Alex presented another perspective which brought Mr. UNZ up short. It opened a related issue Mr. UNZ had criticized years ago....and now was guilty of himself! Taking a deep breath, he switched from the excellent General Ekstra Sterk snus he had been using all night to the even higher nicotine and excellent tasting Thunder Snus. He paused. Could the sweat poring down my face be a result of lack of sleep and too much nicotine? Nah!
Here is the final installment in this historic Camel SNUS versus Swedish Snus Great Debate. It even has a happy ending!
Mr. UNZ said...
Thanks for coming back, Dennis!
A Libertarian in Public Affairs? Well, that's certainly refreshing. If you scanned any of my non-snus articles, you know that I've never been accused of being a liberal.
In fact, that's one of the reasons I decided to move the Snus topic to it's own website: I didn't have anywhere to write political, gadget, or articles about other things that interest me. I am passionate about snus since it allowed me stop smoking after 30+ years.
I do hate the bill of goods being sold to the 46MM Americans who still smoke by Big American Tobacco. I do hate that for 30 years, I thought it was purely my choice to smoke and that I knew all the risks. I am angry and feel betrayed about what I have since learned, especially about RJ Reynolds since I was a Camel cigarette brand-loyal customer since the early 1970's.
It became a mission for me to educate the nicotine-addicted so they could at least make an informed choice. If I didn't live in one of the few cities where Swedish snus was sold over the counter, I probably would never have stopped using Camel SNUS. I would have been overpaying for less of an inferior product which was a snus in name only..if not with Camel, with another American Snus brand.
As for comment moderation, I don't censor comments...obviously. I have over 200 articles on The Unloading Zone going back years. Without Comment Moderation, I would never know you or others had taken the time to comment. I not only want to read your comments but to respond to them in most cases. As a general blogging rule as I'm sure you know having your own blog, the number of comments compared to the number of hits per post is a small percentage. I value each comment.
As to what ELSE I know, rest easy that I'm only assuming you have a blog since you have a Blogger Profile. You don't list the name of your blog or have a link to it in your blogger profile. You used your Blogger profile in your last comment. Otherwise, I would have no idea what your name was or the information you do have in your profile.
As to your Snus purchase from my Snus Store...SnusCENTRAL.org AND SnusCENTRAL.com are my sites. It's no secret and I've talked about it on SnusCENTRAL.org. The .com site covers my costs. I have a Snus Store because my vision; as published on the About Us page of the .org site, was to be able to offer a full service website for everything snus. I have news, commentary, snus reviews, a free snus classified section for the Members to trade snus, research studies, videos, a forum (which I read but is unmoderated) AND a Snus Store.
Since SnusCENTRAL.com is my Snus Store, I receive copies of all orders as well as all correspondence to the site. If there ever is a customer service issue, I personally make sure it is taken care of over and above what is required. I value my customers too.
Since you generously did provide your profile and did not hide behind Anonymous, it occurred to me half way through my original response that I could validate or debunk your comment by seeing if you did, in fact, purchase a Swedish Match Testing Kit from me. It turned out you did. I could have deleted the first part of my response but decided against it. I don't edit myself either, even if it stops me from looking like a complete ass.
RJ Reynolds is a regular visitor to my sites and have in the past had numerous people who didn't realize my analytics could drill down to the server name, leave propaganda comments.
Even knowing they were bogus, I still published them. I did respond to reveal they were plants however. The only comments I don't publish are spam comments with links to Viagra, pornography sites and the like. I respect my readers too much for that.
The downside is I admit to a bit of paranoia when it comes to American Snus comments that are so far out of left field that seemingly the only explanation is propaganda. I've been wrong before and as I said, an apology may be in order in your case. I do apologize.
When you asked what ELSE did I know, I know what you're really asking. As is published on the .org site, I intentionally do not have access to credit card information. We don't keep that.
If you would like to see what information I do receive concerning an order, I would be happy to forward you your order copy.
With all that out of the way, lets talk about Swedish Snus, Camel SNUS, and you.
Since you're a non-smoker and hate American dip (I share your feelings on American Dip and Chew. I wrote about it once; don't remember the article.), then you are one of the people who I advise not to use any kind of snus and try Altoids or another similar product.
Nicotine addiction is not fun and even with snus, can be terribly inconvenient. Swedish Snus is documented to be 98% safer than cigarettes but there is that other 2% which is primarily because the product contains nicotine.
