It's that time again. While the USPS runs $3BB in the red, Congress has refused to increase the price of stamps, and as more of our mail mysteriously never makes it to the final destination, FDA's Tobacco Control Act (TCA) and BATF's Prevent all Cigarette Trafficking Act (PACT) continue to fight to keep all tobacco (including Swedish Snus but not Cigars) from being shipped via USPS. Did anyone at the Congressional Budget Office run the numbers to see how massive the amount of revenue this ban is costing the US postal service? It seems that cigarette and smokeless tobacco smuggling terrorists only use the USPS: they have never heard of UPS, FedEx, DHL, or even U-Haul.
Frankly, with the huge spike in missing (stolen) packages, gift cards, and credit cards that began in June and still continues, I don't think I would trust the USPS with delivering my snus orders anymore even if the ban were repealed. At a minimum, I would pay extra for their tracking number service but that might not deter all the thieves.
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.
The Road Trip to Sweden Series: June 2009, chronicals Larry Waters' diplomatic mission to Stockholm and Gothenburg Sweden. Swedish Match AB "suggested" he come visit them concerning the Joakim/Markus in "alleged" captivity issue and some other things. SnusCENTRAL in Sweden: it wasn't like the old Danish invasions of centuries past, but comes pretty close!
During our tour of the Swedish Match Gothenburg Snus Factory, we were shown a number of places we were not allowed to photograph. For example, this photo is from the upper level shooting down to the Gothenburg factory production floor.
In a diplomatic coup, we were allowed to walk the production floor and get a close-up look at a number of things like how the Star Formations are made and placed in the snus cans. I was actually inches away from the legendary "rewetting process".
Absolutely no pictures were allowed on the production floor. This wasn't necessarily bad as the next photo illustrates how one dresses for a clean room environment. At this point we had left the production floor and taken off our sanitary hats. I won't describe the disinfecting process prior to dressing and there are no pictures of that happening which I know of. I won't even tell my wife the procedure.
They didn't always tell us we couldn't photograph something, but there were many times that as I pulled out my camera, I heard a Swedish Match Security Guard unholstering and cocking his pistol. When I put my camera away, I heard the firearm decocked and reholstered. I caught on pretty quickly.
One of the rooms at the Gothenburg Snus Factory we were not allowed to photograph or film was the Flavoring Room. Here, rows of sealed shiny stainless steel containers labeled with each Swedish Match snus name made in Gothenburg and containing the particular tobacco mix used in that brand received the flavoring which make each so unique.
Any rational person reading the Kennedy/Waxman legislation President Obama recently signed into law would be aghast at how poorly written it was. The so-called Family Smoking Protection and Tobacco Control Act accomplishes neither.
It is no secret that Black Americans who smoke are overwhelming menthol cigarette smokers. By keeping menthol legal as a flavoring for cigarettes, FDA is not only mandated to save Lorillard Tobacco and Newport Cigarettes from extinction, but to condemn more Black Children to cigarette addiction.
The joke may be on Lorillard though, as Altria Group's Philip Morris USA; yes the same Philip Morris USA whose lobbyists wrote a large piece of Kennedy/Waxman, introduced a brand-new Marlboro menthol cigarette just days before President Obama signed the bill into law. This cigarette is specifically targeted against Newport and Reynolds Tobacco's Camel Crush.
Kennedy/Waxman, S. 982, HR 1256; all very innocuous names for one of the most destructive bills to American Health Care which ever slithered through Congress. Lets call this legislation by it's Official title: Family Smoking Prevention and Control Act. Really, I'm not making that up. It is the Official title of the Kennedy/Waxman legislation.
I'm not even sure why it is called Kennedy/Waxman anyway. Both Bills were substantially written by Philip Morris USA and extremist group Tobacco Free Kids. Add the US Congress which will pass both bills overwhelmingly and we have a NEW Axis of Evil.
NOTE: This is Part 2 of this series on Lorillard Tobacco. Be sure and read Part 1; Lorillard Tobacco: living in the past; ignoring the FUTURE, first.
