Dear Tobacco Sirs and/or Madam(s),If you are considering making a product called “snus”… Don’t! Please do not follow the path of RJ Reynolds, Phillip Morris USA and the rest. Do not market a product called snus altered to fit American tastes and intentionally very low in free nicotine. Many hundreds of thousands of Americans like snus as it has been made for over 200 years. If we wanted sweetened, flue cured, oral tobacco we already have a wonderful thing called dip, snuff, or more accurately American smokeless tobacco. Snus should not be sickly sweet. Snus should be either a tad salty or a lot salty depending on other flavorings. If you want to make American style smokeless tobacco, then do that and call it what it is. What I have seen from you on the American market so far is not real snus, regardless of the name on the can/tin/stupid plastic envelope. If you plan to make “snus” at least buy as much advice, training and equipment from people in Sweden who have been making pasteurized real snus since 1822. Denmark is a good role model too. Then follow through and don’t screw it up in practice as is the case today.
The tobacco industry is one of having one's ducks in a row while jumping through hoops. The one constant, as it is in any mega-corporate environment, is that a bad idea, if well-placed within the organization, can turn into company policy. Worse yet, it can turn into a brand, or affect a brand's performance. This can happen despite repeated research, and is often justified by economic models which can take something fuzzy like "brand equity" and quantify it into a five-year marketing plan.
The snus business is awash in fiction paraded as fact, both in terms of what has occurred since Sweden's smaller independent snus companies were gobbled up by Big Tobacco.
A few months back, I commented how Philip Morris USA and Marlboro Snus had impressed me. The people at PMUSA must have read my remarks, recoiled in horror, and immediately changed gears. After all, if Larry Waters liked it, something must be wrong!
Here is a great example of how Big Tobacco loves the Press. Though this one was a bit obvious, keen observers should begin watching for more articles like this. It's like the old art of "Kremlinology." Read between the lines, and watch where the leaders are standing on the podium.
Here's one about how tobacco companies' 'high hopes' of helping smokers quit with snus may be dashed due to the results of an 'authoratative' study.
In this morning's Richmond (Virginia) Times-Dispatch, there is an article by David Ress called "Study: New products may not curb smokers' cravings."
It is quite clear that US Big Tobacco is interested in keeping smokers hooked on cigarettes. I have discussed this in a previous article. In a nutshell: They want you to smoke, but also are offering snus products for when you can't due to local laws, restrictions, or out of consideration for others. "Your cigarettes may get jealous" according to Camel SNUS's website.
Now, with the FDA on board, and snus poised to be submitted under the 'Reduced Exposure' categorization, what a great time for a paper in PM's hometown to say snus is already a failure in that category? Why? Smokers can only be satisfied by smoking!
On the morning of July 2nd 2009 (GMT 1), both Swedish Match AB (SMAB) and Philip Morris International (PMI) had issued press releases confirming that SMAB had agreed to sell their South African operations in the form of Swedish Match South Africa (Proprietary) Limited (SMSA) to Philip Morris International [NYSE/Euronext Paris: PMI] for a purchase price amounting to 1.75 billion ZAR (the South African Rand.)
According to Forex Rates on July 3, 2009 11pm GMT, this would translate into $226,390,500 USD, slightly more than "roughly $222MM most often quoted in the press. Regardless; in either Rand, Dollar, or Krona, not a small chunk of change.
In browsing follow up articles to the Press Release on both the wire services and in other media, I was disappointed to find they provided little more than rehashes of the SMAB and PMI press releases.
The all-important WHY would SMAB sell SMSA, WHY would PMI be interested in buying SMSA, and most importantly to me, HOW does this affect Swedish Snus.....they were never addressed or even speculated on in the canned wire reports. More lazy journalism.
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.
When is CAMEL Snus NOT Camel SNUS? When Camel Snus is made in Sweden by Japan Tobacco International (JTI); not by R.J. Reynolds in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
SnusCENTRAL.org, the most comprehensive snus website on the planet, revealed today that two high-ranking Swedish Match AB Officials have accepted sanctuary at the SnusCENTRAL Command Bunker which is located at an undisclosed location somewhere in the United States. Swedish Match AB is the largest manufacturer of Swedish Snus in the world as well as being an industry leader in the manufacturing and distribution of cigars, American smokeless tobacco, pipe tobacco, and matches/lights.
If the below article had appeared in a California newspaper, it wouldn't have surprised me or even really held my interest. Google "crazy, insane, fascist, wacky laws and ordinances" and a picture of California comes up.
But this article was in the Business Section of the Dallas Morning News. Not to say that the City of Dallas is not anti-smoking; far from it. But the tone of the article, especially the quotes, is what really took me aback.
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