UPDATED: 1 Feb 2013: Prior to 2007 and Camel SNUS Frost, there were virtually no mint Swedish snuses available (menthol aside). Swedish Match was the first to challenge the US success of Camel Frost with their own General Dry Mint Mini Portion Snus.
As I stated at the time, General Mini Mint stomped Camel Frost into the mud, demonstrating Swedish snus superiority over Reynolds and to date all American pseudo-snus imitators. Over the last five years, an explosion of mint snuses hit the market from all almost all the Swedish snus manufacturers.
I began wondering just how many variations of spearmint, peppermint, and wintergreen snus could be created without all these snuses just blending together as a mint blur in the mind of the consumer.
Aside from the Jakobsson's mint snuses which I find sweet to the point of distraction, the differences were becoming much more nuanced between competing mint snuses.
V2 Tobacco A/S, the largest snus manufacturer in Denmark, announced this morning their decision to discontinue Nordströmmen Brandy Alexander Loose Snus and Phantom Classic Medium Portion Snus. While no reason was given, low sales volume is the usual reason for pruning the product lines.
In the case of V2, the delistings could also be a result of Snus Master Marc Vogel wanting to reduce his workload in order to spend more time in his lavish office.
Early this morning, the European Commission submitted their final version of the long awaited new Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) to the European Parliament for consideration. If adopted and followed as written, Swedish snus as we know it will be illegal even in Sweden under the new tobacco flavoring ban. e-Cigarettes containing more than an extremely low (and ineffective) amount of nicotine would also be banned EU-wide.
All other forms of smokeless tobacco containing characteristic flavorings would also be banned within the EU. As EU Commissioner Tonio Borg puts it "tobacco products should look and taste like tobacco products and this proposal ensures that attractive packaging and flavourings are not used as a marketing strategy."
The new TPD ignores science and proven facts while selectively pulling words and sentences together in order to paint the picture these pro-Big Pharma, Anti-Swedish Snus extremists prefer. For example, at one point the press release reads "The proposal has been adopted following extensive consultation of stakeholders including a public consultation which generated 85,000 responses."
What was conveniently left out was that by a large majority, the 85,000 responses were in favor of eliminating the Swedish snus ban.
The new TPD also codifies that nicotine containing (in any quantity) or other Big Pharma smoking cessation products (including the extremely dangerous Chantix/Champix anti-smoking pills known for causing deep depression and a number of suicides) were not subject to the limitations or restrictions other more effective MRTP products such as snus and e-cigs would be.
Last week, Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet revealed unpublished new restrictions the EU planned to impose on Swedish snus in the next EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). Foremost were a ban on all flavorings in tobacco products and a requirement that smokeless tobacco including Swedish snus have a minimum tobacco content of 85%.
Swedish snus has a tobacco content of around 50%; the other 50% being primarily water. Add the EU 85% tobacco content and a ban on flavorings including bergamot and this would truly be the end of Swedish snus as it has been know as for hundreds of years.
In fact, other than nasal snuff, only cigarettes would qualify as having a low enough moisture content to meet that regulation. I do hesitate to say cigarettes contain 85% tobacco since God knows what else is in the floor sweepings used to fill cigarettes.
Christian Engström, member of the European Parliament for the Swedish Pirate Party, issued a press release yesterday entitled EU Commission Refuses to Present Facts Behind Snus Ban. It is based on and includes his letter to the EU Commission asking specifically what scientific evidence did the Commission have which validated their continued refusal to lift the EU Ban on Swedish Snus. It also included the EU Commission's response which boiled down to essentially "Well, everyone knows that. There are studies everywhere."
Predictably, the specific evidence/studies MEP Engström asked for were never supplied. That's because every honest person who is knowledgeable on this subject knows that there is no true scientific evidence to support banning Swedish snus.
Oh, there are studies out there claiming that Swedish snus is no safer than cigarettes or razor blades, but they are heavily colored with implication, statements taken out of context, statements attributable to tobacco products other than Swedish snus, falsehoods, and outright propaganda.
Stockholm - At 11:00 AM (GMT+1), less than an hour and a half from now as I begin writing, Swedish Match AB will officially open their Snus Store/Snus Experience/Snus Museum/Cappuccino Bar and who knows what else snus at Kungsgatan 3 in Stockholm.
