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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Update on Ultimate Snus Site: code-named Uber-Snus!
























A lot has been happening in the Snus world recently:

  • Camel SNUS announced it is going Nation-wide in the US (Merry Christmas....not)
  • Swedish Match has a new President, Rich Flaherty (Congratulations!)
  • In addition to General Stark Ekstra, a whole bunch of new Extra High Nicotine Snus's are appearing (and I've even tried some that are not on the market yet!)
  • Nordic American is confusing everyone again; first by stating they've moved from pasteurization to a "process like pasteurization", and then by introducing the Nordic Ice Brand before anyone was sure what the Klondike brand was.

Nordic American did improve their website, however. Still doesn't answer my questions, though, and I have not had time to get back with their VP of Marketing, Bill Eder OR Lorillard's SVP and General Counsel, Ron Milstein.

A lot of other things have been happening and I've been lax on my snus and tobacco industry posts (but keeping myself updated).

For a Good Reason, though! As I've told some of you and mentioned in the comments sections, snus as a topic has overwhelmed this humble blog.

Snus is also of such overwhelming importance to not only us, but to the 46MM+ nicotine-addicted American Cigarette smokers.

The FACTS, the REVIEWS, the QUESTIONS, (I'm 700 emails behind!), the NEWS and the upheaval in American Society already appearing as legislation in Congress is SO CRITICAL to snus, smokeless tobacco, and especially cigarette users over the next few years that it has spawned "code-name Uber-Snus".

It's not "a" Snus website; it's the ULTIMATE SNUS EXPERIENCE like none ever seen.

It is a MASSIVE site...actually SITE's it's so big. The functionality is almost done. The graphics are almost done pending some "special things".

The content loading will NEVER be done, but we'll have enough up (MUCH more than The Unloading Zone) to show you where we're going, help new people and cigarette smokers curious about snus find more answers than they can here now, and YOU will be contributing to the content as well!

Here's your first taste: the pictures above. On the bottom, your old friend Mr. Unloadingzone. Sadly, on the new site, a spokesman with a Dog's Head just wouldn't be appropriate.

So he's staying here, The Unloading Zone will get a complete face-lift eventually, and he'll write about everything that interests him like he used to.....EXCEPT SNUS!

The existing snus articles and your comments will be left here but Mr. Unloadingzone will NOT be writing about Snus anymore.

All NEW Snus and related articles and information will ONLY be available on the code-name "Uber-Snus" site.

SO PLEASE WELCOME YOUR "NEW" HOST, Mr.UNZ! Mr. UNZ, is a name you the loyal followers of this blog started using in your comments...among others, some of which I had to delete. Mr. U-Zone came in second, but I may use that here when The Unloading Zone is re-designed.


Mr. UNZ, The Snus Guru, is pictured top (intentionally JUST a little blurry). He is the new Managing Editor, Contributor, Resident Snus Visionary, and a Founding Member of .....code-name "Uber-Snus".

A heads up especially for my long-time friends and readers: Members have the option of choosing from of a host of icons/badges to place on their social networks, emails, blogs....anything that takes HTML proudly telling the world, especially in the polarizing next few years, where YOU stand on snus.

For you, FOR A VERY LIMITED TIME, I had a Special FOUNDING MEMBER badge/icon created. One day, it will just be gone from the Badge Section. I wanted to give the people; my friends; who gave birth to this massive EVERYTHING Snus site the ability to show the world it happened because of YOU.

Membership is FREE by the way. So are the badges. And Members get special access and special permissions that visitors DON'T.

And don't worry, when I used the word "badges" above, this is not just another Ning site. It has nothing to do with Ning (no offense to those of you who use or have Ning sites: I'm a member of one myself!)

I just want you to understand how UNIQUE this site is going to be. I'd like to wait until all the content is loaded, but that would take much too long.

I already have much more than you get here now (on snus), so we're going to beta launch this year: could be in a week; could be late December, but it will be in 2008.

