There are currently two major trade shows for the tobacco industry. One of these is Tobacco Plus Expo. This years TPE was held in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 3rd and 4th. They say that "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas". As far as snus and reduced harm/modified risk tobacco products go, this show should have never happened at all; in Las Vegas or anywhere else.
Attendance was down at Tobacco Plus Expo in 2009 compared to 2008. This was blamed by some on the show being in New Orleans which despite the scars of Katrina, is still a beautiful and haunting city to me.
Since Las Vegas is still the convention capital of the United States despite President Obama's pleas to Americans to "stop wasting their money in Las Vegas" (or even on vacations in general), the hosting city could not be blamed for the low turnout of both exhibitors and attendees.
I am not a huge fan of the holiday season. The shopping, the expectations, the bad food,the family members that I tolerate once a year just to keep Grams happy. I have never really been into Christmas, except when my kids were little. The look of joy on my eldest's face when she unwrapped a toy vacuum cleaner at the tender age of 2 was priceless. She played with that thing more than the, shall not be named, expensive, giggling puppet she got that same year. I don't put up lights on my house.I don't wear goofy sweatshirts with festive motif's. I have been known to wear a used bow on Christmas day, but only under protest.
This has been a tough year at the Hellwig household. Medical issues, job problems, car problems, teenagers... all conspire to make me forget what "The Holidays" are all about. Leaving aside any religious connotations, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are about our loved ones. Up until about a week ago there were going to be no presents under the tree for anyone in my family. The last week of November my car died, to the extent of needing a new engine. It was cheaper to junk it and buy a beater to get us through, well the beater needed more repairs than I thought. There goes the Christmas fund, snus and snuff fund and a few other meaningless funds. Back to Bah! Humbug!
While perusing the latest FS&S catalog I saw a blurb for Discreet snus. I wasn’t looking for snus; I was shopping for whole tobacco leaves (which are another topic). Discreet snus, I thought, great another Americanized bastardization of my beloved Swedish snus. Do these arrogant Americans have no shame?
I freely admit my first taste of snus was one of those “Americanized bastardizations” of snus. Namely Camel SNUS (RJR version 1). I do have a soft spot in my heart for those mini, tasteless, overpriced, sugary treats. Without them I would still be a cigarette smoker and never have known the wonderful goodness of true snus. Said soft spot is not soft enough to buy more of them, but still…
I originally wrote this article on May 18th after the Tobacco Plus Expo in New Orleans. There just wasn't something right with it which kept me from publishing this article. I came back to it a few times but still didn't like it. Today, I realized what was bothering me, fixed it, and updated the article. So six weeks after version one, here it is for your reading pleasure!
According to sources which the SnusCENTRAL Intelligence Agency is blackmailing, SnusAB, the Swedish Snus Manufacturer which produces Grand Prix Snus for Liggett Vector, is bankrupt. This would certainly put a crimp in Grand Prix Snus distribution. Bad fortune for one can be good fortune for another, however. If SnusAB is folding completely or going through the Swedish equivalent of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy may be irrelevant to Liggett Vector. This could be their golden opportunity to revitalize the brand into something competitive.
As a police escort led my armoured limousine down Canal Street towards the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, you could still see the signs of Hurricane Katrina. Scattered condemned buildings; other homes and buildings still under reconstruction, but it was still New Orleans. Cracking the heavily tinted, bullet-proof window as we passed a group of restaurants, the mouth-watering aroma of Cajun food filled the limo. The old cemeteries with their beautiful, yet haunting mausoleums stood as though Katrina had never happened. It was good to be back.
Today was the opening day of Tobacco Plus Expo 2009; where tobacco and tobacco products manufacturers, distributors, retailers and VIP's like me gathered together, quoting the Show Directory, "Where relationships are established and business is done".
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