William Simons talks about the joys of Snus.
What is the stupidest thing to do in Sweden? Insult the King? Declare your love for Norway or imply that ABBA was miming in The Eurovision Song Contest? No, by far the dumbest, pointless, time wasting exercise is to stop “snussing”. Snus is a tobacco related product that is often mistakenly translated as snuff and which is placed between your lip and your teeth and gives you a mellow, calm high. It is in other parts of the world, Americans call it “chew” and of course it is also on sale in Norway (at double the price) and surprisingly I have found evidence of across the counter sales in South Africa. It is sold in handy little tubs that contain either the loose, wet, soil-like snus (for real men) or in handy pre-packaged pouches that you simply take out of the container and discreetly stuff up your lip.
After much debate, research and argument it has been finally decided that the harmful effects of snus are……none! It is better much than smoking, in that you don’t kill yourself or people around you, it doesn’t smell on your clothes and you don’t have to stand in a doorway to do it. It can also be argued that it is a great way to stop smoking by starting snussing – but why one would want to replace one addiction with another is beyond me.
Which brings me neatly on to my main point – I snus and have even tried to quit a few times and failed. The only thing this process has taught me is that quitting snus is the dumbest thing one can do. It doesn’t make you feel healthier, it doesn’t leave you with more money in your pocket, it will add at least five kilos to your bodyweight and will make you hell to live with. Why would you want to put yourself through that? Don’t even think of beating the trend by quitting, according to the BBC snus sales are increasing by 15% annually and snus manufacturers are doing more and more to tempt us – by adding flavours like cranberry and liquorice. With smoking being banned left right and centre it even feels like the government wants us all to stuff one up.
Isn’t it funny that despite an EU ban on the sale of snus, Sweden has an exemption? What’s even stranger is that the EU let themselves be rolled over and their tummy tickled by Sweden on this issue and yet Brussels wants us to have straight bananas, to wear florescent vests when we wash our cars and crash helmets when we walk the dog. They want us to do all this but don’t think Swedes have the right to buy a bottle of wine from a supermarket? Why couldn’t they put their foot down on the sale of alcohol, whose sale is only permitted through the monopoly of Systembolaget? That dear reader is the whole new sermon and one that will take me about a week to write.