The snus was born when the Swede in the 18th century came to mix tobacco leaves with salt and water and then put it under the lip. The journey up to it winds itself from the Caribbean into the French court and then as a wildfire over Europe as the latest fashion. Here you can read more about the history of snus, from the 15th century until today.
1400-1500: Early history of snuff
On the island of Hispaniola (current Haiti) in the Caribbean, Europeans first came into contact with tobacco. It was in October 1492 when Columbus and his men landed on the island. On the beach, they were received by natives who brought gifts. They were given some dry leaves, which the natives considered very valuable.
As little more than a million Swedes migrated across the Atlantic from 1846 to 1930, they brought with them their Swedish customs and customs, including the tradition of sniffing. The snus was so common that the main street in the Swedish chamber neighborhoods was called the Snus Boulevard by the Americans. Snus was one of the hallmarks of the Swedes.
Monopoly is introduced
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Swedish state needed money for defense and for the first reform of pensions. The money would come from tobacco. After a break of 250 years, a new tobacco monopoly was introduced in 1915. It was exercised by the limited company AB Svenska Tobaksmonopolet.
The snusing rapidly increased and reached the record level in 1919, when 7,000 tons of snus were sold. Sweden had a population of 6 million people, which meant a consumption of 1.2 kg / capita.
In the following years, tobacco decreased in favor of other tobacco products, especially the increasingly popular cigarettes, which became part of the American trend after World War II.
1970 until today: a success story
Tobacco began to become more popular in the late 1960s, when health risks associated with cigarette smoking were noted in several reports. During the 1970s, the first part of snus was introduced, an important step for the snus to reach a wider audience. Since then, the sales curve has been pointing upwards.
Spanish and Portuguese sailors brought the tobacco plant to Europe. The doctors in Lisbon began using the herb for medical purposes in the mid-16th century. They thought it could cure syphilis and cancer among other things. The tobacco they cultivated in their gardens.
Jean Nicot, French Ambassador to Lisbon and whose name Linnaeus used for the Latin plant name, Nicotiana tabacum, is of great importance for the development of snus use.
Nicot came into contact with the tobacco plant in the 1560s, which was then cultivated in the gardens of Lisbon, and became so excited that he brought some tobacco plants home to Paris. It is said that Nicot, when he learned that the French Queen Katarina de Medici was plagued by chronic headaches, advised her to crumble tobacco leaves and pull the powder in her nose. The queen followed the prescription and the headache disappeared. The miracle cure quickly made snus popular in French court circles.
1600-1700: Snuset comes to Sweden
Because Paris was the model for all European courts, it was not long before we used smell snus in the rest of Europe. The first time snus is mentioned in Sweden is 1637. In a customs document one can read that snus was brought in to Sweden from Porvoo in Finland.
In the 18th century, the use of smell snus became a must among the ladies and gentlemen of the aristocracy. To a fine 18th-century gentleman's equipment was a snuff box. It should be expensive and handled with carefully regulated elegance. The boxes were small masterpieces of gold, silver or other precious materials and quickly became one of the most popular gifts.
The 18th century became the Swedish tobacco industry's breakthrough time. Tobacco was grown in Skåne, Gränna and Alingsås where the father of the potato Jonas Alströmer started tobacco cultivation on a large scale. At the end of the 18th century, tobacco was grown in some 70 Swedish cities.
The sniff of snuff
The French Revolution meant the end of the upper class who used the traditional smell snuff. During Napoleon, who was a big sniper, snuff got a temporary boost but after his fall it became outdated, perhaps even politically adventurous, to hold onto snuffing. The snuff came out of fashion and the bourgeoisie, which now came to power, went over to smoking cigars.
1800: New snuff habits
In Sweden, political developments coincided with a change in the actual snuff habits. In the early 19th century, perhaps a little earlier, Swedish consumers went over to put in a prill under the lip. Many farmers who had their own tobacco cultivation made their own snus. The tobacco they painted in their coffee grinders or self-cut carvings.
1800-1900: Snus manufacturers
During the 19th century, manufacturers began manufacturing local varieties of moist snuff. Some well-known suppliers were Petter Swartz with the Red Lacket and J.A. Boman with General Snus. The biggest brand, however, was Ettan, Ljunglöfs Ettan.
Jacob Fredrik Ljunglöf's factory on Badstugatan, today Sveavägen in Stockholm, has its roots in a tobacco company founded around 1695. Jacob Fredrik Ljunglöf took over the company in 1822 and made it the leading snus factory in Europe and the world.
Virtually all Swedish snus manufacturers in the 19th century had in their assortment a snus No: 1, No: 2 and No: 3, which designated different qualities. Ljunglöf, however, launched its 1st as a nationwide quality product and succeeded. Ljunglöfs Ettan became a popular concept. Today it is still one of Sweden's largest brands and accounts for about one fifth of all snus sales in Sweden.
The monk Ramon Pane came in contact with the predecessor of snuff in 1497, when he accompanied Columbus' second trip to America. He then saw Native American priests pulling up a powder in the nose through a fork-shaped tube. According to researchers, the powder probably did not consist solely of tobacco, but the snus itself was important for tobacco use when it was introduced in Europe.