What Is Snuff?

A few centuries ago, many people who used tobacco didn’t smoke it in a pipe or a cigarette.

Instead, they took snuff, a powdered tobacco that was inhaled through the nose. The nicotine in the tobacco was absorbed by membranes inside the nose, and then entered the blood stream.

Snuff was first used in England in the 17th century, and later became popular throughout much of Europe. Wealthy snuff takers kept their powdered tobacco in small boxes decorated with jewels or miniature paintings. Snuff was common in early America too.

Dolley Madison, the wife of President James Madison, was a snuff taker!