We have no financial interest in tobacco, of any sort, at the moment, though we're not making any promise on 'forever' in where this economy looks to be going with its war and glory errors -- again. But we see how off the mark the Health ESTABLISHMENT is in the US and can't resist the idea that Columbo -- and his mentees -- would benefit if he'd find this evidence -- long ago.
When I saw the wikipedia data on tobacco curing and what a difference it makes to do it -- the usual RJReynolds-crooks' dry heat way versus the Swedish steam heat method -- and the way that this news about a better way of doing things was being squashed here, I wondered if Columbo -- or Columbos -- were still hooked on the nicotine because this snus -- alternate tobacco thrill -- would serve all our Columbos and other smokers better...
Ever heard of "Snus"?? It's Swedish, it's saves Swedish nicotine users from the damages of tobacco use without difficult adoption hassles and it's been well tested ENOUGH to know this much, why is it so hard to believe that such a thing exists? Patently because there's a strange paucity of mainstream broadcasting of this option.
Know anyone else that smokes? or chews tobacco -- chewing at least protects those around the user from second hand inhalation of particulates and carcinogens? Ask them if they've heard of Snus. Blank stares have been most of the responses when we've checked local tobacco venders.
Know anyone in tobacco curing business who might be interested in improving their product? The incredible fact in this story is that the Swedes use KY tobacco... imagine the savings in user costs on top of health outcome improvement. Unfortunately the choices of source are online or traveling at least 100 miles! Even though we've heard that some older and remote farmers used to do their own this steam-way after selling the bulk of their cash crop to the bigtime tobacco processors.
Camel was supposedly claiming to be importing some of the Swedish steamcured chewing tobacco to test in the American market but you can't tell it by any measure of looking about to try it. Conceivably the story was suspect PR to try to redeem the Camel image or maybe the other brands at RJReynolds stifled the Camel strategy-idea before implementation for their own reasons.
There's even the unsavory possibility that the makers of nicotine patches and other drug company profiteers who benefit from American addiction to nicotine may have deepsixed this news at the the govt-trade-media level. Even research prestige and grant money are at stake. Otherwise, why do we have to find out these things from accidentally hearing foreign news? Someone -- singular or plural -- with big news-stifling abilities and a vested interest in tobacco addiction and its consequences in the US is -- couldn't be ;) -- sitting on this scientifically documented news, Eh?
In any case the Swedes have scored big time in finding/preserving this alternative to nicotine fits. I did find that the Germans and another European country, maybe two, were negotiating with the EU-trade restriction rulemakers on tobacco products to try to get Snus through the barriers between Euro markets.
Where's our big govt protectors of US health? Why do we not hear this alongside or even instead of the so-called anti-smoking furor makers? Who's benefiting from demanding total quitting instead of simply saving lives? To the extent that the idea isn't even allowed to be judged by the American people in the street, using their own economic power.
Here's what's known about *Snus* as the Swedes call it.............
Swedish snus is different in that it is made from steam-cured tobacco, rather than fire-cured, and its health effects are markedly different, with epidemiological studies showing dramatically lower rates of cancer and other tobacco-related health problems than cigarettes, American "Chewing Tobacco", or other known alternatives. Prominent Swedish brands are Swedish Match, Ettan, and Tre Ankare. In the Scandinavian countries, moist snuff comes either in loose powder form, to be pressed into a small ball or ovoid either by hand or with the use of a special tool. It is sometimes packaged in small bags, suitable for placing inside the upper lip, called "portion snuff". These small bags keep the loose tobacco from becoming lodged between the user's teeth; they also generate less spittle when in contact with mucous membranes inside the mouth which extends the usage time of the tobacco product and removes the need for spitting.
Since it is not smoked, snuff in general generates less of the nitrosamines and other carcinogens in the tar that forms from the partially anaerobic reactions in the smoldering smoked tobacco. The steam curing of snus rather than fire-curing or flue-curing of other smokeless tobaccos has been demonstrated to generate even fewer of such compounds than other varieties of snuff; 2.8 parts per mil for Ettan brand compared to as high as 127.9 parts per mil in American brands, according to a study by the State of Massachusetts Health Department. It is hypothesized that the widespread use of snus by Swedish men (estimated at 30% of Swedish men, possibly because it is much cheaper than cigarettes), displacing tobacco smoking and other varieties of snuff, is responsible for the incidence of tobacco-related mortality in men being significantly lower in Sweden than any other European country. In contrast, since women are much less likely to use snus, their rate of tobacco-related deaths in Sweden is similar to that in other European countries. Snus is clearly less harmful than other tobacco products; according to Kenneth Warner, director of the University of Michigan Tobacco Research Network,
"The Swedish government has studied this stuff to death, and to date, there is no compelling evidence that it has any adverse health consequences. ... Whatever they eventually find out, it is dramatically less dangerous than smoking."
