacco products:

ProductDescriptionDelivery method
SnuffTobacco powderInhaled or taken orally
SnusTobacco powder packed in pouchesTaken orally
White snus (nicotine pouch)Tobacco-free nicotine powder packed in pouchesTaken orally

ZYN vs. Snus—Main Ingredients

ZYN pouches are made with nicotine salts and the following ingredients:

  • Flavorings—Different tastes like peppermint, espresso, citrus, etc. 
  • pH adjusters—Food-grade minerals that reduce acidity, resulting in faster nicotine absorption
  • Sugar substitutes—Artificial sweeteners that enhance the flavor
  • Water—Maintains moisture and improves the texture
  • Fillers and stabilizers—Plant-based additives that provide bulk and consistency to the pouch

Conversely, snus pouches contain tobacco and the following components:

  • Water—Performs the same role as in nicotine pouches
  • Salt—Extends the shelf life of the product, enhances flavor, and reduces saliva production
  • Flavoring additives—Provide various aromas and tastes
  • pH adjusters—Serve the same purpose as in nicotine pouches

While nicotine pouches and snus share plenty of similarities, they have one major difference—nicopods don’t contain tobacco. As a result, prolonged use of the two products can lead to drastically different health outcomes. 

Source: ZYN

Cigarettes vs. ZYN and Snus—Health Implications

Both ZYN and snus are safer than smoking, which is extremely harmful. The table offers an overview of the biggest health issues caused by smoking:

Affected AreaConditions and Risks
Cardiovascular systemPeripheral vascular disease (damage to blood vessels)StrokeHeart diseaseAortic aneurysms (bulging of the main artery)Heart attack
CancerBladder cancerStomach cancerCervical cancerEsophagus cancerPancreatic cancerBlood cancer (acute myeloid leukemia)Kidney cancerLung cancerLiver cancerThroat cancerColorectal cancerMouth cancer
Respiratory systemRespiratory infections (like tuberculosis and influenza)Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)Asthma complications
Reproductive healthHigher risk of birth defectsReduced fertilityRisk of premature birth
Bone healthHigher risk of hip fracturesOsteoporosis (bone thinning) 
AppearanceYellow teethPremature skin agingBad breath
Endocrine/Hormonal systemHigher risk of type 2 diabetes
Other complicationsWeaker immune systemGum disease

Most of the toxic chemicals and carcinogens in cigarettes are released upon combustion. 

Since nicopod and snus consumption doesn’t require high temperatures, they are safer than cigarettes.

  • Zyn Cool Mint Mini nicotine pouches

    Zyn Cool Mint Extra Strong

    $3.90
    Range Price
    10 - 19 $3.80
    20 - 29 $3.70
    30 + $3.50
  • Sold out

    Velo Freeze Max

    $5.50
    Range Price
    10 - 19 $5.40
    20 - 29 $5.30
    30 + $5.10
  • Sold out
    Velo Max Arctic Frost nicotine pouches

    Velo Arctic Frost Max

    $5.50
    Range Price
    10 - 19 $5.40
    20 - 29 $5.30
    30 + $5.10
  • Sold out
    Velo Ice Cool nicotine pouches

    Velo Ice Cool Strong

    $5.50
    Range Price
    10 - 19 $5.40
    20 - 29 $5.30
    30 + $5.10

Why Is ZYN Safer Than Snus?

Since snus products are taken orally, they don’t carry the same risks that come with smoking. That doesn’t mean snus is completely safe—it still contains tobacco, which has major health implications even when not smoked. 

Consult the table below for the primary health risks associated with snus:

Health IssueDescription
CancerEsophagus cancerPancreatic cancer Stomach cancer
Cardiovascular diseaseIncreased risk of stroke 
Endocrine/Hormonal systemCorrelation with type 2 diabetes
Reproductive healthIncreased risk of premature birth and stillbirthRisk of birth defects
Other issuesTooth discolorationGum disease Bad breath

Nicotine is the main cause of reproductive health issues, but other problems related to snus are caused by different substances in tobacco. Because they’re tobacco-free and contain only nicotine, ZYN and other nicopods don’t carry those health risks. 

Seeing as nicotine pouches are a relatively new product, research on their general health risks or specific links to cancer is scarce. Nicotine isn’t cancerogenic on its own—the cancer risks of snus come from tobacco-specific carcinogens not present in nicopods. 

Without the toxic chemicals found in tobacco, nicotine pouches can be helpful to some people weaning off smoking or vaping. The pouches provide a steady nicotine hit without the physical act of lighting and smoking a cigarette, allowing you to focus on breaking habits—like smoking after lunch or with a drink. 

