I have comment moderation enabled on both The Unloading Zone and Snus Central (not on the SnusCENTRAL Forum) not in an effort to censor, but with over 250 articles going back years, I want to make sure I read all ofthereader commentsand could respond if warranted. I appreciate the time people take to writetheir commentsand want to make sure I return that effort by reading them.
Recently, I checked Comment Moderation on The Unloading Zone and found three identical comments: two listed as Anonymous and one which identified the Author as Dennis Neal. They were posted on different Camel SNUS articles I had written. At first glance, they were so outrageous that I couldn't believe they were legitimate. As our back and forth continued, I realized they were. The resulting discussion is fascinating as it settles around the increasing difficulty now-long-term users of American Snus face when trying to better their lot by upgrading to Swedish and Nordic Snus.
While Mr. Neil is certainly more colorful in his opening remarks, the sentiment of his comments is becoming more common the longer American Snus is available. It also a highlights a danger current Swedish Snus users, including myself, must take care with: that in trying to aid and educate American Snus Users, we don't come off so strong or as elitists, thus driving away the people we are trying to help. Our goal is not singing to the choir, but making the choir larger.
For that reason, I felt it important to beinto an article. It was also appropriate to make it a two part article as the tide of the conversation subtly changed (for the better).
And so, for your reading pleasure, Camel Snus (the devil) and Swedish Snus (daniel webster) as played my Dennis Neal, Mr. UNZ, and a supporting cast of posters, Part One:
Dennis Neal said...
I went ahead and tried some of your hyped-up Swedish snus. The stuff smells like tea bags that a dog took a leak on and that were shut up in the dark for a week, and the taste is miserable.
I vastly prefer the clean tobacco smell of Camel snus and the satisfaction it gives in the nicotine department. I went into the Swedish snus with an open mind and anticipation, but as stated above, find the product miserable and disgusting.
February 8, 2009 12:31 PM
Dennis also stated, posting as Anonymous...
I went ahead and followed the links to the Swedish snus and tried a sampler pack with an open mind and anticipation.
Let me say this: the stuff smells like tea bags that three dogs took a leak on and that have been shut up in a dark warm place for a week. The taste is miserable.
I vastly prefer the clean tobacco smell and satisfaction provided by Camel snus over the putrid mess that they are selling in Sweden. Thanks for trying to hype this product, but it is just miserable and probably unsanitary.
Mr. UNZ said...
Dennis, all I can say is thank you for a good belly laugh after a long day! I did post your numerous near-identical comments on all my Camel Snus articles you submitted them for. How long have you been working for R.J Reynolds...or are you interviewing with them and your incredibly silly comments all over The Unloading Zone are part of your resume?
If the latter is the case, I truly wish you good luck. The job market is VERY bad nationwide and any port in a storm..so long as it's legal. Camel SNUS is still legal..for now. As are cigarettes...for now. So good luck with the interview and I hope your repeated comment lands you the job. Honestly!
If the former is true and you do work for R.J. Reynolds, say Hi to Susan Ivey and the gang for me. I really do admire her vision, if not her solution. She was way ahead of the pack on this one. I still can't figure out Camel Orbs though..unless they are a throw away to keep that disgusting, can't taste any tobacco, over-priced, have no clue what's in it, made me physically ill, Camel SNUS.
I really shouldn't address your comments but I'm still laughing and my General Ekstra Sterk snus is still going strong..after an hour (unlike Camel SNUS whose website accurately states it lasts "up to" a half hour.) I'll pretend to take your comment seriously and address some of the points you try and make.
1. Someone with your last name living in Norfolk did buy a Swedish Match Tasting Kit on January 9th from SnusCENTRAL.com so I'll assume it was you or for you. Hmmm. Hurts my "employed by R.J. Reynolds" argument it seems. On the other hand, your blog profile states you are in Government Public Affairs. The tobacco industry does have a huge lobby in Washington.
On the other hand, like so many Americans sadly, your palate may have been spoiled by long term use of Camel SNUS. I mean that seriously; read my article on SnusCENTRAL.org (not .com) about the secret to the " American Taste " in snus. It's sugar, just like cigarettes. Anywhere from 8% to 18% of a cigarette is sugar. I describe the effects in detail in the article, but that's why American Snus is so sickly sweet. Sugar. And lets not forget nicotine addiction. American Snus manufacturers have a documented history of manipulating nicotine levels to keep you using their products.
2. Swedish Snus is regulated as a Food Product by the Swedish Government. It is the most sanitary, Government-monitored, tobacco manufacturing process on the planet. That is documented and no one on the planet disputes it. Not even R.J. Reynolds.
To this day we have no clue what is in Camel SNUS, how it is made, how high the carcinogen level is, or how safe it is. I do know two things: Camel is emphatic on the snuscamel.com website that you must not EVER swallow the pouch. Why? What is it made of? We don't know.
You are correct in calling the Swedish snus portion a tea bag. It IS a tea bag. Same material. Not advisable to swallow, especially on an empty stomach, but not dangerous. I have no idea what the Camel pouch or any other American Snus pouch is made of. They won't tell us.
I know from experience if I break a Camel Frost pouch in half, what comes out looks more like dirt than tobacco. More disgustingly, when I did break it in half, it was as if someone sprayed room freshener in my face: The smell was choking and lingered in my office for about 5 minutes. Try it. What do they flavor Camel SNUS with anyway? We don't know because they won't tell us.
3. You are correct Swedish Snus smells entirely different from American Snus. What you forget is Swedish Snus is REAL snus with a 200 year history. Camel SNUS was only invented 3 years ago.
