Wednesday, 16 June 2010 20:03

The Zen of Snus

Written by Mick Hellwig
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What little I know of Zen is based on old books, like “Zen and the art of motorcycle repair” and bits and pieces I’ve picked up over the years. What I do know is it involves being at peace with your Mick Hellwig - Zen Master of Snussurroundings and circumstances. Snus helps me do that.

Sitting here in my pitiful excuse for a man cave this morning, a huge pris of Phantom Blue under my lip, a steaming cup o’ Joe and Russian techno coming from the speakers, I am again amazed by the relaxing properties of my favored nicotine delivery systems. Snus and snuff have mostly replaced cigarettes in my life.  

I still sneak a cig every now and then, but they hold no power over me. They taste bad, smell bad and do not give me a content feeling. A General Extra Sterk first thing with my morning starter pot of coffee gets my blood and juices flowing. After about 10 minutes when the caffeine and nicotine get started, I am in a place of calm. Not something I ever experienced with cigarettes. I never liked Russian Techno music or hot tea before snus either.

Late in the evening, after a tough day at work or a day off filled with chores, sitting on my front porch swing enjoying a snus and ice cold beverage is one of my simple joys in life. When I smoked two packs of cigarettes a day I didn’t find joy or relaxation, just the need to smoke this one and get to the next project. I’m not sure if this is a function of my advanced years or the snus, but I’m only 42, so I’m betting on the snus.

I’ve learned a lot about snus in my 2.5 years of reading and using it. Snus is healthier than cigs, cigars and probably snuff. We all know that. The lessons I’ve learned that I feel the need to pass on are the mental aspects of snus. Like the points above about relaxation.

Also things like: Try every snus that fits the flavor profile you like and some that don’t. Just because everyone hates a snus, don’t pass it up. You may like it. Case on point, Level.

I avoided Level Snus for 2 years. Everyone except 2 or 3 guys I’ve ever heard about hated it. Said it was the worst snus ever made, not even worthy of being called an American snus. After it was discontinued a forum member here at SnusCENTRAL sent me a can in a trade. Guess what? It was pretty good.

Not a top ten in my book by any stretch, but a good solid basic snus. Tobacco, bergamot, salt all the ingredients in my favored snuses. Now I wish I had not listened to the naysayers. I despise Probe Whiskey portions and Elixyr. Honestly I’d rather use Camel SNUS than either of those. Both Probe and Elizyr have their loyal fans, and you might be one of them, IF you try them.

As of today I haven’t tried any of the Olde Viking snus, partly because I’m scared, partly due to the Budget Director saying no more snus and mostly because my pre-PACT stocking orders had no room for new and untested snus. This does not mean I won’t try them. Eventually. This definitely does not mean you should not try it.

Snus Ying YangAnother thing I have learned is most snus trades work out just fine. Most snus users especially the ones that are active on the various forums are good people who just want to help a person try new snus.  In the case of my latest trade, a person from the EU wanted to try some American Dip. I wanted some snus that he could get that I couldn’t. I’m really not worried about it arriving. It will show up and I’ll be like a kid on Christmas morning.

Because of snus I have met some of the best friends I have ever had in my life. If it wasn’t for snus I would never have met them. My lovely and long suffering wife teases me that I like a couple of them more than her. It’s not true, but I like to mess with her head.   ( I had to add that, she actually reads this stuff !)

My life would be much different without snus. I would still be hacking up large chunks of gunk from my lungs every morning. I would still be feeding the dual beasts of Government taxes and Big Tobacco.

Yes, I realize I still pay taxes on snus and snuff, but not even half of what I paid with cigarettes, partly because smokeless taxes are lower and because I use a lot less product. I smoked 2 packs a day, some days more. Even on bad days I rarely use more than ½ a can of snus.

I enjoy my tobacco now. I have met or know some special people that would never have crossed my path if not for snus. I enjoy the special quiet moments that would have been interrupted by searching for my smokes or my lighter or my spit cup. I can taste and smell the subtle notes of a good cup of tea.

One of my favorite smells is the air during and right after a rainstorm. It’s even more amazing to me now that I can smell it without the lingering burnt cigarette stink.

Is this Zen?  Probably not as defined by old oriental dudes, but it’s as close as I’ve ever gotten.



Snus Master

NOTE:  Yin Yang art was conceived by me, but required the services of SnusCENTRAL member AirOps to bring to fruition. Thank you again, my friend.

Read 3149 times Last modified on Saturday, 09 November 2013 03:08

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