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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Swedish Snus: BANNED in the USA????







This article appeared on the Convenience Store/Petroleum website about a week ago. At first I was stunned: then it made obscenely perfect sense.

After I regained consciousness, I went through the 7 stages of Corruption Disgust: Shock, Anger, How to Prevent this, Depression, Disillusionment, Hopelessness, and Anger again. I just couldn't bring myself to read the article again, let alone write about it. Now it's a week later.

I've been up all night working on a project and at 7:30AM, finally said enough. This got VERY little publicity and CSP is not exactly on the top ten most visited by people not in the convenience store industry. And you need to know.

The Bill is H.R. 4081: PACT Act. It's stated purpose is "To prevent tobacco smuggling, to ensure the collection of all tobacco taxes, and for other purposes."




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12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Really like your blog about snus, sorry to hear that the politicians may ruin your snus experence.

As to why the EU outlawed snus I think the most common expanation is this: In 1992 Sweden wasnt a part of the EU, neither was Finland or Norway (Norway still isnt), which are the 3 large snus consuming countries in the world.
The politicians in Brussels did what politicians always do when they need to make it look like they actually do something, they ban a product none of their voters use. I cant think more than 5% knew what they were actually banning, just that they were doing something that made them look good and when asked about health issues they could always point to the fact that they helped ban a tobacco product.

Mr. UnloadingZone said...

Hi Anonymous!

I agree but I'm feeling a lot more optimistic today. According to their Website, Swedish Match's largest market is the US...and they are VERY big in cigars, in the US and world-wide. Cigars are exempt from PACT.

I also read the complete legislation for both bills and have a new theory I'm doing a full article on, but the States never see the majority of tax revenue on ANY product bought over the Internet. Then Congress pushed through "if the company has a store in your State, even if their website and distribution point is in another State, you have to pay sales tax. Americans grumbled but accepted it.

I think because tobacco, especially cigarettes, are so unpopular with the majority of Americans, AND the States REAL agenda is to collect tax on ALL Internet purchases, US and foreign, Tobacco (except cigars) is being used as the "straw horse" to expand Internet taxation.

A year or so after PACT becomes law, what OTHER products are Terrorists and Criminals "smuggling" in? Congress may to it incrementally that way or just say: Taxing everything stops crime and helps the WAR ON TERROR! The war that will never end and in the end, turn the US into a fascist nation.

In the post you commented on, I followed the money to Big American Tobacco, and that is part of it.

But in researching it further, I don't think the money trail stops there. American States and the Federal Government need all the tax money they can get and with Internet sales growing every year since Al Gore invented the Internet :-) .... There's a bigger picture than American Tobacco.

The government frankly wants people to smoke...the tax revenue is enormous.

But the Anti-Smoking Lobby has grown so powerful and more importantly, 3/4 of American voters are non-smokers.....and today's politicians have only one goal: to keep getting re-elected until they retire with a handsome pension and health care plan.....

We're not governed by the best and the brightest and the civic minded anymore: America is governed by ego-driven, how can I PERSONALLY profit, mediocre thinkers at best. And they're NOT thinking of what's best for the country: it's how to please the voters.

It will cost the consumer more, but when cigarettes are banned, the nicotine addicted will have Swedish alternatives.

As to the EU, I am still completely baffled why the 1992 decision hasn't been overturned. The health data is out there and people don't really care about tobacco: they care about the SMELL of cigarettes.

Swedish/Swedish style snus is a win/win for the nicotine-addicted AND the non-smoker. It should be a no-brainer!

And there are things that can be done....I'm working on two major projects right now.

So, brave heart, Anonymous! All is not lost.

Jeff said...

Hi there,

Okay, so I've been lost in your site (in a good way) reading about snus for about 3 hours now, and I'm off to the store tomorrow to pick up some General, plus placing an order for several of the ones you recommended. Any ideas why the buysnus site doesn't have the General Wintergreen while the other sites and the local retailer does?

Thanks

Mr. UnloadingZone said...

Hi Jeff!

Swedish Match, which owns General and a bunch of other brands, only makes certain product available to certain groups.

In the US, General and Catch as brands are the only ones available at tobacco stores (currently). But they do have Wintergreen and Spearmint; loose as well as portion.

They make pretty much all brands but not all types and flavors available to their distributors and high volume e-dealers.

They only make the complete line (to my knowledge) available through themselves.

They are are biggest snus manufacturer out there so they can do what they want, but especially considering that, I think it's a lousy thing to do to their e-tailers: especially the large ones.

Don't forget while they are the largest, they are not the only Swedish Snus manufacturer on the planet.

Some of the smaller houses make outstanding snuses.

C S V said...

I actually bought all the tins of generals wintergreen from a store I visited that sold snus (8 tins, 1 of which turned out to be an open demo can!). On my next order off the net, I checked a few sites, but no one carried the wintergreen! Not one!
I think wintergreen is an American flavor, and as such, is only sold in America. I know every brand of dip has a wintergreen... I'll just have to stock up every time I'm in that city, because it was pretty good. If I were you. I'd do the same - just put your excess in the freezer, and keep an open tin in the fridge.

Mr. UnloadingZone said...

Hi C V S!

See my response to Jeff above your comment. In a nutshell, Swedish Match Retail sells every version and every flavor of every product they make through themselves.

