Like many I stole my first cigarette from my own mom's pack. It was a Kool Ultra-light 100 and it was terrible. It tasted bad, smelled bad, I even ended up burning my finger trying to light the stupid thing. I learned two things in that experience; both of which were oddly helpful in my life thus far.
- Menthol sucks, and should be avoided at all costs.
- Everything sucks at first, but stick to it and you will get better... so will it.
Well I know this isn't the type of mind set most people have when thinking about cigarettes but I have followed those two rules my whole life with grand results. But after 14 more years of smoking I began to truly loathe the bitter-sweet relationship I had with Ms. Nicotine. I also began to loathe myself for not being able to stop smoking even though it was obviously effecting me.
I smelled terrible, everything I owned or touched smelled terrible, and I could barely breathe. I tried everything to quit. I tried patches, inhalers, gum, lozenges, chewing gum and toothpicks, cold turkey, even wearing a large rubber band on my wrist and snapping it repeatedly every time I smoked a cigarette. I was only fooling myself. I wasn't one of Pavlov's dogs, I was a human with a deep long time commitment to his addiction, and coping mechanism.
Then one day my mom threw a small orange metal can at me. This is standard procedure in my family and not an offensive gesture like in most social settings. She said she got it free with her pack of cigarettes and wondered if I wanted to try it. It was Camel SNUS. I opened the can and wondered why they were giving out dip, and why any smoker would even want it.
Later that day I tried it out instead of buying a pack of cowboy killers when I ran out. It was ok, not great... too sweet... and too dry on my gums. I tried a few more then threw them into my laptop bag and went about buying a pack of smokes anyway. Sometime later I found the can again. I tried a few more when it was too hot and humid to go outside. Missouri summer is a dreadful summer. Far too humid and night time brings no comfort since the temp usually stays in the mid to high 80's most of the night. I was lower decking a couple camel snus pouches and wondering if I could survive a walk to the nearest gas station for cigs in the 105 degree 100% humidity weather when it had a moment of clarity. I would search for snus online, maybe there were other companies that made stronger stuff like this dip-like substance that didn't require spitting.
I fired up the laptop, hopped on google and was promptly brought to the SnusCENTRAL.org forums. I was intrigued. I read... and I read... and I read still more. Long into the night I researched as much as I possibly could. I became so obsessed that I couldn't even sleep that night. I laid in bed staring at nothing in a pitch black room, head filled with imaginary visions of what real authentic snus must taste like. What REAL snus could do to help me finally quit being the half-assed wish-I-could-quit smoker that I was, and finally get a little self confidence after years of broken hearted attempts and angry looks from Mrs. Krypt after coming home smelling like a walking AA meeting.
Well I did finally fall asleep that night. and to make a very long story somewhat shorter I did order real snus, and very obviously registered to that amazingly helpful website that helped me begin a whole new chapter of my life. I have stopped smoking. I never thought it was really ever going to happen but it did. And almost entirely by surprise.
One day I was offered a cigarette by a co-worker and accepted. When I took the first drag I felt something I hadn't felt in so long I had forgotten entirely that it could happen. It hurt my chest, and it tasted disgusting. I promptly put it out and offered a quarter for the wasted cigarette, for I hadn't realized I had quit smoking for almost 3 weeks.
I am a changed man thanks to Swedish snus. As I mentioned before I was never a drinker or a drug user. But I now am, and hopefully always will be, a snuser.If you made it this far I hope you and I both can enjoy snus for the rest of our long healthy pink-lunged lives.
FORMER Smoker; CURRENT Swedish Snus User
Writing at SnusCENTRAL.org