I've never been a smoker. I did the whole social smoking thing when out at a bar with friends, but that is the extent of my smoking history. Even when I would have just one cigarette when out having drinks, it was enough to make me suffer with sinus issues. In fact, all I had to do was just get around someone else smoking, and I would wind up with a cold.
Although I was never really a true smoker, I married a man who was. My husband Jason smoked unfiltered cigarettes for twenty plus years. I, being concerned for his health, tried to get him to quit many times, but it just never worked out.
I also did not like the person he became when he started to go through nicotine fits. He tried using American smokeless tobacco products, but the chemicals in them made his gum line recede, so he couldn't continue using them. Then, one day by some great stroke of luck, he discovered Swedish snus.
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."
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.
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