They sell most of their brands to the Internet e-tailers, but don't make all the flavors or products in the brand-lines available to them....like the Wintergreen.

SM is also big in cigars and pipe tobacco so they sell in about 17 States over-the-counter through their tobacco store network. They, as far as I know, only let them sell two brands, though: General and Catch, but they do give them the Wintergreen and apparently there's a Spearmint out now too. And they let them sell the General loose as well as the portion. I have to try to make some time and go visit my local Up in Smoke tobacco store and see what's up.

And judging by your comments, I take it you are a big fan of the General Wintergreen! I've never tried it but my local Up in Smoke tobacco store carries it. I'll give it a shot next time I'm in the mall.

The Wintergreen has been around for a bit but SM was keeping for their own retail sales. They just opened up that flavor, spearmint, and General loose to the US tobacco stores they work with.

To be generous, I'll call it "market segmentation" but I don't agree with it.

As the consumer snus market grows in the US, they may change that strategy. They may have to just to keep up with demand.

And you might want to try Jakobsson's Ice Fruit. (only over the Internet). It blew me away.

You shouldn't need to start stocking up the freezer for another 6 months at least.

Once the PACT Act becomes law, until they get the bugs worked out, I think we're ALL going to stocking up the freezer with our favorite Swedish Snus's; especially the ones only available over the Internet.

It will work out in the end though.

I'm trying to finish a follow-up article to the Banned in the USA article following the money trail, but I'm swamped.

There's a lot more to this than meets the eye.

Sincerely,

Mr. Unloadingzone

Krzysztof said...

I'm visiting and read your blog from time to time. Please let me know when you publish your new site.

In US it is not so bad with taxes on imported snus, I think.

In Poland there are no taxes on snus because it is illegal to trade with snus. But it is legal to buy it from another EU country with no customs taxes :)

I have seen lately some post on Australian disscusion board - some Aussie is looking for somene who can smuggle some snus to his country, because customs taxes are so high.

Besr Regards,
Krzysztof

Mr. UnloadingZone said...

Hi Krzysztof!

Thanks for visiting!

You're right..it's worse elseware and I've come to the conclusion that this is just an opening ploy to tax all internet sales in the US. I'm just too busy on the new website to have time to write about it....

Thanks for visiting and please feel free to return anytime!

Sincerely,

Mr. UNZ

Aaron said...

re: tobacco mail ban...funny I asked 2 postal employees and my local postmaster about this and if they knew where it was headed, they all told me they'd never heard of it. AT ALL. Also spoke with the CEO of an English snuff company and he seemed to think it'd be a non-issue for his company as well as sites like buysnus.com....hmmmm, troubling indeed, great work as usual Mr. ULZ

Mr. UnloadingZone said...

Thanks Aaron!

Keeping bills like this under the radar is what helps the people pushing them to get them through: the less who know, the less who protest until it's too late.

You can tell your Snuff Dealer friend in the UK that, not only are BuySnus and Northerner very concerned, but so is Swedish Match and the rest of the Swedish Snus Manufacturers.

Mail-order/Cigarette retailers are also concerned as well as cigarette smokers (those who know about the bills)since they are the primary example used in the bills.

The only ones in the tobacco industry who don't need to be concerned are the cigar Internet sellers and receivers. And we all know why cigars are exempt from this bill....

What is not understood is the ramifications of these bills, once law, once enacted, and once in place for about a year...they will spawn legislation that will effect EVERY American.

I'm less than 2 weeks from launching the uber-snus super-site so that's taking 90% of my time right now.

That post may not come out in detail until I get more bandwidth. But I think I mentioned the conclusion in a post comment reply. It's going to REALLY cause an uproar across all of America...but it will be too late.

Sincerely,

UNZ

jbmtz1 said...

Love the site. Tons of great information. I was just wondering if you knew of any other tobacco shops that sell Swedish Snus. I live in Fort Worth, so never make it up to the frisco area.

Mr. UnloadingZone said...

Hi jbmtz1

Thanks for the complements on the blog. Wait until you see code-name "uber-snus"; the most incredibly awesome,unbelievable snus-dedicated website on the planet I'm building.

Snus as a topic has so outgrown this blogs capabilities that it deserves a home worthy of it's interest!

Swedish Snus is very difficult to find over the counter. Swedish Match is currently the only Swedish Snus producers with a US over-the-counter presence, and that's because they're also very big into cigars and pipe tobacco.

They currently offer General Brand Snus and Catch Brand Snus in a variety of types and flavors through some of these tobacco stores.

If you go to my Snus Article Only Table of Contents (right column, first listing under HOT TOPICS), it will bring up The Snus Table of Contents.

On of the Articles towards the top is an FAQ for folks new to Swedish Snus.

One of the questions is what you asked and there is a link to the Swedish Match Store Locator Page (or look for a tab at the top if they changed it).

Follow the instructions until you get to "state" and select Texas. It will list all their retailers currently selling their Swedish Snus over-the-counter.

Hope there's one close to you. I lucked out that the tobacco store in Frisco is 5 minutes from my house.

Thanks again for visiting and, don't worry, easy navigation was at the top of the list for the uber-snus site. Another reason for the move.

Sincerely,

Mr. UNZ

Mrs. Unloadingzone

Mrs. Unloadingzone
"The Girl of my Dreams"