Decreased levels of tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines in moist snuff on the Swedish market

J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Aug 11;52(16):5085-8. doi: 10.1021/jf049931a.


Moist snuff, or snus, on the Swedish market in 2001 and 2002 was analyzed for tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines (TSNAs) using a recently developed LC-MS/MS method. All samples of moist snuff analyzed were found to contain detectable levels of N'-nitrosonornicotine (NNN), N'-nitrosoanatabine (NAT), N'-nitrosoanabasine (NAB), and 4-(N-methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK). In the survey in 2001, all samples except for one were produced by Swedish Match (n = 14), which is the dominating manufacturer on the Swedish snuff market. In the survey in 2002, samples from both Swedish Match (n = 7) and seven smaller manufacturers (n = 20) were analyzed. Total TSNA levels of between 0.15 and 3.0 microg/g wet weight were found. In the survey in 2001 and 2002, the mean level of the total TSNA content in moist snuff was 1.1 microg/g (n = 14) and 1.0 microg/g (n = 27), respectively. The result of the survey shows that the level of TSNAs in moist snuff on the Swedish market has been greatly reduced since the middle of the 1980s. Clearly, efforts have been made by the manufacturers to reduce the level of TSNAs in snuff.

MeSH terms

  • Nicotiana / chemistry*
  • Nitrosamines / analysis*
  • Sweden
  • Tobacco, Smokeless / chemistry*


  • Nitrosamines