We have SO many things for you that the technical integration has been "challenging" for my developers and myself. And then I think of new things every day.............

Some of you may have found the site already....I know R.J. Reynolds Tobacco has. We were running it live for a while and were indexed. I have taken the site off-line until Mr. UNZ feels it's fit for public viewing.

We will VERY PUBLICLY announce, first here for your benefit, and then globally, when we beta launch.

Thanks a lot for your patience.

I had planned on holding off any new Snus Reviews until we move over; especially the one on all those cans of new Extra Strong brands. But every time I open the refrigerator, that one can of General Ekstra Sterk keeps calling to me.........and some of you taunt me in your comments on how Great it is!

It will be the next can I open and I'll review it here on The Unloading Zone if we haven't turned on Uber-Snus yet.

WHAT I WOULD LIKE YOU TO DO IS HELP ME by using the Uber-Snus site when I make the announcement here and tell me what YOU think: Good or BAD. I made it for you so your input is critical.

  • Is there anything missing you would like?
  • Is there something there you have no use for?
  • If you come across any bugs or difficulties with functionality, PLEASE let us know so we can fix them.
  • Can you figure out where everything is and how to use it?
  • Do we need to make instructions or FAQ's we don't have now or clearer for you? The site is easy to use but I'm giving you a Lot of options and a Lot of power. You may just want to go there to read Mr. UNZ's columns and not use any/all of the other. That's fine too...I don't want to scare you.
  • BUT I DO want to make the Uber-Snus site (again, not it's real name so don't Google it, but I did buy the domain) as USER-FRIENDLY and as easy for you, guests, and manufacturers to visit and use.

So PLEASE don't be shy once we're live. We have a Contact Us section: use it, PLEASE.

In the meantime, I'll be working on Uber-Snus, doing some posting here, trying to get caught up on my email (I apologize for any late responses to anyone), paying the mortgage, and getting a little sleep.

Thanks again for everything. Especially for visiting, and especially for the new friends I've made all because of that one little article I wrote over a year ago about MY first snus experience and how after 30+ years of smoking cigarettes, it changed my life forever.

And thank you Sweden, for allowing me my nicotine-addiction while regulating hundreds of great tasting snus's so that they REALLY ARE reduced harm: the least harmful (lawyers again) way to enjoy nicotine AND tobacco AND great taste at a great price.

That ties into the SECOND REASON for "Uber-Snus":

  • To fight the current legislation in Congress to BAN the importation by individuals of ALL tobacco products (except cigars, you hypocritical Cuban Cigar smoking bastards).
  • To force a VERY overburdened FDA to regulate snus like they do in Sweden and not just worry about banning cigarettes. Because lets be blunt:

Taste aside, What you DON'T Know about the differences between SWEDISH Snus and AMERICAN Snus CAN KILL YOU!

And 46 million+ American nicotine-addicted cigarette smokers don't. The Big Tobacco Companies lied to us when they said Light cigarettes were "safer" than Regular Cigarettes: Read the News: In real life with real cigarette smokers, there is NO DIFFERENCE! Big Tobacco LIED.

I switched to Camel Lights for NO Reason: I thought they were less harmful to me. They were NOT. I knew the dangers of cigarettes, and it was my personal choice to smoke as it was still legal and my nicotine-addiction. But they Lied about "Light Cigarettes". I was trying to reduce the harm I was doing my lungs and they LIED. I was not an informed smoker; I was played for a fool, just like everyone else who switched to light cigarettes.

Now they're telling LIES about American snus: trying futilly to LINK their carcinogenic, under-nicotined, over-priced, God knows what's in it but DON'T EVER swallow the pouch,.........product to Reduced Harm SWEDISH SNUS!

And just like myself and the vast majority Americans today, we never even heard of "snus" until Camel and Marlboro came along 3 years ago or so. If there wasn't a Swedish Match dealer 5 minutes from my house, I would probably STILL be using Camel SNUS!!! And be much the poorer health wise and financially for it.

