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Indian Snuff post - from India - For beginners and advanced - a newbie's journey

Hello All, 

I would like to begin this post with a slight introduction to my snuff journey and also maybe collect and share some information pertaining to snuff users in India. I live in Mumbai and wished to share how it is like being an Indian and being a snuff user.

I began exploring snuff 3 weeks prior mainly to seek ways to quit smoking. I found videos on youtube and this forum with amazing information on Indian snuffs. I began seeking tobacco shops in my area which sell betel leaves, betel nuts and tobacco (thought that would be the obvious "go" place for snuffs). I just found 2 retail stores in my area and the only snuffs I was able to procure are the following:

1. Horse brand Joshi (my favorite among this list - really tasty snuff)
2. Sugandha Sagar rose (rose essence based snuff)
3. 5 photo Himalaya (menthol snuff) - I find this hard to use continuously since it blocks my nose most, perhaps due to the menthol rebound effect.
4. NB Madras (This is too strong for me as a beginner, and I don't like the taste much. As of now, I prefer snuffs with some essences / flavors. Perhaps I can use more when I am a little more experienced with snuff taking and general health and hygiene with snuff.)

It was sad to encounter that only the above were available and only in large tins (50 grams approx). They say that snuff consumption is not much and hence their shelves had these snuffs, with manufacturing date from a month or two prior. So I would say the stocks were semi fresh. It was sad to note that Europe and the rest of the world has more ready access to Indian snuffs than even Mumbai, but yes, my search and research is still ongoing pertaining to this procurement issue.

I contacted six photo and my first parcel is about to arrive which has snuffs from their entire range. I had a word with Vikas @sixphoto and it was great to speak to him. I am sure we will have more perspectives to share. He was surprised to be receiving an order inquiry from a standalone consumer, and it surprised me that not many people in India consume snuff. My reviews for the six photo snuffs might follow after my usage. Just can't wait to get my hands on them considering everyone's rave reviews about most of the 6 photo snuffs.

Users in India - my question to you is which are your favorite Indian snuffs and how do you procure your snuffs (brands, name, distributors?). Any specific information pertaining to snuff procurement in Mumbai? Any other things you'd like to share. 

Users anywhere else in the world - Your opinions on Indian snuffs are all over the Internet, but in specific, which Indian snuffs do you like the most? And which are the best Indian snuffs for beginners to medium experienced snuffers like myself? Anything else you'd like to share?


  • AamonAamon Member
    edited January 2017 PM
    I am relatively new to Indian snuff. I absolutely adore the three, 6 Photo snuffs I have tried, these are Cheeta, Special and Super Kailash. I have also tried Dholakia Black, Sparrow and Kamal which came in tapboxes so were very dry, besides the Black. I still have these three Dholakia snuffs still lying around. Though 6 Photo in my personal opinion are vastly different snuffs from the few that I have sampled. I have not mastered my fine snuff technique though found the Super Kailash and Special quite easy to take due their higher moisture content, while Cheeta blew my head off! Great Nicotine and a fantastic burn I have learnt to love!

    *Edit       I live in Australia with very strict tobacco laws and taxes, the only way it is possible to have access to snuff in Australia is to import your own. It is illegal to sell in Aus though legal to possess for personal use. Mainly due to an absurd outdated law passed in the 80's, specifically designed to target chewing tobacco yet nasal snuff has unfortunately been categorized into the same class. We pay around $763 on the Kg in tax plus 10% in GST.

    I buy all of my snuffs directly from MrSnuff which stocks a huge cache of different manufactures and snuffs at a good price. ( )
    Some of the 6 photo range are available in a huge range of sizes from 4g, 6g, 8g, 20g, 30g, 35g, 45g, to 150g. In a variety of packages from Tins, Tubs, pouches or sachets (in the small sample sizes)

    There are plenty of members here with far more knowledge and experience with these Indian snuffs, who hopefully can chime in. Even though I am new to 6 Photo range I plan to delve deeper into their range with my next few orders.
    I am also curious to hear what other members think of the other available Indian snuff manufactures and their products!
  • Thanks @Aamon. Yeah, waiting for my sixphoto shipment to reach me asap since I'm currently poor with choice among snuff which I don't really like all that much.

