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Friday, September 26, 2008

Camel SNUS: An Open Letter to Reynolds America and RJRT



Susan Ivey, Reynolds America...Daniel Delen, RJRT............. Brice O'Brien, RJRT

Camel SNUS: An Open Letter to the Executive Management

NOTE: For those readers unaware, R.J Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJRT) ,which markets Camel SNUS is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc.

But first, let me congratulate Susan Ivey on her promotion to Chairman, President, and CEO of Reynolds American Inc. and to her successor at RJRT as Chairman, President and CEO of that company, Daniel Delen.

And since it’s fitting as I’m writing you, I bought my first can of Camel SNUS Frost yesterday and am on my 3rd portion now as I write this. I will be exclusively using Frost until I’m done with this piece so as not to compromise it’s taste unfairly by using Swedish Snus.

I can understand why new American snus users like SNUS if they have had nothing to compare it to and why even some veteran Swedish Snus users buy a can of Camel SNUS Frost occasionally. The first portion was tough: it didn’t tingle: it burned. But that’s why I’m sticking to Frost today…I’m letting myself get used to it.

Brice O’Brien is the Senior Vice President – Consumer Marketing, RJRT, but also, according to his company bio, was involved in the Marketing of Eclipse, the first smokeless cigarette which kept me from reeking of cigarette smoke, the odor that offends ¾ of the American population, apparently.


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8 comments:

JM said...

Mr Unz,

Just read your letter to RJRT. Good show. Let's hope it doesn't fall
on deaf ears!

I just wanted to let you know that I also had some head type rushes
using the Camel product. I definitely noted it, wondered if it
was the SNUS and realized that I never had anything like that happen
with my regular tobacco (wintergreen skoal longcut).
I have not experienced it since receving my role of General Portion either.

And like you I pitched a half a tin of Camel Regular SNUS rather
than finish it up, because
this experience left me with some lingering doubts. I had forgotten
about it actually, until I read your letter! Interesting...
I also wanted to note that the Camel SNUS irritated my gums.
I was switching between Regular and Frost for the month or so
that I used it regularly. Both flavors irritated my gums, but the
Frost did moreso, which led me to use more of the regular.
Never tried the spice... I'm very glad I didn't stick with that stuff
longer! Another thanks to you.

Mr. UnloadingZone said...

Hi JM!

Thanks for confirming the gum thing: I was wondering if maybe it was just me because I snus a lot.

Sincerely,

Mr UNZ

Anonymous said...

I am also
a former Camel customer. I still have a Zippo lighter
I got with Camel cash back in College. :) You can tell
them what I think of their snus as well! I wish these
companies would wake the frak up and realize that if
they just made a good product, people would buy it!
You don't have to spin quality. Ugh.

Mr. UnloadingZone said...

Amen!

Sincerely,

Mr. Unloadingzone

Anonymous said...

Camel actually contracted British American Tobacco to make Camel Snus in Sweden. It's not made in North Carolina.

Mr. UnloadingZone said...

Hi Anonymous on BAT:

If you go to snuscamel.com, the Official Camel Snus Website, they clearly state that Camel SNUS is produced by them in North Carolina.

I also have a professional connection who is an executive with BAT and he confirmed they have nothing to do with CamelSNUS, and do not produce it for them, in Sweden or anywhere else.

The BAT story goes back years in many variations. It may be they helped in the development. It may just be untrue.

But RJRT themselves, if you ask them, will tell you that THEY produce CamelSNUS in North Carolina.

As such, it is not produced under the Mandatory Swedish Government guidelines since it's not made in Sweden.

We actually don't know how (or Marlboro or Skoal Snus, for that matter) Camel SNUS is produced, what the TSNA's are, what the ingredients are, what their manufacturing process is, etc. US law doesn't require it....yet.

That's why I'm moving the Snus topic to it's own uber-snus website. Fact-checked information among other things.

Even I may have reported something inaccurate about CamelSNUS. In a reply to an email I sent them, I've been saying that CamelSNUS has 8mg. of nicotine.

I've just been informed by an industry official in a position to know, that it's may only be 5-6 mg. In re-reading the email from Camel, I now notice it says "about 8mg". I checking a 3rd source for confirmation.

That's how easy it is for misinformation to be spread..and if the "about 8mg" is confirmed to be 5-6mg, then it was intentional.

There is just too much old or inaccurate (some intentional) snus information on the Internet for those trying to learn about snus.

We're about 2 weeks away from launch.

Thanks for bringing the BAT thing up as it is one of the more common inaccuracies as well as one of the most dangerous on the Internet.

Someone who though CamelSNUS was being made in Sweden would assume it is as safe as Swedish Snus. In reality, we don't know what it is.

Sincerely, Mr. Unloadingzone

Anonymous said...

Got 2 coupons for free camel snus in the mail. Got 1 tin so far, Camel Snus Spice. Not too bad, sweeter taste than I would have imagined. Personally, I put the snus between my bottom lip and gum, only because I feel that putting it in the upper lip causes me to curl my lip and look like a chipmunk lol. After reading all the rave reviews of Swedish snus my curiosity is peaked and I decided to order some. Picked the Elixyr Power Energy Portion from a site called www.swedish-snus.com because of price and the fact that I can always use more energy. Price and shipping is very reasonable. Got 5 cans for $11.45 with shipping. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me. Hope to be able to review it when it arrives.