The Uber-Snus Site will at LEAST help new snusers, the snus curious, and when the cigarette ban comes (and it is) panic-stricken nicotine-addicted cigarette smokers to be INFORMED consumers.....despite the questionable marketing practices of Big American Tobacco.

We even include information on DOCTORS who are using Swedish Snus instead of ineffective nicotine patches or pills for SMOKING CESSATION! If in the end, they decide to use Marlboro snus, Skoal snus or whatever American snus is out there, at least they will be informed users.

Personal Choice, Factual Information and Freedom to choose: That's what at stake. And a whole lot more you'll read about when Uber-Snus goes Live......VERY Soon.

Very Sincerely Yours,

Mr. Unloadingzone

and very soon,

Mr. UNZ
The Snus Guru

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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is Anonymous Tobacco Guy.

I look forward to the site, Mr. UNZ.

I think the key to success for snus in the US is ending the general perception that snus is dip, and removing the social stigma attached to this type of product.

It's no secret that dedicated snusers won't go near the candy-like sweet under-delivering US products. But you have to be realistic that at this point US users of Swedish snus are a growing fanclub, and not a demographic.

In that respect, I would try to attract snusers of US products as well. Camel, Triumph and Marlboro could very well be good "bridge" products to Swedish snus.

In any case, I hope the site has a wide range of product reviews, and links to available press reports on snus. It should provide good sleuthing as well, like who was able to get a Cuban can lately, and from where? What's delisted/re-listed?, and who's got it my neighborhood?

Good luck!

Aaron said...

Most excellent. You deserve a ton of credit from manufacturers like Swedish Match for turning so many people on to their products. Best of luck with the new site, i look forward to contributing in some fashion.

NewSnus said...

Mr UNZ,
Can't wait to see Uber Snus. Thank you for your website. I think I read the whole thing. I have half a tin of my second can of Camel SNUS still sitting on the kitchen table from last week. Thanks to you, and the one informed Oregon tobacco store, I have 3 tins of the General in my fridge. My lungs and my taste buds thank you. I haven't said Marlboro Light in 8 days and I'll never capitalize the word snus ever again. Happy Turkey Day...I may have to set an extra spot at the table for the General.

Mr. UnloadingZone said...

Hi NewSnus!

I can't wait for Uber Snus either. It's frustrating, but I want even the beta launch to not only blow away those of you who see where I'm going, But for another reason.

With Camel SNUS going national 1st quarter 2009, I don't want cigarette smokers who didn't have the time I did in sorting through all the misinformation on snus on the Internet to be able to make an uninformed choice.

What they ultimately choose to use is their personal choice, but I am fanatical that the FACTS are available so they CAN make an informed choice.

You have a great Thanksgiving and set a place for the General. You have a lot to thank him for.... including extending your life.

Sincerely,

Mr. UNZ

Mr. UnloadingZone said...

Thanks Aaron!

I'm not looking for credit. The more and more I've learned, the more determined I am that cigarette smokers know the FACTS before switching to snus.

As to Swedish Match, I owe them a thank you since without General Portion to compare to Camel SNUS, I probably would be a Camel SNUS user today....poorer and in worse health, but I would get my nicotine fix.

I also received a surprise in the mail. Swedish Match released a special limited edition of 1000 cans called the General Onyx Carbone Edition. I'm the proud owner of can # 0809.

It is beautiful...truly a work of art. I'll have pictures of it on Uber-Snus.

It looks nothing like a normal Onyx tin. To quote SM, "Onyx Carbon Edition is specially designed by Swedish Match, and produced by the same supplier that develops carbon fiber parts for Porsche and Koenisegg.

I've already thanked those responsible and do so again here.

As to you contributing Aaron, I'm counting on it, especially now that I have your offer in writing! :-).

In fact, you may regret offering because the contribution I'm thinking of won't be that small.

It's been great getting to know you and your advice in our email exchanges has been invaluable. Thank you.

The nice thing about publishing a blog or a website is that you can, on rare and deserved occasions, break your own rules.