    Users are requested to also mention their location (country, and city if in India) for this discussion.
  • Havent tried any yet but am super excited to try some when pay day comes! and african.

    have only been going about a month myself and loving every pinch i can get me hands on :)
  • I'm curious to know whether retail outlets exist in Mumbai and you just haven't located them yet. When I was in Lhasa, Tibet, a few years ago, I found a good range of Indian snuffs readily available at a number of shops in the market. I was traveling overland to Kathmandu and assumed that there would be an even greater range there, just because it's so close to the sub-continent, both geographically and perhaps culturally. But no, couldn't find a single outlet in Kathmandu.

    I took some snuff in front of an Indian expatriate friend in Jakarta a while back. He confirmed that some brahmin cast people used snuff because of a taboo about putting something in your mouth, taking it out and putting it back in, which rules out cigarettes. Some older members of his family used it, being of a brahmin cast. So it's obviously available. I wonder whether the distribution network of the producers is mostly limited to a few states?

    My favorites are Dholakia White, Dholakia Sparrow, 6 Photo Cheetah and 41 Photo White Elephant. But they are all very fine, natural snuffs, a bit hard for beginners, so not what you said you were looking for.
  • I only have 6 photo 666 and 6 photo kaliash, Dholokia white, and 41 photo lilly from what I can remember. I think I'm missing one.

    The easiest to take out if my stash is the two 6 photo snuffs. Those are medium grind with a bit of moisture. The other two are dry and fine.
  • I'm UK based and my all time favourite Indian snuff is 6 Photo Kaliash. Very versatile snuff that can be both refreshing and relaxing. I'm also fan of Cheeta, which seems to have more going in flavour than the whites, whilst being easier to take.

    Dholakia are also fantastic, and I love both Sparrow and Black. I just wish they used tins instead of tap boxes.

    Indian snuff is very well represented and totally unique. Something I will be exploring more.
  • I'm in the US.

    I like the complexity of Khalish. I use quite a few Dholakia products, such as White, Black, Ganga and Madras Toast.

    White a class of its own. Hard to take because of the fine grind and dryness, but oh so good.

    Dholakia Black is a fairly moist snuff with a good nicotine hit. People say it has a barnyard smell. I would agree with that.
  • newbiesnuffernewbiesnuffer Member
    edited January 2017 PM
    Thanks for all your insights @Tekno @Psicko @Nulliverse @JosephJames

    I am still waiting for an Indian snuff user who can share more light on the Indian scenario, but I think I will be a lone wolf on this considering people don't know about this in my city and I guess Indian guys and gals prefer smoking as more acceptable form of nicotine intake (albeit also being more "stylish"). Also, people here are more a victim of being concerned by a "what the other is thinking" syndrome. 

    Thanks @JakartaBoy - Amazing insight on usage by brahmins! 
    I would love to think that there are retail outlets in Mumbai which I haven't explored or know about, but I really guess there is a little hope. The limited retail outlets here have no clue of the brands which you guys are raving about and seems they just stock some for the sake of it since they mainly have opened shop to sell tobacco and betel nuts and leaves (due to demand). Their knowledge in Indian brand snuff seems as limited as my knowledge in rocket science.
  • Snuff is similarly 'uncool' in the UK @newbies buffer! People generally vape their nicotine, or smoke. Most Brits of my age don't generally know what snuff is.

    That said, I'm extremely grateful for availability, variety and heritage the UK has regarding snuff. I'm interested in your journey of discovery India and hope you find some fellow Indian snuffers.
  • Jealous of you @Nulliverse :) and thanks for the good words. I hope I find some Indian snuffers with whom I can share as well. 

    Whats your age btw? I am 35. 

  • Last time I ordered, I just threw in a small tin of 6 Photo Special on a whim, mostly because I'd never tried an Indian snuff and wanted a bit of variety.

