Nasal snuff: historical review and health related aspects

J Laryngol Otol. 2003 Sep;117(9):686-91. doi: 10.1258/002221503322334486.


With cigarette smoking declining in the modern world, the tobacco industry has to look for other products that can keep the old customers and attract new ones. Different forms of smokeless tobacco are currently massively promoted and are gaining in importance. Dry nasal snuff--the oldest known form of tobacco in Europe--is one of them. The health risks associated with it are different to those attributed to smoking and oral wet snuff. The nicotine contained leads to dependency. Its resorption rate is similar to that of smoking, so it could be seen as an adequate substitutional therapy. The risk for cardiovascular diseases is lower, compared to that for smokers. Chronic abuse leads to morphological and functional changes in the nasal mucosa. Although it contains substances that are potentially carcinogenic, at present, there is no firm evidence, relating the use of nasal snuff to a higher incidence of head and neck or other malignancies.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • History, 15th Century
  • History, 16th Century
  • History, 17th Century
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Nicotine / adverse effects
  • Nicotine / history
  • Nicotine / pharmacology
  • Nicotinic Agonists / adverse effects
  • Nicotinic Agonists / history
  • Nicotinic Agonists / pharmacology
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / history
  • Tobacco Use Disorder* / history
  • Tobacco Use Disorder* / psychology
  • Tobacco, Smokeless* / adverse effects
  • Tobacco, Smokeless* / history
  • Tobacco, Smokeless* / pharmacology


  • Nicotinic Agonists
  • Nicotine