Market for smokeless tobacco

Swedish Match actively develops and sells smokeless tobacco products in supporting its vision of a world without cigarettes.

Smokeless tobacco products primarily include snus, moist snuff, various forms of chewing tobacco, as well as niche products, such as dissolvables and nasal tobacco. Smokeless tobacco is a small but growing tobacco category compared to cigarettes, and is consumed in many parts of the world in different types and formats.

In Scandinavia, the dominant form of smokeless tobacco is snus. In Sweden, for example, the number of snus users has been growing and has surpassed the number of cigarette users.1) In the US, snus is a small but growing segment, while the dominant forms of smokeless tobacco are moist snuff and chewing tobacco. In other parts of the world, such as in India and certain countries in Africa and Asia, local variants of oral and nasal smokeless tobacco products are consumed in relatively large volumes. In the European Union (EU) and certain other countries, snus and other oral tobacco products not intended to be chewed or smoked are prohibited, while chewing tobacco products are allowed to be sold.

Large global tobacco companies rely on cigarettes for the bulk of their revenues and profits, and cigarettes account for roughly 90 percent of all tobacco consumed globally.2) Swedish Match does not produce cigarettes, however. Generally, cigarette consumption has been declining over the past decade in most developed countries, while in many emerging markets, cigarette consumption has continued to increase.2) Other smoking products sold globally include fine-cut and roll-your-own tobaccos, cigars, and pipe tobacco. Recently, there has been an emergence of the e-cigarette category in certain markets which generally contain nicotine but no tobacco.

The global tobacco market is exposed to ever-increasing levels of restrictions and regulations, as governments and other regulatory and non-governmental organizations seek to reduce tobacco consumption, and, most notably, cigarette consumption. These regulations, along with taxation measures, have had impacts on tobacco growing, production, product availability, packaging and labeling, consumer pricing, and location of use.

Regional differences for smokeless products

The US

In the US, the dominant form of smokeless tobacco is moist snuff. Moist snuff has its origins from Scandinavian products brought over by immigrants. The majority of moist snuff is consumed in the traditional loose format, although consumption of moist snuff in pouch format has increased rapidly in recent years. Snus is a small and relatively new product category. Chewing tobacco consumption is in a long term state of decline but this category nevertheless remains a significant segment of the US smokeless tobacco market.


In Sweden, smokeless tobacco consumption has a long tradition, with snus being the dominant form. Today, there are more snus users than cigarette users in the country. In Norway, the transformation from a small traditional market to a well-known market with a high level of penetration has been rapid, occurring over the past 15 years. Snus is banned in Denmark as in the rest of the EU (with Sweden exempted). In certain North European markets, such as in Denmark and Finland, there are historical ties to snus.


In Europe, smokeless tobacco traditionally has been consumed as a chewing tobacco product or as nasal snuff. Today, these smokeless product categories are very small. Tobacco products for oral use except those intended to be smoked or chewed are banned within the EU (such as snus) while chewing tobacco, nasal snuff, and certain other smokeless tobacco products are still allowed to be sold. In certain European countries, most particularly in central Europe and in the alpine regions, smokeless products enjoy greater use.

Asia and Africa

Swedish Match is generally not present in this region. Local variants of other oral and nasal smokeless tobacco ­products are consumed in relatively large volumes in certain countries. In Asia, local chewing products include products such as gutkha and zarda in India, and tobacco mixed with betel, for example in Indonesia. In North Africa, chemma is a widely used product. These types of products in Asia and Africa, unlike snus, often contain significantly higher levels of certain undesired compounds.

1) Source: Ipsos Sweden, Market Report, 2015.
2) Source: Euromonitor.