QUESTION: what do Red Seal American Snuff and Röda Lacket Swedish Snus have in common? ANSWER: At one time, they were one and the same!
To kick off my new column, I wanted to take a look over the course of the next couple of articles at the long history of snus in America. That's right- snus in America. You may be surprised to learn that snus has been here almost as long as it has been in Sweden, and it didn't just pop up overnight when RJR dropped the Camel SNUS bomb. The Swedes have been immigrating here, off and on, steadily for the last two hundred years, and they've always brought their snus with them.
Let's flash back a bit to my last article, American Moist Snuff versus Swedish Snus. In it, I outlined the difference between snus and dip, with a focus on Copenhagen and Ettan, which were both introduced in 1822. If you'll recall, Copenhagen was the first "dipping" tobacco manufactured in this country. It was derived from an old Scandinavian snus recipe. Unlike American dry snuff, the moisture content was pretty high in Copenhagen. The Swedes preferred their snuff "wet" since they wadded it up and put it under their lip.
I remember it vividly... I was about 14 years old, it was 2 AM, and I just couldn't sleep. I walked to my 2nd-story bedroom window and quietly opened it. Hanging out the window as far as I could, I stared out into a cold and snow covered New Jersey winter night, smoking a Camel Wide and wishing that I could sleep. I finally flicked the cigarette butt out into the darkness and climbed back into bed.
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