Mr. UnloadingZone said...

Hi Anonymous!

Good for you! I've never dealt with swedish-snus.com before so I don't know their reputation or reliability.

The important thing with all snus, including Swedish, Camel and the other American ones, is to check the expiration date on the can. And refrigerate until used...I even keep my open ones in the fridge at night because I like cold snus!

Going with the Elixyr was actually not a bad move.

Read my article on Triumph Snus and I explain the "American versus Swedish" issue that never existed until CamelSNUS came long.

As part of a test, I used Camel Frost recently after a year of only using Swedish Snus. This is why I mentioned expiration dates: the snus I buy through BuySnus.com has at least 3-4 months to go.

When I bought the Camel Frost, the can she gave me expired weeks ago.
They had TWO CamelSNUS refrigerators, both packed, and it still took her a few minutes of digging all the way in the back of the second one to find a can of Frost which had two weeks to go before it expired.

The first portion of Camel Frost was HORRIBLE. It was tasteless, it didn't tingle, it BURNED, and it didn't last.

And you're right, the way they redesigned their pouches to make it look like there's more product in the pouch, it is awkward in your mouth because it's so long. You'll like the Swedish pouches better..and you do get a better taste experience putting the portion under the upper lip so it runs down.

But this was a "scientific" taste study I was doing, so I forced myself to keep using just the Camel Frost with no Swedish Snus that day.

After about 5 portions, I could tolerate it. The taste was "ok, I guess". Still too mild but if I were forced to, I could use it. And if I had kept using it and never used Swedish snus again, I would have come to like it.

My theory: nicotine overrides the taste-buds to an extent. As long as you're getting nicotine, your brain makes taste allowances.

I (fortunately) had only done one portion of the old Camel snus which was how I first discovered snus, but then found out about Swedish Snus and a tobacco store by me that sold it.

I talk about it in the first article I ever wrote about snus, Marlboro and Camel, when it comes to Snus, you LOSE!

My taste-buds weren't corrupted yet. The General regular portion was not only moister, cheaper, and gave me a lot more snus, but the taste was UNBELIEVABLY better than the Camel.

It's a year later, though. Some people who have done a lot of CamelSNUS and were used to it might have thought the General "too strong".

I keep using the analogy if you smoked White Owl cigars for a long time and then tried a Cuban Cigar, you wouldn't like the Cuban..it would have TOO much taste.

Reverse it, a Cuban cigar user would choke on a White Owl.

Now that "American snus" has been out for a while, I'm starting to hear from people who switched especially from Marlboro or Camel to Swedish finding the Swedish "too rich".

So I've taken to recommending starting with the milder brands of Swedish Snus and then experimenting with the stronger.

Elixyr is a new snus and to me, was one of the milder Swedish snuses I had tried.

I used their Power Portion with my morning coffee since the coffee overpowered any snus I was using anyway.

You combine coffee with the the high nicotine, tauren, and more caffeine in the Power Portion, and I was REALLY AWAKE and ready to start my day. REALLY AWAKE!

But it was too mild for me as a use-alone snus...which means you may like it!

If you do when it it comes to the mildness of the taste or you want just a little more, then try one or two of the flavored OffRoad snus's next.

A lot of former Camel users like OffRoad and while they are among the sweetest of the Swedish snus's, they are NOT that disgusting "candy sweet" not only Camel, but Triumph and I've heard Klondike is.

If you like the OffRoad, try the General Sterk: make sure it's the General Sterk and not another General. General Sterk is the mildest General I've tried: too mild for me. I like their regular portion and LOVE General Onyx.

But the General Sterk is not only milder, but Sterk means "Strong", or high nicotine. If you liked the buzz from the Elixyr, then you'll like the General Sterk.

Comment back or email me on what you think and I'll give you some recommendations for the next step up.

I don't know if that Swedish-snus store you bought from carries them or the complete line.

There's a banner on my website for BuySnus.com. Clicking on it also gives you a 10% discount off your first order. They're about the biggest snus retailers in Sweden along with a company called Northerner.

Northerner's reputation of late has been OK, but when I started a year ago, there were lots of stories of missing/damaged packages.

BuySnus I've never had a problem with and they have great customer service.

They carry all the OffRoads and the General Sterk: that I know.

I use the cheapest shipping method they offer and get my snus from Sweden to Texas in about 4 business days!

In two weeks or less, I'm going to turning on the most amazing snus site you've ever seen. Snus has outgrew this humble blog, we're building the ultimate snus site!

So if you come back, you may see banners and links to the new uber-snus-site. (that's the code name, not the URL).

When it comes to snus I'm going to the new site too so you'll find me over there quicker.

This blog is going to return to the general subject blog it was originally designed to be (after I completely redesign it: it was my first and looks it :-).

But the email address here I'll be checking regularly so you have that option too....you'll find me one way or the other.

But all my NEW Snus articles will ONLY be on the new website once we go live.

Congratulations on moving up to Swedish Snus and prepare to have some fun: I went through 20 different cans/brands/flavors on my first order to figure out what I liked!

And new ones come out all the time!

I guarantee you whatever mood you're in, whatever taste you feel like, you'll NEVER be bored with the Swedish Snus selection!

Sincerely,

Mr. Unloadingzone

Mrs. Unloadingzone

Mrs. Unloadingzone
"The Girl of my Dreams"