Wie ist die Wirkung von Schnupftabak?

Snuff has been in use for centuries and has been used for various purposes. The tobacco-containing product is often proclaimed as a healthier alternative to cigarettes, but how harmful is this type of tobacco consumption really and what long-term consequences do consumers have to be prepared for? We want to take a look at the effects of snuff and explain what advantages and disadvantages the product brings with it.

What exactly is snuff?

In Europe, snuff only became known in the 17th century, but records confirm that the product was used in Central and South American cultures much earlier. Indigenous peoples snuffed tobacco as part of their rituals and sailors introduced it to Europe. Here it was first used by royal families as a medicine against headaches and migraines and was for a long time only available in pharmacies. In the meantime, there are a wide variety of manufacturers of snuff in Germany.

Snuff consists of fermented tobacco and is obtained from the dried leaves of the tobacco plant. After maturing, it is mixed with various aroma blends and then rubbed down. Oils are used to keep the tobacco moist. The fermentation and drying processes differ depending on the manufacturer. Nowadays, the product is also available without tobacco. It is called white snuff and usually consists of glucose and menthol.

What is the effect of snuff?

Just like cigarettes, snuff contains nicotine. Nicotine triggers some psychological but also physical phenomena and can have a stimulating and activating effect. On the one hand, nicotine suppresses negative feelings such as anxiety and nervousness, on the other hand, the reward system in the brain is activated and sends positive signals such as relaxation. The snuff's effect on the body and mind can be enhanced and absorption accelerated by adding bases. When first used, snuff can cause unpleasant reactions such as nausea and dizziness.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of snuff?

Unlike cigarettes, snuff is not burnt when consumed and toxic substances such as tar and condensates are not used in its production. Snuff can also be taken in places where smoking is prohibited, as no smoke is produced. This also means that people around you are not bothered by its consumption. An additional advantage is the reduced environmental impact, as the product can be biodegraded.

If you compare the long-term effects of snuff with those of cigarettes, the product can actually be called a healthier substitute for cigarettes. However, even snuff is not completely exempt from harmful side effects. The most common complaints include inflammation of the nasal mucosa and unpleasant secretions. It has still not been proven whether snuff can cause cancer. The carcinogenic effect of nicotine is also still strongly debated today. Nicotine can also cause headaches, coughing and gastrointestinal complaints.

Advantages at a glance:

  • Does not produce smoke
  • Do not disturb your fellow human beings
  • Toxic substances such as tar are not included
  • Environmentally friendly

Disadvantages at a glance:

  • May cause inflammation of the nasal mucosa
  • Can be addictive
  • May cause other symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches and nausea

What are the alternatives to snuff?

Snus is ground tobacco in loose or bagged form. When consumed, it is placed under the upper lip and the effect unfolds in a few seconds. The amount of nicotine varies depending on the type and you can try both strong and mild snus products. Just like snuff, snus is not burnt and is a less harmful alternative to cigarettes.

Conclusion - An alternative form of tobacco consumption

Snuff is one of the oldest forms of consuming leaves of the tobacco plant. It consists of fermented tobacco powder to which flavourings and other substances such as oils have been added. The effect of snuff is similar to that of cigarettes, because both products contain nicotine. How strong the effect is depends on the tobacco plant used. As snuff is absorbed through the nasal mucous membranes, regular consumption can lead to inflammation of these.

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