When I spoke to Ronald S. Milstein; Senior VP, General Counsel, and former member of the Lorillard Tobacco Board of Directors in 2008, in addition to refusing to deny or confirm that Triumph Snus was now low nicotine, asked that I send him any further questions in writing and the Board of Directors will decide whether to answer them or not.
As flattering as that was, it was disappointing as well. Since Swedish Match AB was making Triumph Snus for Lorillard, I was a big fan of, if not it's taste and lack of nicotine, it's real reduced harm aspects. Even the taste was something I could get used to. It would never replace the Swedish/Scandinavian Snus Brands I loved, but I was considering Triumph as a backup bedtime snus. The undenied nicotine manipulation bothered me though. Typical Big American Tobacco. What also bothered me was that the LATEST Press Release on Triumph Snus was dated October 25, 2006.
Yes, Virginia, there ARE significant differences in the levels of Nicotine in Swedish Snus and American Snus. It has to do with profit and greed on the part of Big American Tobacco, versus giving consumers what they are asking for by Swedish Snus manufacturers. You can read why in a number of my articles, but THIS ONE boils it down if you're interested....and you should be.
SWEDISH SNUS NICOTINE LEVELS:
Swedish/Scandinavian Snus comes in 5 levels of Nicotine:
Ironically, Swedes prefer the Standard 8 mg. nicotine snus. It was the results of studies and consumer focus groups in Norway and the United States which led to the creation of the Strong and Extra Strong Swedish Snus's.
AMERICAN SNUS NICOTINE LEVELS:
Very little is known about the Nicotine Levels of American Snus as the FDA does not require American Snus manufacturers to disclose it. As of April 1st, 2008, here is all we do know and none has been independently confirmed:
What is emerging is a trend and very different marketing philosophy between America and Scandinavia on the purpose of snus.
American snus manufacturers are concentrating on making 1/2 gram products which are sweet, mild in flavor, low in nicotine, and short lasting which forces the consumer to use many more of their portions than they would of Swedish Snus. The American marketing drive currently is that snus is for when you can't smoke; not to replace cigarettes. The sell them as complimentary products since most of American Snus Companies also make cigarettes as well. The ones that don't are just following along.
Scandinavian Snus; rich in taste, high in nicotine, long lasting; is designed to replace the need for cigarettes. With pouches of most Scandinavian snuses now lasting over 2 hours as compared to the 10 to 30 minutes American snus manufacturers claim for their products, you will have to use considerably more American Snus to maintain your comfort level and will less likely to be able to give up cigarettes complete.
THE ARTICLE mentioned above gives you a quick, but thorough understanding of American Tobacco's motives. Also read the FAQ on TASTE. Drug cartels could learn from Big American Tobacco.
EXCLUSIVE Breaking SNUS News!
It appears that the second of the Top Three US Tobacco Companies has been caught intentionally cutting nicotine levels in their snus products to keep their brand loyal cigarette smokers from being able to stop smoking and switch to snus exclusively...or even possibly use snus to quit tobacco altogether.
The first attempt was by Phillip Morris USA and Marlboro snus. The second appears to be the third largest American Tobacco Company, Lorillard Tobacco Company and Triumph Snus.
There has been speculation of late the Lorillard is having second thoughts on their Triumph Snus product. Why they would even consider having second thoughts is a mystery to me. With the best value/only documented genuine documented American snus to truly be reduced harm (as it's made in Sweden for Lorillard), they should be blowing their competitors in the US out of the water. If they would only wake up and realize the position they are in!
Product quality certainly isn't an issue: Swedish Match makes it for them in Sweden to at a minimum, the strict Swedish Government Standards, and at best, to GothiaTek® standards.
This article appeared on the Convenience Store/Petroleum website about a week ago. At first I was stunned: then it made obscenely perfect sense.
After I regained consciousness, I went through the 7 stages of Corruption Disgust: Shock: Anger, How to Prevent this, Depression, Disillusionment, Hopelessness, and Anger again. I just couldn't bring myself to read the article again, let alone write about it. Now it's a week later.
I've been up all night working on a project and at 7:30AM, finally said enough. This got VERY little publicity and CSP is not exactly on the top ten most visited by people not in the convenience store industry. And you need to know.
Tweet to @Mr_UNZ
You must be logged into facebook to view this content