Since I can't even advise you to use Swedish Snus unless you are already nicotine addicted, I certainly can't encourage or recommend any current American Snus. Klondike and Nordic Ice ALMOST were the American Snus's I was hoping for but have since publicly stating they have abandoned the Swedish Snus manufacturing techniques they previously embraced and now use a process "like" Swedish snus. RJ Reynolds does the same thing. And so does a small Scandinavian snus manufacturer, formerly called Wise; now called Oomph. I don't recommend them either.
The reason I'm so vehemently against American Snus; talking now only about the health issue, is that the consumer has no idea what they are putting in their mouth. Some American Snus's are just as carcinogenic as dip and chew. That doesn't mean that an informed consumer in America today should be prohibited from using it: it just means they should be making that decision knowing all the pros and cons.
American tobacco companies.. the most blatant being R.J. Reynolds; go out of their way to, in my opinion, to mislead consumers. Read my series on American Smokers being made Fools of by Big Tobacco. If you don't have a day to kill, just read Part 3 on Camel SNUS.
Back to you. If you don't smoke, never used dip, and prefer SNUS which has no tobacco taste; I'm not sure if any real snus will appeal to you. At the risk of blowing $5, I would still suggest you visit a local tobacco store which carries Swedish Match and try General Mini Mint. It was specifically designed for the American market.
ONE THING: Like I did when I was reviewing American Snus and especially Camel SNUS, you can't quit after one portion. It took me 5 or 6 portions of Camel until I started becoming used to the difference versus Swedish Snus.
With Triumph Original, people talked about a peach taste. It wasn't until I almost finished the first can that I could taste it.
The Triumph Mint was much to sweet for my taste until half way through the first can. In fact, if it wasn't for the nicotine manipulation, I was even considering it as a backup bed-time snus (it's in my article on Triumph and Lorillard).
Nicotine and Sugar can over-ride taste-buds and common sense, given enough time.
If you can't do that with the Mini Mint, then don't spend the $5 dollars. If you can, stop using SNUS at least the day before, use the Mini Mint without using the SNUS for 3/4 of the can. If at that point you like it, then try a SNUS pouch and then a Mini Mint portion. If you still are totally committed to the SNUS, then you are a SNUS user.
That's my opinion. You may want to check with the Member Forum as many of them have come from SNUS. They may have other suggestions.
If you are not nicotine dependent yet and can stop SNUS or Snus entirely, then I strongly recommend it. You are not the demographic with should be using any tobacco product. Reduced Harm (in the case of Swedish Snus) does not mean 100% safe...only 98% less dangerous than cigarettes.
For nicotine addicted cigarette smokers or dip/chew users, Swedish Snus is Heaven Sent! We can snus at work, in bars, at ball games, on airplanes, anywhere: completely discreetly.
In American society today, going from cigarettes to Swedish snus is not only a liberating experience, but a very tasty one with as much nicotine as we want or don't want. From a health standpoint, we know what's in it, how it is made, how much nicotine is in it, in most cases what the carcinogen level is, and that all the flavorings are natural.
American snus....who knows?
Mr. UNZ (when talking about snus)
Activist Snus Guru
February 9, 2009 10:33 PM
Howdy Mr UNZ,
In regards to Dennis' posts I'll say what I have in the past. The Camel snus is so sweet it's like cotton candy so if someone uses the Camel and likes it the Swedish, while superior, is just too strong for them. It's hard to call the Camel snus because it is in no way similar to the Swedish products. I was able to get used to the Triumph mint and it's pretty good but I don't use the Triumph the same days I use the Camel or it's too strong. I have to get the Camel taste totally out of my taste buds for a day. I only use Camel because I haven't paid for any in at least 6 months and I have 4 tins of it now. I don't know what's going on but Camel continues to send me 1-3 coupons for free tins of snus every week. As I said this has been going on at least 6 months.
February 9, 2009 3:53 AM
Mr. UNZ said...
I responded to Dennis's comment under the 'Camel Snus?? Dear Lord, Have We Got Work to Do' article. As usual, my response was an article unto itself :-).
I wish I had read your comment first. I could have cut my response by a third by just posting your comment underneath mine! In fact, I may take Dennis's comments and all the ones that followed and turn it into an article. I think it deserves to be one.
Hope you are enjoying SnusCENTRAL! Thanks for staying with The Unloading Zone too.
