Last updated on Jun 23rd, 2021 at 11:55 am

Women around the world are putting tobacco and snuff inside their vaginas in the hopes that it will improve their sex lives

While many in South Africa claim snuff will make their vaginal opening “sneeze” and become tighter, doctors all over the world are warning women of the dangers of using tobacco as a sexual aid. 

According to, women are also using tobacco as a fertility aid, some with deadly effects for their much-wanted babies.

Does snuff really make your vagina tighter? 

Thousands of South African women share their saucy secrets to more pleasurable sex in women-only social media groups. Concoctions ranging from harmless night time drinks of warm milk with cinnamon and honey are shared with as much reverence as the more dangerous insertables like chalk and snuff. 

Many women have shared how snuff has improved their sex lives and made their vaginas tighter, but doctors say this temporary “pleasure” is actually swelling and inflammation.

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Dr Abdoulaye Diop, a gynaecologist in Senegal, where women have been using tobacco as a sexual aid for centuries, said the practice often had painful results. Speaking as part of a campaign to educate women of this harmful trend said inserting tobacco into the vagina caused pain, illness and even increased chances of some types of cancer.

 “These products often create ulcers which, by scarring, shrink the vagina, make it hard and can go so far as to close it completely. It can even make the normal flow of menstruation impossible,” he says.


It can be fatal

Smoking during pregnancy is a huge health risk for the developing foetus. Dr Diop says the effects may be even more severe when tobacco is applied directly to the vagina.

The nicotine can affect the babies birth weight, increase the chances of preterm labour. 

According to WebMD, nicotine increases foetal heart rate, increases the risk of stillbirth and neonatal death and birth defects, including lung defects. 

A woman in her 50s spoke to claiming she had struggled to fall pregnant until she started using tobacco. 

While acknowledging a large number of claims health professionals told the developmental science publication that there is no scientific basis for the claims, however, there was scientific evidence that the practice is harmful. 


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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.