Lars Dahlgren, CEO of SMAB will be on hand to welcome guests and answer questions. If you are an American visiting Stockholm today, you may want to drop by, have your picture taken with Lars, and ask him why General Onyx and Grovsnus Svart, both black portion snuses sold in the US for years, having been absent most of 2012 for what I'm told is a black dye issue with FDA.
If that is in fact the issue, perhaps he could "encourage" the SM R&D Team in Gothenburg to prioritize a solution.
If it is a regulatory issue, perhaps someone in Legal could explain so even I could understand why two snuses which were grandfathered as they were sold pre-PACT Act/pre-Tobacco Control Act suddenly are considered new products to FDA.
I would ask him nicely though, since both General Onyx and Grovsnus Black will be available in the Stockholm store and you could stock up while visiting. The last thing you would want is to be banned from the store for acting like a soccer holligan.
For Americans who have only recently discovered the wonder which is REAL Swedish snus, General Onyx Black Portion Snus is the very top of the line product in the General Snus line. It is a real treat for General Snus fans...except you can't order it from the US anymore.
One thing Mr. Dahlgren will be able to offer you is fresh Swedish Match snus of all kinds; not just today but every day. The Swedish Match Snus Store will receive a brand new fresh inventory of snus every morning prior to the store opening. Any snus remaining from the day before will be removed from the store and returned to the factory.
If you see any Kardus Cincho 2012 on the shelves, grab it quickly. The SnusCentral Snus Shop ran out yesterday and there is no more is available. Only 600 boxes were produced as is the tradition with Kardus. This year's Kardus is not only very tasty, but rather high in nicotine. It's after 3 AM in my time zone and if I didn't have a large prilla of Kardus Cincho under my lip, I would have fallen asleep by now.
Marcus Carlsson, a very important person at Swedish Match, has been working feverishly with his team to prepare the snus store for the Grand Opening....in about 45 minutes from now. I'm sure the Sunday Swedish newspapers will be full of details concerning the store I can't even begin to imagine. I look forward to reading all about today and getting a first hand narrative from Marcus who will hopefully be relaxing on a beach somewhere by Monday.
Thanks to Marcus and the SnusCIA, you the reader will beat the public in seeing the interior of the Swedish Match Snus Store in Stockholm. These three interior photos of the store were taken about 14 hours ago and have not been released before now.
Congratulations to everyone at Swedish Match on this exciting Grand Opening. A visit is first on my list the next time I'm in Stockholm....if Lars hasn't permanently barred me because of my General Onyx digression.
Sorry. I'm working on an article about General Onyx so those questions were on the top of my mind. I'm also drinking heavily as I write this; a SnusCentral tradition both here in the Texas SnusCentral.org Bunker and in Lidköping at the SnusCentral.com Snus Store.
Time for a fresh prilla of Kardus Cincho and to get this article published before 11:00 AM in Stockholm.....2 minutes from now!
Enjoy your Fresh Swedish Match Snus!
LARRY WATERSSwedish Snus Ambassador to the United StatesReporting for SnusCENTRAL.org
Back on October 11th, the SnusCIA revealed that Swedish Match was preparing to release a new General Snus which will be big news in Sweden because it will be the first General product in the market with a new flavor added to the original recipe.
Unfortunately, the SnusCIA article continued with the analysis that this new General snus "couldn't just be a mint snus for Sweden". How wrong (and embarrassed) they turned out to be. The revolutionary new General Snus product is General Classic Mint White Portion snus.
My first reaction on hearing the news was confusion; was this just General Large Mint White Portion snus with different can graphics? Fortunately, the SnusCIA redeemed themselves a little by smuggling sample cans of General Classic Mint out of Sweden.
V2 Tobacco A/S released three new White Portion versions of Thunder Extra Strong snus today.
Combined with the recent release of Thunder White RAW Frosted Ultra Strong portion snus, that brings to four the number of white portion snus releases; the most at one time in the history of V2 Tobacco.