    I was blown away.  It was fantastic.  I burned through it faster than any of the other stuff I ordered.  I'm gonna order the 200g tin next time, and throw in a few others from 6 Photo to see if the rest is as good.
  • I have some Anarkali, Kailash and Super Kailash for occasional use. I don't use them often as they are a little messy to pinch (my preferred method), but these three are very nice exotic treats
  • Well, I guess there's a hope that snuff will become more widely used and accepted in the West, perhaps even "cool", and that Indians will pick up on it and revive their own traditions.

    Do you get a lot of people vaping over there? All the rage in Jakarta amongst the young middle class kids!
  • Well vaping is not that much used, partially since it is not legal in my state. Different states have their own prohibited sales agenda on tobacco and such products and the state I live in is one of them. The other reason people don't vape much is that cigarettes are more easily available. In a 1 km radius in a residential or office area there would be close to 5-8 vendors selling cigarettes. Buy yes, I haven't seen such scarcity of any other product as I have seen of snuff in and around my area - ironically.
  • @newbiesnuffer do you have any main concerns from ordering from an online supplier like MrSnuff or Toque? From my understanding these two companies ship to almost anywhere! They are reliable and very trustworthy I have never had an issue with either of them.
  • It is crazy how a harmful use of tobacco trumps safer ways in sales and popularity.

    I'm the same generation as you @newbiesnuffer - 36. In the UK most people our age don't what it is, and screw up their noses when they find out (whilst smoking their toxic cigarettes). You have to chuckle at the irony.

    Though Aamon makes a good point. Online snuff distributors provide an excellent international service.
  • @Aamon, it would a shame for someone in India to have to order Indian snuff from the UK! Apart from anything else, from what I saw of the prices of Indian snuff in Tibet, it would be dirt cheap in India. Dave has to add the cost of getting it to UK, then processing it at his warehouse, then shipping it back to India. There would have to be a better way.
  • @JakartaBoy I agree you make a fine point about Indian snuffs. Although on the other hand being able to try other manufactures from around the world and paying a little extra, is a small price to pay for access to other wonderful snuffs.
  • newbiesnuffernewbiesnuffer Member
    edited January 2017 PM
    @Nulliverse - I agree.

    @Aamon and @JakartaBoy - I agree with both of you. While its wonky to think I'll order Indian snuffs via the UK, I can definitely try to get some other ones which people rave about. I'd love to try some international brands as well :)

    The issue is that I don't prefer dealing in credit cards (dont have one as of now) and I'll have to check whether they accept net banking from Indian Banks. I'll check out whats possible. 
    Also, for Indian consumers buying from some place like Mr. Snuff in which I have to directly convert rupees to pounds or dollars, it comes to a HUGE (yes, in caps kinda huge) amount which is not justified for the quantity we get (the price vs value vs currency conversion argument).

    But my woes (for a while) are gone since my samplers of the range of Six photo have arrived! I'll let everyone know how it goes. Kindly keep this thread alive. 
  • Excellent @newbiesnuffer! Looking forward to your impressions.
  • @newbiesnuffer Perhaps there is a business opportunity in this for you. Have you thought of becoming a dealer for Indian snuff manufacturers?
  • @JosephJames, I don't know what Indian consumers are like with online shopping, but an Internet based business would be interesting, particularly if you could export from India to consumers abroad. There must be other Indians who'd like to access snuff. Even if it's a tiny percent of one billion people, it wouldn't be a bad market. Add the enthusiasts from abroad, and you might have a business.
  • Well, I noticed he cannot get snuff even though there are manufacturers in India. Sounds like a business opportunity to me.
  • USA.
     Black snuffs are about the easiest Dholakia Taj. 41 Photo himtaj , 6 Photo Anarkali, Kailash, Motia, and Special. all the Dholakia; Wow ,Temptation And Blast are pretty easy. Dholakia classic range are a bit harder. Sparrow is a challenge and the whites are most challenging and most rewarding.
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • @basement_shaman - Nice perspective. I too find the black snuffs easiest to take and more flavorful which I love. Maybe eventually I will like the harder variety. 
  • @JosephJames - I so wish I could - it would help me and others. Maybe I would if I would be independently doing my own thing somewhere. But since I am at a workplace, the ethics issue prevent me from taking anything up with a commercial advantage. Plus the time concern. As of now, I'd be happy getting all the access as a consumer and stock up :)
  • Great comments all around. I concur. I also have the Horse Joshi, Sugandsahar Rose, and a couple whose names I can't recall. My favorites are 6 Photo Kailish, Dholakia Taj, and Motia. I enjoy them all at one time or another. Thats great that you ordered direct from 6Photo. I Googled Indian snuff manufacturers once, and saw about 15 different companies pop up. Some had websites, others did not. None of them had shopping carts, sadly. I can only imagine that there are numerous brands that we never will get the chance to sample. But you're off to a good start at any rate. You might like to try some of the snuffs mentioned in this thread.
  • Good thread @ newbiesnuffer

