Written by Larry Waters Thursday, 07 October 2010 20:07
As part of my duties as Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States, my portfolio includes spreading the good news about Swedish snus and encouraging others to do the same. This recently brought me to the swank Last Chance Motel and Truck Stop outside Tobaccoville, North Carolina.
In a noisy, crowded press conference, RW Hubbard and Mick Hellwig unveiled the launch of a revolutionary new magazine for snuff, snus, and smokeless tobacco fans. The Snuff Taker's Ephemeris will release its first issue the end of October 2010. Foregoing the internet route and conventional wisdom, The Snuff Taker's Ephemeris is a print magazine; each issue running between 80 and 100 pages long.
Later that day while Mick Hellwig was still answering questions for the press while consuming copious amounts of snus and nasal snuff, I sat down with Mr. Hubbard in his luxurious penthouse suite and discussed The Snuff Taker's Ephemeris. Like all great ideas, this one started innocuously. "I was in Barnes and Noble looking for a magazine I could read at the doctor's office, and I found myself in the "Men's Health" section. It was strewn with cigar magazines, and I was lamenting the fact that there exists no publication about snus and snuff. I got home that day and called Mick, and within a week we had the whole thing up and running."
The Snuff Taker's Ephemeris - THE magazine for Smokeless Tobacco Enthusiasts
The focus of the magazine is Smokeless Tobacco: nasal snuff, snus, moist snuff and chewing tobacco. One thing I was really curious about since I learned of the magazine of few months ago was the name. In today's world of overpriced SEO specialists and tens of thousands of keyword and ranking guides, why had Hubbard named the magazine The Snuff Taker's Ephemeris? I still can't type 'ephemeris' without looking at it. His response not only serves as an explanation, but gives anyone reading it a taste of the tone and stature Snuff Taker's Ephemeris magazine will bring to the table.
Hubbard replied, "My friend and mentor, the late Tom Dunn, published a periodical titled The Pipe Smoker's Ephemeris. It ran for over forty years, up until his death in 2005. The magazine was stunning; he produced it entirely by hand at his desk for five consecutive decades and distributed it himself, mainly through word of mouth networking. Back issues are extremely hard to come by now; I've seen them sell for hundreds of dollars an issue (especially for the earliest numbers).
When Mick and I were still in the initial planning stages, I kept thinking "what would Tom do?" I decided that the ultimate tribute I could give the man was to name our book after his, hence The Snuff Taker's Ephemeris."
As lofty as the name way be, Hubbard and Hellwig know that the content is what sells magazines. Accordingly, they have assembled an impressive group of snuff , snus, and smokeless tobacco authorities and authors up to the challenge.
Hubbard is an impressive tobacco historian and author in his own right. Then there is his partner Mick Hellwig. Hubbard calls him the brains behind this operation. Hailing from the great state of Ohio, Mick works in the transportation industry during the day, but by night, he's a editor-slash-writer-slash-budding tobacco farmer. Heavily involved in the snus and snuff community, Mick's an all-around great guy and can be found most times over at SnusCENTRAL.org . He can be reached any time at
Hubbard, now joined by Mick Hellwig, introduced the rest of the contributing authors and staff.
Also from Austin, Micah Rimel, our new Managing Editor, is busy pounding out articles and blackmailing retailers into carrying our magazine. Just the other day, I walked into Micah's office and he was on the phone with a snuff shop that was hesitant about selling The Ephemeris.
"Look Carl," Micah spat, "All I'm saying is that if you don't sell our book, Mrs. Carl is going to receive some very interesting photographs in the mail of you and your secretary ‘hard at work.’ What's that? You want sixty copies? Excellent, Carl. Excellent."
Simon Handelsman is the world's foremost authority on snuff-boxes. He has a tidy little site over at snuffbox.com and has agreed to lend his talents to our magazine. Simon's articles will give us a professional tone that will hopefully attract even non-snuffers to our book, those that simply collect antique snuff paraphernalia and would like find regular print-work devoted to the hobby.
Bill Johnson is a 79-year old former tobacco farmer from North Carolina, who has enjoyed using tobacco since he was six years old. Healthy as a mule (and twice as mean!), Mr. Johnson currently smokes cigarettes, cigars, pipes and e-cigs, chews both leaf and plug tobaccos, dips and snorts snuff, and has recently began to experiment with Swedish snus.
Bill hates computers and steadfastly refuses to use one. But he was kind enough to agree to pen a monthly column (literally- on loose leaf notebook paper) that would feature his thoughts on all-things tobacco. I consider him the Andy Rooney of snuffing, and we are ever-appreciative of his presence.
Jennifer Goldsmith is a writer based in Montreal, Canada. When she's not busy writing or smuggling snus across the border, she takes care of two very fat cats. Her column "Diary of a Crazy Cat Lady" is a hoot and a half, and we're glad to have her on board.
Pat Hager, our newest recruit, dispatches to us from the rainy mecca that is Oregon state. Longtime members of Snuscentral will recognize him as phager76 on the forum. Pat is heading up our review section, and has been hard at work getting it to show some semblance of "organized" and "not completely, utterly insane." We wish him the best...
Pat is also looking out for a couple of guys to do the occasional odd review. The ideal candidate should meet the following criteria:
1. Have been snusing for at least a year (verifiable by forum participation, etc.).
2. Able to string along a couple of sentences and follow an outline.
3. Able to email said outlined sentences in a timely manner.
4. Be at least 18 years old and reside in the United States.
5. Though not mandatory, ideal candidates should be regular or occasional users of other smokeless tobacco products, mainly nasal snuff. Pipe tobacco, chew, or oral snuff experience is a plus. These candidates will be given precedence over other applicants.
David Thigpen, hailing from parts unknown, is a former editor of The Fortean Times and has a wealth of trivial information regarding weird tobacco anecdotes that will be put to good use in his column "Strange... but True!" Thanks, Dave."
Barring the Anti-All-Tobacco Zealots burning down the print shop, the first issue of The Snuff Taker's Ephemeris is scheduled to be released October 31, 2010. I look forward to it with great anticipation and so should you. It's about time people sititng in waiting rooms or spending time on their porcelain thrones will be able to page through a quality smokeless tobacco magazine.
Like Tom Dunn's The Pipe Smoker's Ephemeris, I have no doubt that in the future, early issues of The Snuff Taker's Ephemeris will sell for hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Why else would I be purchasing 50 issues of the premier issue as part of my retirement plan?
Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States
Reporting for SnusCENTRAL.org
CONTACT INFO: Snuff Taker's Ephemeris Magazine
For more information on The Snuff Taker's Ephemeris Magazine including press/media, subscription and advertising questions, contact:RW Hubbard
The Snuff Takers Ephemeris
P.O. Box 287
Spring Lake, NC 28390
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