Advice on Snuff

What is Snuff?

Snuff first came to prominence as an alternative to smoking for the Lords when smoking was banned from the House of Lords in 1693. Upon this, a silver communal Snuff box was introduced and is still used today.

This has been replicated in the past decade, with Snuff proving popular as an alternative when the smoking ban came in.

Discovered in the late 15th century, Snuff is essentially a blend of finely ground tobacco. Its popularity peaked in the 18th century when prominent users included Napoleon and Pope Benedict and was reported to be used as a medicinal treatment for the likes of migraines, syphilis and cancer.

During this period, blending Snuff became a highly developed skilled art form. Thousands of different recipes were concocted in this period and these were closely guarded, with often only two people know the full recipe.

Unlike other forms of tobacco, snuff has not succumbed to the pressures of modern production practices. Many forms of Snuff that are still made today in exactly the same manner as the 18th century.

Tobacco leaves are sourced from all around the World and carefully aged over two years to produce Snuff. The leaves go through two or more fermentation periods before being ground to a specific grade and flavoured with natural scents.

Choosing the Right Snuff

Snuff is typically categorised in three different manners – Grind, Moisture and Flavour.


There are three different ground types of snuff – Fine, Medium and Course. The finer the Snuff, traditionally the more intense the sensation. Coarser ground snuff is often much better suited to and more accommodating for the average user.


There are three different grades of moisture found in snuff – Moist, Medium and Dry. Similar to the Fine Grind, the drier Snuffs create a more intense sensation whilst Moist is more easy going.


Unlike the rather limited options for Grind and Moisture, there are literally hundreds of different Snuff flavours to choose from. Once you have found the Grind and Moisture levels that you enjoy the most, it is preferable to start experimenting with different flavours.

How to Take Snuff

Taking Snuff can require some patience to begin with. It is very difficult to get right the first time and can cause you to wince or sneeze. Simply follow these steps and practice until you are satisfied.

  1. Tap the Snuff box/tin to loosen the Snuff
  2. Open up the Snuff box/tin
  3. Accumulate the Snuff with the middle finger and forefinger
  4. Scoop a pinch of Snuff
  5. Put the Snuff to your nose
  6. Do not inhale the Snuff – it should be sniffed into the nose, not the throat or sinus
  7. Sneeze gracefully if it is your first time
  8. Repeat in 10 minutes time, if you so desire

How to Store Snuff

Due to the different experiences that are granted by the variations in the moisture of Snuff, it is important to correctly store it. This ensures that the product is not compromised and will be the experience that you are truly anticipating.

Snuff is not a fine wine or Scotch, keeping it for a long time will not increase its value to the enjoyment it brings. The shelf-life of Snuff is roughly about 3 months. Make sure that you never buy more than 3 months’ worth of Snuff at a time.

Ensure that the Snuff is stored in a cool, dark place in a sealed tin or box. The quality may slowly deteriorate even a couple of days after opening a new Snuff box. When transporting Snuff, always keep it in a tightly sealed tin/box.

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