February 9, 2009 11:18 PM
Howdy again Mr UNZ,
Anyone that thinks Camel "snus" is superior to Swedish snus must have been abducted by aliens and zapped with a stupidity ray, twice. The Swedish product is not only far superior but as you stated the portions are much more generous. I'll take 25 of those moist Swedish 'tea bags' any day over the 15 dried out little bean bags of Camel. These people have no clue as to quality or taste. The only taste Camel has is that of sugar. As I stated it's tastes like cotton candy, almost like pure sugar. Other than that there is no taste. So these Camel fans must be sweet freaks. I've stated I use some Camel because I get coupons for free tins of it weekly and I like a sweet fix sometimes. I would not pay for the Camel. That has to be the biggest rip-off of any tobacco product on the market. Five bucks for 15 of those tiny dried out sugar pouches, are you kidding me?
G'day to you Mr UNZ.
February 10, 2009 3:19 AM
Mr. UNZ said...
Hi Again, Alex!
I enjoyed your colorful comments on Camel SNUS. I hope you are posting them under Member Reviews>American Snus>R.J. Reynolds. I know everyone else would enjoy them too!
I don't believe Dennis was hit with a Stupidity Ray though. There is a difference between stupidity and being uninformed. SnusCENTRAL was not only designed for those of us who already love Swedish Snus. You and I had to struggle to find factual information on Swedish and American snus in the beginning.
One of my biggest goals was to be that resource for the 46MM+ Americans still smoking cigarettes and people whose only snus experience has been American snus. Almost all these these don't know what to expect from real snus.
Dennis pushed the envelop a little as he seems to be a non-tobacco user before SNUS. I stand by my advice to him: if he's not nicotine addicted yet, don't use any snus from anywhere and go with mints or sugar free candy.
I received another comment yesterday (which I would have totally missed with Comment Moderation, Dennis).
This gentleman is a 10 year American Chew user whose friend in Sweden convinced him to try General White. He was also concerned about the smell. Unlike Dennis; probably because he was a long-time Chew user, while he didn't love the General White, he didn't hate it either and was going to press on with other Swedish Snus's.
My response to him is below his comment.
Both he and Dennis reminded me why I was doing this in the first place. I wanted a place for all snus users to be able to find information, share information, and be able to interact, not just with me like on The Unloading Zone with my IM widget, but with all the Members.
What I didn't want though, was it to scare off people new to snus thinking we were a bunch of snus elitists. Our love and experience with Swedish Snus can lead to us attacking the wrong people.
My beef is not with someone like Dennis: It's with R.J. Reynolds, Philip Morris USA/Altria, Lorillard, Nordic American, Skoal and all the rest who disappointed me. It's also with European snus manufacturers like Wise/Oomph.
People like Dennis and the Chew User I mentioned are why I do this. If Marlboro Snus were replaced tomorrow with Philip Morris 1847, I would be the first one promoting it and them. I WISH American snus was something to be proud of. I'm sad and yes, very angry that it's deliberately not.
Helping newcomers to Swedish snus and snus in general become informed consumers without having to spend weeks searching and verifying each conflicting piece like we did when we first started using snus is as important to me if not more so in some ways than preaching to the choir.
Personally, I couldn't agree more with your very clear depiction of Camel SNUS. However, that's our personal taste. We were fortunate enough to have discovered Swedish Snus before American snus had been available for very long so our taste-buds weren't ruined.
I've said many times but for the grace of God and a Swedish Match tobacco retailer being 5 minutes from my house, I would be using Camel SNUS or some other American Snus today. Nicotine.
If in the end Dennis or anyone else just can't kick the American Snus habit, at least they know the facts now. That's a lot more than we could say when we started...at least me! :-)
The Member Snus Review Section for American snus is not only for negative opinions. Dennis or any of the other writers of pro-American snus comments are welcome and encouraged to share their thoughts publicly on SnusCENTRAL.org. They are not going to be hunted down and force-fed Swedish Snus until they recant.
I admit I'm better at that as Mr. UNZ than I am as Mr. Unloading Zone. Maybe because The Unloading Zone was designed for a different purpose...my opinions on everything; than SnusCENTRAL was.
The Members there picked that ball up too. Our Forum is extremely helpful to new snusers or American snusers. That Snus Guy's Review comparing Camel SNUS to Swedish Snus WAS unbiased despite his personal feelings. And factual.
That's one of the reasons I'm so glad to have him: I could never write a review like that. Well, I could but it would be incredibly hard.