There are two main types of snus on the market:
* original snus or lÜssnus is a loose, moist powder which can be portioned and rolled into a cylindrical or spherical shape with the fingertips or snus portion tool. The end result is often referred to as a pris (pinch) or prilla or prell (slang for pris).
* portionssnus, is prepackaged powder in small bags made from the same material as teabags. It comes in smaller quantities than the loose powder but is considered easier to handle (and expectorate) than the loose powder. And, unlike most US snuff, the user does not have to spit while using it.
Swedish snus is made from air dried tobacco from various parts of the world. In earlier times tobacco for making snus used to be laid out for drying in Scania and MŐlardalen. Later Kentucky tobaccos were used. The ground tobacco is mixed with water, salt, sodium carbonate and aroma and is prepared through heating, generally via steam. Moist snus contains more than 50% water, and the average use of snus in Sweden is approximately 800 grams (16 units) per person each year. 14% (900,000 people) of the adult population in Sweden uses snus. Unlike American-sold oral tobacco, snus has not gone through a fermentation process.
Snus is sold mainly in Sweden and Norway and Denmark and is being trialed in South Africa, but can be found in outlets in various other countries frequented by Scandinavian tourists like Murmansk in Russia and other Russian Border Towns (Norwegian Border) (with the notable exception of countries in the EU; see below). It is sold in small tins, which in the earlier years were made of porcelain, wood, silver or gold. At the time of writing, portioned snus usually comes in plastic tins of 24g, while loose snus is mostly sold in compressed paper tins with plastic lids, at 50g.
Portioned snus is most commonly sold in three different variants, namely mini, normal and maxi/large. The weights may vary, but the most sold snus labels share their weight info. Mini portions weigh 0.5g, with 20 pieces per tin. Normal - or standard - portions weigh 1g, with 24 portions per tin, and maxi portions weigh 1.7g, with 17 pieces per tin.
The price for the 50g product is approximately █4 in Sweden and █7.50 in Norway as Norwegian taxes are higher.
The total production of Swedish snus, mainly for the Scandinavian market, has been reported to be in excess of 300 million units per year. After the Norwegian government in June 2004 implemented a strict indoor smoking ban in public places, sales of snus sky-rocketed and several new variants of the product were put on the Norwegian market. When the Swedish government did the same thing in June 2005, sales of snus also increased dramatically.
Usage and storage
The most usual way to consume snus is to place it beneath the upper lip, and keep it there for a time varying from a few minutes to several hours, which varies greatly from person to person. Snus should be stored refrigerated to minimize the formation of nitrosamines. Many users report that cold snus is subjectively better than warm snus.
Let us know if you find any in our area .... I couldn't
The price outside scandinavia is the other issue we've been digging into. Not sure what those Swedish and Norwegian figures in the article represent in their daily expense/income realities.
Buying it online, has potentially some problems other than the high cost of shipping, Namely tobacco taxes are not figured in when you buy in large enough quantities to save on shipping by using UPS, so you may be on your own in dealing with that issue. Possibly online is "tax free" when you're a larger concern??? Even if not, it's probably too small a potato to get any individual in trouble if they 'neglect' to fight their way through the redtape, and manage to deal with the questions of whether it should be paid at all. TaxDept will take your money without worrying whether it's really valid legally if you offer it to them. Definitely not a fun or even economical option unless you factor in the health costs and cough like you've got emphasema or have a family history, etc etc OTOH, if you buy in smaller quantities and use USPS priority then they figure in the taxes and you're home-free on administrative details.
The prices I saw online ranged around $3.50-2.50 per tin and the shipping more than doubled that at #3.50, without even beginning to deal with taxes. OTOH, I'm not factoring in the idea that a 'portion' of snus is said to keep the user satisfied much longer than the dry stuff, especially snuff as an even clearer comparison.
As for Camel, here's what I found out from them...
At this time, Snus is available only in test markets in South Bend &
Indianapolis, IN, Kansas City, MO, Columbus, OH, Orlando, FL & Raleigh, NC and
participating Sheetz stores in OH, PA, MD,WV & VA.
You mentioned you believe Snus may be a safer product. There are inherent
risks with the use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. U.S. Surgeon
General Warnings are required for both categories of products, and those
warnings appear on all packages of Camel Snus.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you go to your or some county fair -- or a state fair -- and notice tobacco representatives -- growers, processors, sellers -- make sure they hear that we, the public, know about snus and want to see progress in saving lives. Maybe you can trigger that movement and be a life-saving assistant for lots of our people, especially our own family members. At least for now and for this hazard and for all our Columbos.