Today's new releases include:
Thunder White Frosted Extra Strong Portion Snus
Thunder White Cool Mint Extra Strong Portion Snus
Thunder White Wintergreen Extra Strong Portion Snus
Both the Thunder White Cool Mint and the Thunder White Wintergreen are classified as Limited Editions. They may or may not become permanent members of the Thunder Snus family depending on snus consumer demand.
White portion snus does not go through the re-wetting process as does Original/Regular/Wet portion snus. This means that while internally moist, the white portion pouches are drier than conventional portions. This makes the portion color white; hence the name 'White Portion'.
White portion snus generally takes a little longer to start running and the flavor intensity is designed to be slightly less so. By releasing their flavor a little more slowly, white portion snus lasts longer with a consistent flavor in your mouth than found with most wet portion snuses.
White portion snus is more difficult to manufacturer than original portion snus, especially on a large scale. Swedish Match invented the white portion and their proprietary production process and offers a number of well-made white portion snuses.
The number and especially pouch quality of white portion snus made by most other snus manufacturers has been fewer as a rule and with mass produced quality less successful by varying degrees compared to the Swedish Match white portions.
When V2 Tobacco was planning their new state-of-the-art factory, quality white portion mass production was very much in their minds. Millions of USD were spent to achieve this goal. The result of this goal is four new quality white portion Thunder snus additions between September 23rd and today.
All three of the Thunder White Extra Strong Portions contain 16mg/gram of nicotine and have the same flavor profile as their regular portion predecessors. Thunder White RAW, an Ultra Strong nicotine snus, has a nicotine level of 21mg/gram.
The complete Thunder Snus collection; both regular and white portion, are available at my personal favorite snus store, the SnusCentral.com Snus eStore. (not a paid commercial endorsement. SnusCentral.com Manager and Snus Legend Moe Unz doesn't pay for anything, the cheap bastard. He even stuck me with the bar tab last time I visited Sweden).
There are basically 3 periods during the year when Swedish snus manufacturers make major product introductions. We are in the midst of one now culminating the end of October. Keep you eye out for more snus excitement!
Enjoy your Snus !
There is lots of news to report about Swedish Match this month running the gamut from exciting to unfortunate to infuriating.
On the good side, we have two new and long awaited snuses to talk about; one from Lab Series and one from Nick and Johnny. Swedish Match is also bringing back a popular Catch Collection snus and a new can design is being unveiled for most of the General snuses.
On the sad side, we will be saying goodbye to one of the General snus products; at least until 2013 or perhaps forever.
On the legal front, Swedish Match Distribution is trying to enforce a labelling standard for the other manufacturer's Swedish snuses they distribute in Sweden. This is not sitting well with JTI Sweden and Skruf; not at all.
Charles D. Connor, President and CEO of the American Lung Association, testified before a Senate Sub-committee on Military Funding that "tobacco is an enemy of combat readiness". Connor should know because, states the ALA press release, "as a retired Navy Captain he has seen first-hand the health risks posed to our service people by things like tobacco use and exposure to toxic pollutants in the field of battle." Here we go again: pushing to ban ALL tobacco products by using the effects of just cigarettes (and battle field generated toxic pollutants) as justification.
On rare occasions, it's good to be me. The most recent example was having VIP access to the Maxim Pool Party at Revive Uptown in Dallas on June 30th. Thanks to General Snus and my being a Member of The General's Club, I was able to walk around all the beautiful people lined up at the velvet rope auditioning to be allowed entry.
As soon as I mentioned General Snus, we were personally escorted to second private entrance. Our names were checked, blue VIP wrist bands were quickly applied, and we were off to the luxurious General Snus private cabanas.
I mention all this not to impress you with my well known celebrity status. Everything I described above happened because I was a Member of the General Snus General's Club.
You don't have to pay anyone off or have a bloodline going back to the Mayflower to become a General's Club Member. Just go to generalsnus.com, suffer through the government-imposed age verification button click, and once on the site, click on the link to join The General's Club.
20 Jun 2012 - Thanks to an electronic listening device planted in Patrick Vogel's office, SnusCentral.org has learned that two of V2 Tobacco's snus offering are being delisted. Production of Offroad Coffee Supreme portion snus and Thunder Coola loose snus has been ended. Once retailer and V2 warehouse stock is depleted, these two snuses will fade into V2 snus history.
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