State Alcohol and Tobacco Company to Snuff Out Snuff Production Skip to content
nicotine pouches iceland
Photo: Golli.

State Alcohol and Tobacco Company to Snuff Out Snuff Production

Sveinn Víkingur Árnason, director of the State Alcohol and Tobacco Company, stated in a recent interview with RÚV that it is likely only a matter of time until snuff production in Iceland stops.

Read more: Insecticide With A Buzz

The production of snuff began in Iceland in 1941. Since then, the demographics of its consumption have changed significantly, including ever-younger users. Notably, the sale and production of chewing tobacco is illegal in Iceland, but snuff, ingested nasally, continues to be legal. Icelandic law also regulates the coarseness of the grain in snuff tobacco.

This has raised legal complications in past years, as surveys have shown that snuff tobacco intended for nasal use has been used predominantly orally.

Declining sales, nicotine pouches grow in popularity

The sale of snuff tobacco in Iceland peaked in 2019, when around 46 tonnes were produced and sold domestically.

Since then, the trend has been steadily downwards, with only 10 tonnes of snuff tobacco sold in 2023.

Nicotine pouches are also a significantly more economical option, averaging at around 40 ISK [$0.29; €0.27] per gram. Snuff tobacco sold by the State Alcohol and Tobacco Company goes for around 80 ISK [$0.58; €0.54] per gram. However, a major factor in this price difference is the fact that nicotine pouches and snuff tobacco fall under different tax schedules.

Another reason for this decline is the increasing popularity of nicotine pouches among young Icelanders.

“What we see as the reason for this decrease in snuff use is largely the emergence of nicotine pouches, and therefore we do not necessarily foresee a new balance being established. Rather, we expect this trend will simply continue,” Sveinn stated to RÚV.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!

Share article