Mouth and nose tobacco – or snuff – is being bought in ever-increasing volumes, as well as smuggled into the country to a degree that customs cannot keep up with.
Snuff is more popular with Icelandic men than women, with older men tending to prefer the nose variety and young men preferring the mouth variety.RÚV reports that the use of snuff has increased by 25% from 2009 to 2011. This translates to 30 tonnes sold last year alone.
However, even this does not paint a complete picture of snuff use in Iceland, as much of it is smuggled into the country. Customs estimate that they have seized some 100 kilos of snuff that others attempted to smuggle into the country, and that this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the total amount being smuggled in.
Sigurður Benediktsson, director of the Dentists’ Society of Iceland, told Vísir that he found the trend disturbing. Snuff taken orally can be very damaging for the teeth – apart from the cosmetic aspect of yellowing teeth, it also damages the gums.
One-fifth of Icelandic males between the ages of 16 and 23 use snuff orally.
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