You may have seen that some gas stations in Switzerland now advertise snus. We want to take a closer look at whether snus can be sold at gas stations and which types you can get there. In addition, we provide information about the legal situation in other European countries.
Snus at gas stations in EU countries
Oral tobacco products consisting of powder or fine-grained granules cannot be legally sold in EU countries (exception: Sweden), as they are considered snus. However, some countries allow the sale of chewing tobacco, which is why snus-like tobacco products can be found at gas stations in the Czech Republic, for example - but these have a coarser tobacco structure and therefore belong to the permitted category of chewing tobacco. However, the tobacco-free All White Snus are not (yet) considered tobacco products everywhere, which is why they are offered at gas stations in some EU countries. In Germany, however, even these tobacco-free All White Snus can currently no longer be found at gas stations (exception: nicotine-free variants), as they have been temporarily withdrawn from circulation pending the final regulation of these products.
Snus at gas stations in Switzerland
Switzerland is an exception when it comes to the legality of snus. Until 2019, a ban against the sale of snus applied here as well, although the product could be imported for personal use before (albeit with a quantity restriction). In May 2019, the legal situation was changed, as the Federal Supreme Court, following a complaint from a Swiss importer, came to the conclusion that snus just does not harm health in an unexpected way, as the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) had assessed.
Furthermore, the argument that snus is more harmful to health than cigarettes was also refuted. According to a WHO study, carcinogenic nitrosamines were found in many snus products and this finding was used as a basis for banning snus.
In fact, the study mainly examined products from North America, where there is no ban against nitrosamines. In Sweden, snus products are controlled by the Food Administration, which prohibits the use of nitrosamines. Thus, there is no scientific evidence that snus has health consequences that are more severe than those of other tobacco products.
What types of snus are sold at the gas station?
The varieties you will find most often are All White Nicotine Pouches. This variant is completely free of tobacco and instead nicotine is added in the form of salt or as a liquid preparation. Thus, you get the same effect as from other snus products, but prevents discoloration of the teeth.
All White Snus products at gas stations include:
Velo: The brand originates from Sweden and they can be bought in different varieties. The production is subject to high quality controls and this is reflected in the unique taste of the products. Velo is suitable for both snus newcomers and experienced snusers. One of the most popular products of the brand is Velo Freeze X-Strong with a nicotine content of 15.5 mg/g.
edelsnus: The edelsnus brand is produced in Switzerland, which is why you can find it in Swiss gas stations and Austrian tobacconists. Edelsnus is in no way inferior to its Scandinavian competitors in terms of quality and taste and shines with impeccable ingredients and unique flavors. Edel Citrus with 15 mg/g nicotine is especially recommended.
Conclusion: Buy snus at gas stations or on the Internet?
Although snus is available at gas stations, the range is much lower than online orders. Those who want more choice will find a wide range of products online from both small and large brands in a variety of strengths and flavors.