NOTE: I plan to pose this question to a qualified Rav. But first I am trying to think through the relevant issues to get a sense of how one might pasken this.

My question is regarding whether snus would be acceptable for use on Pesach without certification.

  1. Snus: Snus refers to a small pouch of tobacco that one puts between their gums and lip. A tin of snus contains 15-20 of these small pouches. The snus in question is produced in Sweden and the ingredients are regulated there as a food product. The standard ingredients are: tobacco, water, salt, propylene glycol, sodium carbonate, and "flavoring". By weight, the flavoring represents a minute portion of the total ingredients.

Despite the flavoring, only a long-term user would actually say that a snus "tastes good". Likewise, a tin of snus does not smell good, despite the flavoring - it gives off a musty tobacco smell. When someone used snus, they want the tobacco, the flavoring is just window dressing that makes the taste palatable or more interesting. Notably, "juice" from a snus pouch sometimes drips out during use and enters the user's mouth. This is typically swallowed because it is a very small amount, but this is done only for convenience sake, because the "juice" tastes quite bad. A snus pouch is typically discarded when this begins to occur.

The closest I can find to my question being addressed is via the CRC's position on chewing tobacco during Pesach. They hold that chewing tobacco "contains flavors and other sensitive ingredients" and thus requires certification. I believe the OU's position on chewing tobacco during Pesach is essentially "no comment". Chewing tobacco and snus are not materially that different. One important difference would be that chewing tobacco is produced in the US, and almost anything goes in terms of what ingredients/flavors get put in. In Sweden snus is regulated as a food product and its ingredients are much more limited and "pure".

Relevant to my question is that for the user, abstaining from snus during Pesach would be detrimental to his Oneg Yom Tov and Shabbos. As such, the goal is not to be machmir if there is sufficient room to be meikil.

I am also curious about this question vis-a-vis the nicotine pouch product Zyn. This is essentially the same as snus except nicotine salt is used rather than actual tobacco.

  • You would do best to contact snus manufacturers with a list of ingredients prohibited in any amount on Pesach and ask if their product contains any of them. Sadly there has been no snus in EY since around Sukkot as the manufacturers have not yet found a way to comply with the Israeli government's olive-drab plain packaging laws – Josh K Mar 10 at 20:26
  • What would you consider to be "a list of ingredients prohibited in any amount on Pesach"? Wheat, spelt, barley, oat, and rye? – Yaavetz Mar 11 at 21:06
  • Yes, @Yaavetz, exactly. Also a list of kitnyiot if the user refrains from consuming kitniyot. Peruse this 14-year old thread on the KfP status of (nasal) snuff to get an idea what I'm talking about: avodah.aishdas.narkive.com/UrF6ym8O/… – Josh K Mar 11 at 21:32

What did the rabbi say? I found a kolel's website in Lakewood where the rabbis say Nicorette, Equate gum, and Snus are kosher. I really want to know about non-tobacco nicotine pouches like Velo, On!, or Zyn. I've asked a few rabbis but they have never heard of these types of product and won't say without knowing what the "flavors" in the ingredients lists are.

  • 2
    Please add a link to this Kolle's website. – Efraym Mar 26 at 3:10
  • 1
    Did you mean to answer the question? If yes it would help to provide sources to back up your answer. If you want to ask a different question, do it through the Ask question button on top right of the site. – mbloch Mar 26 at 3:31
  • I'd also like to see a link to this Kollel website. The rabbi I consulted with said not to use during Pesach. There is a concern that the unknown ingredients may contain chametz and we are machmir on chametz during Pesach (i.e. chametz is not bittul b'shishim). – Yaavetz Apr 15 at 16:51

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