    I am from Coimbatore, S. India. Dear Vikas of sixphoto kindly sent an assortment of his snuffs free of cost when I messaged him. Our interaction was mostly through message feature in this forum. Some of it ( I think he wont mind me sharing this in the forum)-

    "I am from Tamilnadu. We used to get a great variety of snuffs about 10 years back. But now only DS and MS brands are available. I think the habit is dying. I would like to try out your different snuff products very much. Can you make it available in Tamilnadu or at at least can you arrange to mail me a box or two? I am willing to pay for the cost of the product and shipment. Hope to hear from you soon."

    "Thanks for writing to me.I appreciate your interest in our products.

    Please send me your postal address.I shall be glad to send you a free sample box containing an assortment of different snuffs in 8 g packing."

    He wanted to know more about the snuff culture in my state in general and my snuff use in particular.

  • Continuation:

    "Right now in Coimbatore, the only brand available is DS snuff. I have been snuffing on and off for more that 20 years. Started off with Umbrella snuff, a dark not so fine milled snuff. Then after trying several brands (were available then!) like MS, NC, etc and several unbranded snuffs, stuck with TAS. Gradually stopped snuff went on to other ways of taking nic, like smoking and chewing tobacco. Always had a tin lying around. Started snuffing last year, scoured Chennai for TAS, alas couldn't find any. Settled for the next best- DS. I get my snuff from the wholesale shop in Coimbatore. They have two varieties, a light coloured strong snuff and a darkish mild, oily snuff. The dark snuff tastes like how Umbrella snuff tasted. I mix one portion of the dark one with three portions lighter one for a good balance of taste and strength but still don't get a proper dose of nicotine as I used to. 

    In Tamilnadu like elsewhere, the habit is dying. Thats why we have only one or two players in the scene. The age group of 50+ are the major consumers. Some of my colleagues have taken up the habit after seeing me take, but unfortunately they have not had the variety that I've had."

    "Your post made interesting reading.It is amazing to find such interest and knowledge in snuff outside of industry circle.Maybe because you have travelled a lot,  Travel certainly enriches ones life .

    It was also heartening to know that people down south are still interested in snuff, we have a few dealers in all southern states .The sale has been steady but nothing spectacular.I agree that snuff has not grown as well as khaini and gutka ,maybe its time will come.

    Regarding promotion of snuff outside India, you would be surprised to know that a lot of Madras snuff (NC,DS,etc) is exported to China and the USA every year."

    "Ha ha travel does that. I am fascinated with tobacco use and am an avid user myself. I also like to experiment with various products. 
    Never thought you are from Bathinda. Your parcel may reach tomorrow or the day after. Will give you candid feedback.
    Never thought you had dealers down here. Probably North Karnataka and AP. I observed many using dentifrice and snuff tobacco there. 
    I favour clean strong pure tobacco, hence, my fascination for TAS, Hope you have included your Natural Snuff. Remember having some perfumed black snuff long back. Didn't try again.

    But again your flavoured ones may surprise me! 

    Nice to know NC and DS is enjoyed abroad. NC is a very good product. Very close to TAS. Wish DS had a finer grind.  Don't get NC here though. Market forces and the manufacturer-trader cabal are keeping them off the shelves. A big loss to the industry as a whole I'd say."

  • Continuation: 
    "Hi Gokul !
    Did you get the sample box ?
    I'm eager to have a South Indian perspective on our products .
    And Best wishes for the new year !"

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