Containing 15mg of nicotine, it is the third strongest Swedish / Scandinavian snus on the market. I have inside information that it's status as king of the Extra Strong Snus's may change in the very near future.
But that still doesn't diminish the appeal of the General Ekstra Sterk. It's everything I'd hoped the General Sterk would have been. It's high nicotine, has the classic General taste but falls between the General Portion and General Onyx in flavor.
That's a slightly unfair comparison as the Onyx is a White Portion while both the General Portion and General Ekstra Sterk are Regular Portions. Never the less, the Ekstra Sterk has a slightly richer flavor than the General Portion and a salt taste more in line with the Onyx than especially the General White Portion: in other words, less salty.
I haven't spoken with anyone at Swedish Match yet but my strong hope (and with skruf stark coming out as a White Portion in February 2009) is that they will market a White Portion version of the Ekstra Sterk.
I like high nicotine / Strong / Stark / Sterk snus's in White Portion because they last longer. General Onyx is my current favorite black-white portion (still haven't figured that one out yet) but has only 11mg of nicotine. skruf stark portion is one of my favorites taste-wise and until now, the leader in nicotine with 14mg.
My only complaint, which to their credit skruf is very open about on their website, is that the skruf stark portion snus doesn't last very long.
ANYTHING lasts longer than the original General Sterk, but the skruf lasts less than most portion snus's. As I live with a portion (and soon a Pris of lös) of some variety of snus in my mouth from the moment I wake up until I pop in a portion at bedtime, and oral nicotine absorption stays in the blood-stream longer than inhaled cigarette nicotine, I have to watch myself on the skruf stark portion or my hands will be shaking by 10 AM.
If skruf can keep the flavor but extend the life in a White Portion Stark, it will give the General Ekstra Sterk a run for it's money........unless SM comes out with an equally exquisite White Portion Version. skruf stark and General Ekstra Sterk both in White Portions is going to be a battle to behold, but with no losers and we snus lovers the big winners.
After trashing the General Sterk (I don't know what they were thinking there either), I've found it does have a valuable niche in 2009. Camel SNUS especially has been on the market for a while now in the US and has essentially ruined the palettes of some unwitting new American Snus users.
While no American Snus user I know had any problem switching from cigarettes to Swedish Snus, some of those who have been using the watered down, sickly sweet, tobacco-less flavor of Camel or other American Snus's find the upper tier Swedish Snus's "too overpowering".
In other words, never having been exposed to what snus is supposed to taste like, they have grown accustom to the flavor of dog food and can't handle Filet Mignon.
One of the Swedish Snus's I recommend these poor souls try is General Sterk (not the Ekstra Sterk). The original Sterk doesn't last long but does last longer than most American snus's, the tobacco flavor is there, but mild and it does have that fleeting hint of blueberry. It's one of the good snus's for an American with distorted taste buds to start with.
I plan to do an article after Camel goes national with their new flavors (I'm still cringingafter my courageous and near-death experience taste-test of Camel Frost).I already have my coupon for a free can of Camel SNUS Mellow.
That article will be my recommendations, based largely on working with recovering Camel SNUS users and from feedback from the Members on SnusCENTRAL's forum as to how to gently but firmly help the American snus afflicted heal their taste-buds and wallets, as well as improve their health, by upgrading to the only verifiable Reduced Harm Tobacco Product available, Swedish Snus. Great taste; nicotine levels to suit every user, a Great value, and 98% safer than cigarettes.
We know why American Tobacco chose to ignore the 200+ year successful taste track record of Swedish Snus. It's in my article: EXPOSED: Why there IS a "Unique" American Snus Taste . And of course, in today's amoral corporate boardrooms, it's an evil reason based purely on greed.
But I'll save that rant for a future article....maybe not. I'm still trembling at the thought of using Camel Mellow and whatever other "groovy" names they come out with. Why Mellow? Does it put you to sleep? I'm really not looking forward to this, folks, but I do have an obligation to those 46MM+ smokers who are being duped.
And with SnusCENTRAL.org, they will have the resource I and many other early Snus adopters didn't have: ONE PLACE to learn everything about snus, interact with other Snus Users, easily find snus reviews of both Swedish and American Snus, scientific research studies, buy fresh, quality Swedish Snus at great prices, the latest industry news and legislative news: everything they need to be informed consumers.
Because unlike cigarettes, which we knew were dangerous, and light cigarettes, which we were led to believe were safer but in reality have been exposed as just as unhealthy as regular filtered cigarettes: so much so the Supreme Court has ruled that smokers may sue the tobacco companies for deceiving them into switching to light cigarettes, we were not informed consumers.
When it comes to the difference between the currentAmerican Snus and Swedish Snus, however, the difference is so great that what you don't know will cause millions of people to die or suffer unnecessarily.This time, being an informed consumer IS a matter of life and death.
And ironically, Swedish snus is not only much safer than cigarettes or the current American snus products, but it costs less, gives you more snus for your money, tastes much better, and has a selection of well over a hundred different varieties, as opposed to American snus's "here are your 2 to 4 low-nicotine taste options. Shut up and snus.....but keep smoking our cigarettes until they're banned".
Too much skruf stark......actually too much disgust at the total disregard not only Big Tobacco, but American Boardrooms in general have for the welfare of their customers these days. There is a difference between profits and obscene profits at the expense of your customer's well-being.
Big Tobacco, Big Banks, Big Mortgage; big business in general. No responsibility, no oversight, no morals...it's all about the money; both for the company and for the pockets of the people that run them. And now American Taxpayers are going to be stuck with $1.5 trillion dollar deficit bailing them out. Who will benefit in the end? Big Business doing business as usual while the taxpayers, whose median income is dropping like a rock, will be stuck paying the bills.
Enough: that's one of the reasons I wanted to move the Snus topic off The Unloading Zone. I have a passion for politics as well and that's where it belongs: on The Unloading Zone (unless it's tobacco or snus related of course). When SnusCENTRAL is up and running, I am going to do a long-overdue makeover of The Unloading Zone and discuss other topics there and snus here. I'm passionate about a lot of things.
But to get back on point, a very hearty Well Done to Swedish Match, not only for the General Ekstra Sterk, but for Grovsnus Svart, Claq Qui and more for demonstrating that Scandinavia and Sweden in particular know how to make REAL SNUS.....and along with the other Snus Manufacturers in Sweden, Gotland and Norway, demonstrate that you CAN make a quality product AND make a profit at the same time.
That's a lesson America has periodically forgotten throughout its history. Maybe because we don't teach real history in American Classrooms any more or Social Responsibility. I'm not going to even get into the EU's slamming Sweden every chance they get since the 1992 ban on Swedish Snus (while cigarettes are decried, but still out there).
They say those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. This time, we are repeating the same mistakes we made in the late 19th century and early 20th century. But this time, on such a scale we may never be able to fully recover. God Bless America AND Swedish Snus....and everyone in the EU except the Swedish Snus Haters.
Activist Snus Guru at SnusCENTRAL