Here's something I've never done before:

Folks, Aaron has one of the most amazing blogs around if you're a 2nd Amendment, quality knives, and other things similar fan.

Sharp, Bright and Tactical WebMagazine

http://sharptactics.blogspot.com/

To quote the site's mission:

Devoted to factory and custom knives, flashlights, tactical gear, ammunition, firearms and other general outdoor gear. If it's useful, it'll be here.

Other interests may be discussed too. Most content is written by either Aaron or Eric.

Think of this as an enthusiast-driven "consumer reports" about all things Sharp, Bright and Tactical.

Oh yeah...we're not selling anything either, this is just good old fashioned opinions and info.


IT LIVES UP to it's mission statement and deserves a visit.

Once I have the snus topic onto Uber-Snus, The Unloading Zone again becomes a general "what interests me" blog (and Aaron's does), it will get the notice it deserves here.

Aaron, I'll be in touch soon to discuss. In the meantime, have a great Thanksgiving.

Sincerely,

UNZ

sarah said...

Dear Mr UNZ,
my name is Sarah and after extensively reading your blog site i have just ordered 3 tins from buysnus.com.
As i am a lady i don't want anything obvious or strong so after reading up on the match website i ordered Vertigo Bahama Velvet Mini and cuba gold mini and general portion mini.
I was wondering if you had tasted the ladies vertigo flavors and what you thought of them?
thank you
Sarah.

Mr. UnloadingZone said...

Hi Sarah!

We have a fair amount of lady readers and no one has commented on Vertigo yet.

I agree with your choices based on what I've discussed with the manufacturer, but to be honest, I've never tried Vertigo.

I don't think its a "man" thing...more of a "I like a strong snus so it hadn't occurred to me."

Uber-Snus is now open: it's at http://snuscentral.org. Once you sign up as a member, you can post in the Forum Section and see if anyone else has tried it.

Then after you do try it, go to the Members Area>Member Reviews> Reviews of Swedish Snus> Swedish Match (they make Vertigo) and write your review for the rest of us.

I'll try a can on my next order, but as I prefer strong snuses and don't use mini's, your review will probably be more valuable than mine. I'd like to know what you think of Vertigos and the General Mini.

A lot of new snus users, especially the ones coming off "American" snus, I recommend the mini's to, but it's not from experience.... more feedback from other Members.

It would be great to get your feedback!

See you at SnusCENTRAL.org!

Sincerely,

Mr. UNZ

Mr. UnloadingZone said...

Answer to Anonymous Tobacco Guys Comment at the top:

I don't question your knowledge or credentials concerning snus in the EU....I've verified them.

But either intentionally or through naivety on the American Consumer market and Big Tobacco, you're completely missing the big picture on American snus.

Why do you think there IS American snus? Big American Tobacco makes a huge profit on cigarettes. Why even introduce the product here?

It's because the ban on cigarettes is coming. They ARE using it as a bridge product, but not to Reduced Harm Swedish snus, but to, as things look now, a much more harmful product to replace their cigarette revenue (and the Government's cigarette tax revenue).

The LAST thing American Tobacco wants is to have to compete with Swedish Snus on the Reduced Harm front, the lower profit margins, or any loss of business; now or in 5 years. Follow the money.

You are correct in the respect American Snus is a bridge product: a bridge to nowhere.

The LAST thing Big Tobacco wants is for smokers to learn the REAL differences between Swedish and American snus. And the US Government is turning a blind eye to it because they NEED that cigarette tax money: either from cigarettes or American snus.

And sadly, in today's climate of Profits Uberalis; damn the consumer...the only way American Snus will EVER be Reduced Harm is if the FDA does what the Swedish Government did and MANDATE it.

And that hurt to say because I don't like Government mandates.

And the less and less I like Big American Tobacco....who COULD do the right thing and make a profit but CHOOSES not to.

Sincerely,

Mr. UNZ

Mrs. Unloadingzone

Mrs. Unloadingzone
"The Girl of my Dreams"