What you call a "clean smell" is to a real snus user, clean as in scented air freshener. To a real snus user, American Snus smells artificial and choking. Especially Camel Frost. I don't know which SNUS you prefer; I'm assumingFrost because it's their most popular.
I wish you had visited our Snus and Smokeless Tobacco Information and Social website, SnusCENTRAL.org, before buying your snus.
Assuming you are legitimate, there is plenty of advise for American Snus users on how to transition to real snus. You could even go on the Snus Forum and ask for advice from the Members...and read their Snus Stories. A good many of them, like myself, discovered Swedish Snus through Camel SNUS so you would be in good company.
If you are a Camel SNUS user for any amount of time, the Swedish Match tasting kit you chose would have been like going from a White Owl cigar straight to a Cuban Cigar. The tastecould be too strong for you.
First of all, the kit you bought consists of Regular/Large snus's. While much cheaper than Camel SNUS, they actually weigh almost twice as much: 1.0 gram as opposed to Camel's 0.6 grams.
Notice I said weighs and not "has almost twice as much snus in it". Why? Because we have no idea how much tobacco is in Camel SNUS. We both know that it is dry while the Swedish snus is moist...Swedish snus is generally 47% to 50% water. And that's how snus is SUPPOSED to be.
I would have recommended you start out with aflavored Swedish Mini Portion. Swedish Match makes a Mini Portion specifically for the American market called General Mini Mint. We can't carry it because our Snus Store is based in Sweden. It is available over-the-counter at 12 tobacco stores in Virginia and 2 in Washington DC. Hopefully, we'll have access to it as well. Our Snus Store may be based in Sweden, but the majority of our customers are Americans.
The Mini Mint is the same weight as the Camel SNUS and is much sweeter than I personally like, but you would probably really enjoy it. Mini Mint was designed to be an upgrade for Camel Frost users.
Perhaps your...angry, inaccurate, yet colorful comments stem from feeling cheated out of the price of the tasting kit you purchased, I can relate. I've thrown out some Swedish Snus's I just didn't like the taste of and wasn't happy about it. But unlike Camels three take-it-or-leave-it SNUS choices, there are well over a hundred different Swedish Snus's. Experimentation is to be expected....and enjoyed!
Conversely, I threw out every brand of American Snus I tortured myself with in order to do the taste test on American Snus. In fact, I still have three cans of Skoal Snus; all three flavors they make, that I just can't bring myself to put in my mouth.
I may change my mind years down the road and that's OK. Skoal and Marlboro snus do not require refrigeration, do not have expiration dates, and are designed, I believe, for nuclear war survivalists. The Skoal Snusshould taste the same 10 years from now as it does today.
If this is not yet another R.J. Reynolds propaganda attempt, then I do owe you an apology and I really do feel for you. When I did the taste test of Camel Frost, I spit out the first portion in horror. But I forced myself to keep using it and only it for the taste test. No Swedish Snus.
Nicotine is insidious especially when combined with sugar to induce a glucose high as well. While the first portion was disgusting, by the 6th portion it wasn't quite as bad.
True, I had to chain-snusCamel Frostto keep my nicotine cravings satisfied and because it pooped out after about 15-20 minutes, buy I actually began thinking if the PACT Act (HR 1108) was re-introduced in Congress this year, passed, and I was cut off from imported tobacco of any kind (except cigars), that I could survive on Camel SNUS. That was until I had a bad reaction and became very ill.
It was then I realized I was putting something in my mouth which consisted of something of which I had no idea. I'm diabetic: maybe it was the sugar. Maybe it was a coincidence. But I never experienced that feeling before and I never did again as I immediately stopped using the Camel Frost. Who knows? Because THEY WON'T TELL US WHAT'S IN IT.
Arrogant? Corporate disdain for their brand-loyal customers? Absolutely. Read my interview with the SVP and General Counsel of Lorillard where he outright refuses to confirm, deny, or discuss the nicotine levels of Triumph Snus and the information I had that they were manipulating the nicotine levels.
Unfortunately, mega-corporations from the banking industry to the tobacco industry still feel they are exempt from ethics.
Americans who, like me, never heard of snus until Camel and Marlboro began test marketing are being duped. Having no frame of reference, American Tobacco is attempting to lead us down a health, financial, and taste road built on lies and slick marketing. In short, as of today, American Snus is a sham. A Scam. It's not criminal but it should be.
And as a loyal Camel SNUS user, you should be careful what you say about Swedish Snus: Camel goes out of their way in trying to link SNUS to Swedish Snus even on the new snuscamel.com. Didn't you ever wonder why? Don't ask R.J. Reynolds: THEY WON'T TELL YOU.
Sincerely yours (if you're not scamming me),
Mr. Unloadingzone at The Unloading Zone; Mr. UNZ; Activist Snus Guru, at SnusCentral.org (and .com)
February 8, 2009 12:35 PM
Dennis Neal said...
Sorry for the double post; I am not used to moderated blogs -- they run against my libertarian grain. I thought my post had just disappeared.
Anyway, no, I don't work for R.J. Reynolds (or any other tobacco firm) and am not fishing for a job for them. I was just being honest about my impression of Swedish snus versus Camel snus.
If you can point me toward some decent Swedish (portion) snus that doesn't smell like dogs leaked on it (yes, it was me who ordered the Swedish Match tasting kit ... what ELSE do you know?) I might be persuaded otherwise. I'm just a non-smoker trying to indulge an otherwise pleasant habit, and disgusted by American dip (and so far, Swedish snus.)
February 9, 2009 5:13 PM
_______ Click HERE to Go To Part Two of the Great Snus Debate _______