Since the Swedish Government began regulating snus as a Food Product in 1970, we have almost 40 years worth of success stories and statistics to bear out the above. None of that is meaningful to the Anti-All-Tobacco Zealots however. Believe me, I've tried more times than I can imagine to show them that 1+1=2. Blinded by ideology, they refuse to budge from 1+1 has to equal 0. I'll highlight just a few of these efforts in upcoming articles. It is like trying to demonstrate to someone who still believes the Earth is flat that it is round. Inconvenient facts and the truth just don't work.
So I'm changing tactics. Zealots have trouble with the big picture or something which is contrary to their "feelings". Instead of numerous studies and using the living laboratory of Sweden and Norway to make my case, I'm going to use the personal stories of individual people to demonstrate the truth.
The following was written by Rob Hubbard or as he is known on the SnusCENTRAL.org Forum, Feck. He is but one tree in the forest which will hopefully pierce the wall of propaganda and insensitivity the Anti-All-Tobacco Zealots have erected around themselves. Here's what Ron had to say about cigarettes and snus:
I still have an occasional pipe or cigar now and then. I went a long time without wanting them once I gave up cigarettes. I was afraid that the mere act of burning tobacco would drive me back to cigarettes, but it isn't like that at all. Even when I smoked cigarettes I never inhaled pipes or cigars, but my taste-buds were still wrecked and I never really got to appreciate the nuances of premium tobacco like I can now thanks to Swedish snus.
I'm pretty much back to where I was when I was ten or eleven years old. Me and my cousin would steal my Grandpa's Blue Ribbon cigars (sometimes Dutch Master) and go hide in the woods and smoke them like we were bigshots. We did this every now and then. I would savor the "high" I'd get from those stogies, and the drunk dreamlike walk back home through the forest that I would barely remember later in the day. Later on we would start stealing Red Man chew or Copenhagen dip and I noticed that our trips out to the woods were becoming more and more frequent. That was the start of my nicotine addiction, as far as I can tell.
Once I hit about twelve I had graduated to cigarettes, and when I learned how to "for real" smoke by inhaling it down to my lungs, I noticed none of the pleasant, calming tranquility that I got from cigars. Instead I noticed an insane hypodermic injection of that "warm" feeling I got when I chewed and dipped. This truly was the only way to take tobacco.
Flash forward twenty years and the nicotine that I get from snus is sort of in between what I got from Cigarettes and dip. I get the required amount of nicotine satisfaction (similar to cigarettes) but it lasts longer (like when I dipped). Cigarettes gave me an instant fix, but it was short lived. Dip took forever to deliver nicotine to my brain, but it lasted a great while. Swedish Snus seems to hit me harder and faster than dip, and it has enough nicotine that I don't have to use a pack a day (like cigarettes or dip). It truly is the best nicotine delivery device on the planet.
And now that I no longer smoke and I have my nicotine addiction appeased, I can enjoy a cigar or pipe once or twice a week and not crave a cigarette. However, if I was able to get over my nicotine addiction I would probably never pick anything up ever again if I could help it. Since I'm a realist and I realize that for better or worse I'm always going to have Vitamin N [nicotine] coursing through my system, there's no way in heck I would give up snus. Even if I could make it two days or two months, the temptation would be too great to pick up something unhealthier. Snus helped me quit cigarettes and snus helps me stay quit.
I've seen it happen to many times to friends and relatives that have quit smoking. They're fine for a few months, a few weeks, sometimes even a few years- but I can honestly say that I don't know a single person that quit cigarettes at one point and didn't have a relapse down the road. I however know of many smokers that switched to Swedish snus and never looked back. I'm one of them.
Real World Nicotine Addiction
That's how nicotine works, you insensitive zealots who think all smokers should and can "just quit". It doesn't work that way. What's ironic that in a country where tax dollars pay for needle exchange programs for heroin addicts, average law abiding citizens using a lawful and very heavily taxed product like cigarettes are treated with less compassion and more disdain than illegal drug addicts.
What's more ironic is that even as tobacco and its users are being crushed by increasingly over-bearing laws, regulations, and ever-rising punitive taxes, the legalize marijuana movement is making serious in-roads today. Marijuana does more damage to the human lungs than even cigarettes, is Federally illegal to use, sell or possess, and is certainly more of a gateway drug (if you believe in that concept) than menthol or clove is. A person driving a car stoned out of his mind on pot is exponentially more dangerous to those cars around them than someone addicted to nicotine is.
The Zealots solution? Decriminalize marijuana possession, legally sell it at "clinics" for pain management, and push ultimately for total legalization. I've never once heard of the scientific community being up in arms about Second-Hand Marijuana Smoke. But for nicotine addicts who only want to switch to an infinitely safer nicotine delivery method? One completely harmless to those around them? The hell with them. They should "just quit".
Be careful what you wish for, Anti-All-Tobacco Zealots. You may get it. I hope you have a plan to support the millions of people who will be out of work and whose businesses will be closed down by a total tobacco ban. I hope you have crafted Local, State, and Federal budgets which can survive even the first 90 days of this tobacco ban without the hundreds of billions of tobacco tax revenue these Goverments are addicted to.
I hope you have already figured out a way to fund the largest anti-smuggling operation since Prohibition. What are you going to punitively tax instead of tobacco to make up for the lost funds? Sorry, too many logical questions here...zealotry is emotion-based.
Ron's story is a single tree in the 45+ Million forest of Americans who still smoke cigarettes despite the taxes, discrimination, and disdain of people like you. They do it because of nicotine-addiction. If we can exchange needles for heroin addicts and support Methadone clinics with our tax dollars, why can't we make it as easy as possible for nicotine-addicts to stop smoking deadly cigarettes and switch to Real Snus.....Swedish Snus. Why would you deny a win/win solution for all Americans? Why are you just so plain hateful?
Forever Nicotine-Addicted but Healthy,
LARRY WATERS & RONALD HUBBARD
FORMER Cigarette Smokers; CURRENT Swedish Snus Users
Reporting for SnusCENTRAL.org