Research has also proven that nicotine can improve focus, particularly in persons with ADHD. But, these stimulating effects are also among the greatest risks of nicotine consumption because they contribute to the substance’s addictive properties. 

Source: ZYN

Health Implications of ZYN

Although nicotine isn’t cancerogenic, it’s accompanied by a few health risks you should be aware of before taking nicotine pouches: 

Nicotine-Related IssueDescription
Cardiovascular problemsIncreased blood pressure and heart rate but to a lesser degree than with tobacco smoke
AddictionHighly addictive substance, potentially leading to cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Oral issuesDamage to oral tissue from the pouch or its chemicals, potentially leading to gum disease
Developmental problemsDisrupts memory, attention, and other functions in adolescent brains
Digestive issuesIn case of an overdose, nicotine can cause vomiting, heartburn, and nausea

Most of these risks can be minimized by following three simple rules:

  1. Never use nicotine pouches if you’re younger than 21, breastfeeding, pregnant, or someone with a pre-existing health condition
  2. Always take nicotine pouches in moderation, according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the intake frequency, recommended amounts, and best-before-date
  3. Only purchase nicotine pouches from trustworthy vendors

Any issues are less likely to occur if you use high-quality brands that don’t compromise on pouch materials and ingredients. ZYN is a popular choice, but there are plenty of other excellent manufacturers you can try—especially at respectable online stores like SnusBoss

SnusBoss is run by seasoned experts with years of experience in the nicotine pouch industry. The store sells EU-based brands with a higher moisture content, which ensures a smoother nicotine buzz and a stronger flavor. 

Besides ZYN, SnusBoss stocks the following high-quality brands:

  1. Velo
  2. Dope
  3. Kurwa
  4. Snatch
  5. Klint
  6. Thunder
  7. Killa
  8. Pablo
  9. Skruf
  10. Hit
  11. Kozmo
  12. White Fox

Source: VELO

Percentage of Nicotine in ZYN Compared to Snus

Different ZYN and snus products have varying nicotine content. Before using any, you should determine which amount of nicotine suits your level of tolerance. If you’re unsure, start with a lower-strength product and slowly work your way up to a more potent buzz. 

ZYN nicotine pouches are available in four strength levels, each with an identical flavor intensity and different nicotine content. Check out the list below for a quick comparison of ZYN strengths with nicotine amounts in cigarettes and vapes:

  1. Low—1.5 mg of nicotine per pouch, similar to 3 mg vape strength or up to 5 cigarettes 
  2. Regular—3 mg of nicotine per pouch, similar to 6 mg vape strength or up to 10 cigarettes 
  3. Strong—6 mg of nicotine per pouch, similar to 12 mg vape strength or up to 15 cigarettes 
  4. Extra Strong—9 mg of nicotine per pouch, similar to 20 mg vape strength or more than 20 cigarettes 

Source: Haim charbit

In snus, nicotine content is measured in mg of nicotine per gram of tobacco. The amounts vary between brands but mostly stay within the 8 mg to 22 mg range. Some snus manufacturers also offer extra strong varieties with a stunning 43 mg of nicotine per gram of tobacco. 

While it may seem like snus is inherently stronger than ZYN pouches, that’s not necessarily the case. 

Nicotine pouches and snus products have vastly different absorption rates. With snus, only 30% of the nicotine from the product enters your bloodstream. The absorption rate is much higher with nicotine pouches at around 50%. 

  • Zyn Cool Mint Mini nicotine pouches

    Zyn Cool Mint Extra Strong

    $3.90
    Range Price
    10 - 19 $3.80
    20 - 29 $3.70
    30 + $3.50
  • Sold out

    Velo Freeze Max

    $5.50
    Range Price
    10 - 19 $5.40
    20 - 29 $5.30
    30 + $5.10
  • Sold out
    Velo Max Arctic Frost nicotine pouches

    Velo Arctic Frost Max

    $5.50
    Range Price
    10 - 19 $5.40
    20 - 29 $5.30
    30 + $5.10
  • Sold out
    Velo Ice Cool nicotine pouches

    Velo Ice Cool Strong

    $5.50
    Range Price
    10 - 19 $5.40
    20 - 29 $5.30
    30 + $5.10

ZYN vs. Snus—Available Flavors

Snus doesn’t come close to ZYN and other nicotine pouches in terms of flavor variety. At most, snus products will contain a blend with another herb or plant, such as juniper or bergamot—but they never stray too far from the original tobacco taste.

Thanks to its lack of tobacco, ZYN offers more interesting flavors—from the zesty Cool Mint and Citrus to the smoother Espressino

Other nicotine pouch manufacturers also offer intriguing choices—like the Liquorice and Pomegranate flavors created by Klint or the Chilli Mint pouches released by Snatch. 

Featured image source: ZYN