Our styles of writing are very different which is another reason I'm so glad he came on board. I want as many different perspectives as possible..as long as they're not just secret propaganda from a snus or SNUS company. I even allow and encourage propaganda as long as the author identifies that they work for a particular snus manufacturer. They can have their own Forum Section if they like. I expect them to be loyal to their product. We of course, can agree or disagree but it will always be kept friendly. And maybe we'll learn something too.
Not meant as a criticism of you, Alex. More of a reality check for me. Either here or on SnusCENTRAL, you should post exactly what you want to say. This is food for thought, though. For all of us.
February 10, 2009 4:59 AM
Dennis Neal said...
Dang, you are one long-winded cuss!
I don't care for the Camel Frost, just the Original ... if I could find a Swedish snus with real tobacco bite that didn't have that gacky Swedish tobacco taste I experienced in every tin of the Swedish Match sampler (and Goteborgs Rape -- accent mark can't be done here) is really miserable.
Got any recommendations for something full-bodied and tobacco flavored with bite, O Snussy One?
February 10, 2009 4:13 PM
Mr. UNZ said...
I do go on a little bit, don't I? I'm thinking of turning this thread into an article. Probably a two or three part one.
I used the original Camel Original; not the more recent which is discontinued now: Mellow and Frost are the survivors. Original flavored Camel SNUS was very, very mild tasting to me. Your idea of strong tobacco with a bite may be very different from mine. Be prepared.
With the exception of Loose Swedish Snus, all portion and white portion is going to smell very different than SNUS. You are going to either have to accept that, go to loose snus, or not bother. You will get used to it and the Camel SNUS will then smell funny to you. You can't just quit after you open the lid or do one portion though. I think I addressed that in my previous long winded reply.
If you do try again, these brands will have to be mail order too. They're not available over the counter in the US. When you receive them, put them in the refrigerator overnight and try when cold. You can keep them in your pocket all day, but put them back in the fridge at night. Not required, personal preference for cold snus.
These are also all Portion Snus's; not White Portions like the tasting kit you got. They will be moister than the Whites and a huge difference to the Camel which is completely dry. Be prepared.
Forget the General Mini Mint; you're not a Frost user: you like a tobacco taste without mint.
Others: Nick & Johnny Portion (the round can; not the ones that look like coffins.
Ettan Portion. That Snus Guy recommendation. To me it was milder than the above but honestly, any of these is going to have significantly more tobacco flavor than Camel Original.
That's it! (trying to be less long winded). Let me know what you think.
The Snussy One :-)
Feb 10 10:53PM
Dennis Neal said...
Thanks. I've been using a new brand of American-marketed Swedish snus called "Grand Prix", that is essentially large portion, very like Swedish snus, and packs a hell of a tobacco bite -- to the point of causing hiccups. It's marketed by Liggett out of Mebane, N.C. and produced in Sweden. Still not exactly my cup of dip, but for now it's what I'm using. Know about it?
I'll investigate a couple of the brands you recommend. I wasn't really fond of the Ettan, but maybe the Johnny and Nick (how European and gay is that?) or one of the others.
February 11, 2009 4:54 PM
Mr. UNZ said...
Grand Prix has been a rumor snus for a while. Very few people have ever seen it and talked about it. I have a picture of it but that's it. Those that did try it didn't seem impressed but never having tried Grand Prix myself, I'm not going to judge it. The fact that it is made in Sweden is a very good thing although Lorillard found a way to twist that with Triumph Snus.
I suggested Grovsnus Svart (black) in my last comment. You might also consider Grovsnus Portion. The taste is pure tobacco and strong. One of my personal favorites in a normal nicotine Swedish snus is Philip Morris 1847. Outstanding taste available in regualr and white portion.
In budget snus's worth considering, I'm trying the Pall Mall Portion and Pall Mall White Portion from BAT right now. They're both tobacco and salt and remind me of a baby brother to General White Portion. For me, the Pall Mall's are a little mild, but I like very dynamic Swedish Snus's. Worth considering.
Also the Taboca Portion snus. Stronger than the Pall Mall, less salt, strong tobacco for this price range, and very tasty.
Stay in touch and if you get a chance, do a Member Review at SnusCENTRAL.org on the Grand Prix. It would make interesting reading.
The Snussy One, Mr. UNZ
February 14 12:32 AM
POST SCRIPT: I haven't heard from Mr. Neal since then. I hope he found our exchange valuable and that you the reader found it interesting (if a tad long...OK, VERY, VERY long. But it was interesting, wasn't it? Didn't want to make this a three part story).
I wish Dennis all the best and hope he pops up again; this time at SnusCENTRAL.org.