Today we learned that Senator Ted Kennedy has died of a brain tumor. He was first elected to the Senate in 1962 and only two Senators in the history of the United States have served in the Senate longer. Politically, it was rare that I would agree with Sen. Kennedy on much of anything. That's water under the bridge now and I send my heartfelt condolences to his family.
How Sen. Kennedy was used; better said, abused, by Senate leadership and others in his final year, however, I find disgusting, unforgivable and in my opinion, criminal elder abuse.
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…
Dr. Brad Rodu is one of the pioneers in establishing that Reduced Harm products such as any form of smokeless tobacco including snus and Swedish Snus are, as he said to me recently, "virtually 100% less harmful than cigarettes".
He is also a very courageous man. When he began advocating snus as a way to stop using cigarettes and even all tobacco products, the University he was associated with came crashing down on him for being so politically incorrect. He survived but at a cost.
Dr. Rodu and the studies he published and/or participated in were the first concrete scientific evidence I discovered in my quest 3 years ago to learn as much as I could about Swedish Snus and it's affects on the human body. He is a personal hero of mine and I confess to a little gushing when he first contacted me.
Virtually unknown is the fact that Brad Rodu's work is soon to be validated. Phase III double-blind Clinical Trials on Swedish Snus began in 2008 and should conclude in 2010. My next article will detail the Phase III trials in yet another of my humble string of exclusives.....OK, I'm not so humble.
Below are the contents of an email I received from Dr. Rodu recently and the contents of a letter he sent back in 1994. I think you will find both fascinating.
President Obama today signed the Kennedy/Waxman so-called Family Smoking Prevention and tobacco Control Act into law. The new tobacco law neither helps family smoking prevention or controls tobacco. This law is an embarrassment of favors to Philip Morris USA, other tobacco special interests groups, and an attempt to pander to the anti-tobacco zealots. It's very flawed; it didn't have to be; and we will pay the price.
The following is from the Official White House Website. Normally, we would just post a link to the article but since the Government doesn't advertise on their sites and our tax dollars pay for the US Government Websites, We're bringing the White House to you.....
American Snus:: This section I'm going start with American Snus. Why? It's quick, simply and will highlight the significant philosophical difference between American snus manufacturers/tobacco companies and Swedish snus manufacturers. American snus only appeared in 2006. American Tobacco Companies have modeled their snus offerings on they way they marketed Cigarettes: Philip Morris USA's first snus offering, Taboka, came in regular and menthol. Taboka was test-marketed in Indianapolis and failed.
Today Marlboro snus is offered in Rich, Mild, Spice and Mint. Camel SNUS is offered in Original, Spice, and Frost...new flavors announced for 2009. Skoal Snus, the latest as of this writing, is mixing it up a little, but with only three offerings: Citrus Blend, Mint, and Cinnamon. Triumph, marketed and flavor-designed by Lorillard but made for them in Sweden offers Original and Mint.
All American Snus's to date come in some kind of dry pouch, period. They only offer one weight in a pouch, period. Since all the American Snus manufacturers are still test marketing and none are available nationally (Klondike says they are national, but most people can't find them. Camel SNUS is scheduled to nationally marketed 1st Quarter, 2009) there are others out there, and they seem to be following the same model.
Swedish Snus: With it's over 200 year history, hundreds of family snus recipes, some long gone, some still here, and new ones being created all the time, both flavor variety and consumer convenience of use has had centuries to mature and variety is a important component of Swedish Snus.
For the sake of convenience, I'm going to use the current inventory of SnusCENTRAL.com, our store for Members and others to Buy Snus as an example. (What? Throwing in a Free Advertisement? Of course not....well maybe.)
When you Buy Snus from SnusCENTRAL.com, you will find over 109 unique flavors and varieties of Swedish Snus; growing all the time, from a host of manufacturers! Not just the 3 or 4 generic categories American Snus Manufacturers seem to think is all Americans need....or deserve.
Swedish Snus comes in not one form like American snus, but three primary forms: Loose, Portion, and White Portion. American Manufacturers (and I'm purposely not talking about the Swedish-Style American Manufacturers: they get their own FAQ) do not offer Loose Snus...just your choice of a few cans with different flavored pouches.
Loose snus is just that: snus in a can. The user, either by hand or with a tool, forms what's commonly called a pinch to the size of their liking and places it between the lip and gum. Many say there is a taste difference between Loose Snus and Snus that comes in pouches, which we're going to referring to as Portions when talking about Swedish Snus.
As to pouches, Swedish Snus is available in two types: the Original Portion pouch which is very similar in construction to a tea bag and the newer White Portion pouch.
QUESTION: Why do American snus manufacturers call the packets they put their snus product in "pouches" and the Swedish call them "portions"?
ANSWER: With American Manufacturers, you only get one choice on the amount of product that is in their pouch. The Swedish give you three portion sizes to choose from based on your personal preference: Mini, Regular, and Maxi. These names refer to the weight in grams of each pouch.
That's important to remember because Camel SNUS, by weight, would be considered a Mini. Yet by the way the constructed the pouch, it actually felt larger than a Swedish Regular Portion, to the point it where it was uncomfortable....at first; then the nicotine and sugar center of my brain over-rode that too.
In fact, with the exception of Triumph which is made for Lorillard in Sweden, all the American Manufactured snus pouches I've seen would be consider Mini Portions at best. Remember that when you read the FAQ on who gives you the most for your money, Swedish Snus or American Snus. Very, very important.
So when it comes to variety, both in flavors, brands, choice of how and how much snus to use, Swedish Snus gives you the widest possible selection for YOUR convenience. They don't try and force you into an A, B, or C choice of flavor and leave it at that.
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