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 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!
Nasal snuff is a finely ground tobacco powder. Meant to be inhaled via the nostrils, but not into the sinus or lungs. It just sits in your nostrils and nicotine is absorbed through the mucous membranes in your nose.
Snuff was first used, that we know of, by the Mayans. Brought to Europe by Columbus, and used at first by royalty, then slowly filtered down to the masses. Snuff was at one time as popular as pipe smoking. Kings, Queens, miners, farmers and U.S. Presidents have all used snuff. There are still, unused, snuff boxes in the U.S. Senate Chambers. Roderick, the owner of Toque Snuff has done a great deal of work putting together a history of snuff. Instead of me trying to paraphrase it, please go read it for yourself.
Welcome to Snus, Snuff and Stuff. First of all, a Thank You to Larry who, after some severe negotiations, has granted me a section of SnusCENTRAL to share my thoughts on tobacco, politics and other things that capture my ADD-riddled attention for more than a few seconds.
I found snus in May of 2008. I learned my daughter has asthma and that spelled the end of my smoking in the house. Instead of giving up nicotine, I decided to see what this new “spit-less dip” was. Triumph Original was my first, followed by Camel SNUS. They were just enough to whet my appetite, and caused me to search the Internet to find out what this snus stuff was all about.
Mick Hellwig is a Founding Member of SnusCENTRAL and a prolific writer. He has the most posts of anyone on the SnusCENTRAL Forum, but more importantly, he loves helping those new to snus and anyone else with a question.
He wrote a review on Discreet Snus worthy of the Larry Waters and Friends Snus Review Section a while back. He truly is an excellent and engaging writer.
Mr. Hellwig is also know for his opinions, his passions, and is not shy in expressing them. You may not agree with them; you may become one of his Legion of HELLwigers. One thing you will not be is bored or misinformed.
Big Mick, as we lovingly call him here, is meticulous in his research and has been a go-to for me on areas I'm not familiar with or if I need an objective second opinion.
Mick will writing on Snus, both Swedish and American, Nasal Snuff, and "stuff". I'm frankly not quite sure what the "stuff" is but it will tie into tobacco somehow...or maybe not. Big Mick is a loose cannon and I'm excited to have him firing away (as long as he doesn't hit my snus fridge!). His wife, Mrs. Mick, has already begun highjacking his column when Mick is asleep. Fortunately, she is an outstanding author in her own right.
Welcome aboard Mick (and Mrs. Mick too, it seems), and God save us all.
Politics and rationality sometimes make strange bedfellows. Bill Godshall is a decades-long Anti-Cigarette Lobbyist and Activist. We met in dueling comments on TobaccoToday. Make no mistake about it, Bill is anti-cigarette and anti-second hand smoke. We are also not of like mind when it comes to what he calls "progressive taxation" and I call "social engineering" or "punitive taxation".
While Bill Godshall is anti-cigarette, he is not anti-cigarette smoker. He does not subscribe to the "ban all tobacco products" mantra of the anti-tobacco extremists. About five years ago, Bill Godshall began touting the value of Reduced Harm Tobacco Products like snus, snuff and oral products like Camel Orbs and Sticks. He saw no value in forcing American smokers to "just quit"...nicotine addiction is real and so is the black market once a commodity desired by over 40 million American smokers is suddenly banned. Remember Prohibition and alcohol?
Bill and I had a marathon phone conversation and exchanged many emails since first meeting. SnusCENTRAL.org has always been about
The biggest problem facing snus in general but Swedish Snus in particular is education. For all practical purposes, the American Public is clueless on snus. Part of that is the industry's fault. Using the words Snuff, Snus, Smokeless Tobacco, Smokefree Tobacco, American Smokeless Tobacco interchangeably in the same paragraph confuses even myself some times.
Obtained from public sources: 29 Apr. 09
Not great news but not unexpected due to the market volatility surrounding the US tobacco tax increases. Highlights even more that mass cigarette smoker education is both the key to reduced harm snus expansion and the challenge in the United States.
Swedish Match is the largest manufacturer of Swedish Snus in the world with a 95% market share in Sweden. Snus Brands include General, Götborgs, Probe, Ettan, Nick and Johnny, Kronan, Röda Lacket, Grovsnus, Kardus, Catch, and Tre Ankare.
This article appeared in the March 1st 2008 edition of the Gotlands Allehanda.
The Swedish tobacco industry has been producing snuff in its present form since the 1800s and the industry has annual sales in the current situation billions. Today, the Swedish snus is in principle only for Swedes and Norwegians. Health hazards surrounding snuff are under constant debate, but researchers have long agreed that the risks of snus is substantially less than for smoking.
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