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A Brief History of Snus

A Brief History of Snus

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Published by: rubinibala on Sep 28, 2012
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History of Snus
According to archaeological discoveries, the use of tobacco dates to around the first centuryB.C. when the Mayas, a highly cultured people in Central America, smoked the tobacco leaf in sacred and religious ceremonies. Between 470 and 630 A.D. some of the Mayas began tomove as far as the Mississippi Valley. The Toltecs, who created the mighty Aztec Empire, borrowed the smoking custom from the Mayas who remained behind. Two castes of smokersemerged among them. Those in the Court of Montezuma, who mingled tobacco with the resinof other leaves and smoked pipes with great ceremony after their evening meal; and the lesser Indians, who rolled tobacco leaves together to form a crude cigar.The Mayas who settled in the Mississippi Valley spread their custom to the neighbouringtribes. Theses tribes adapted tobacco smoking to their religion and begun to believe that their god, almighty Manitou revealed himself in the rising smoke. The Arawak Indians of theAmazon adapted tobacco to their religious rituals.In 1492, while Christopher Columbus was exploring West Indies, he observed the Indiansrolling leaves to form a cylinder, then lighting one end and inhaling the smoke from the other.As a friendly gesture, the Arawak Indians presented him with a gift of the aromatic leavesthey prized so highly.In 1943 Ramon Pan, a monk who accompanied Columbus on his second voyage, gave lengthydescriptions about the custom of taking snuff. He also described how the Indians inhaledsmoke through a Y-shaped tube. Inserting the two ends at the top of the tube into their nostrils,they placed the other end in the smoke rising from the burning leaves. The word "tobacco"was used to refer not to the herb, but to the tube through which the smoke was inhaled.In 1499, the explorer Amerigo Vespucci noticed that the American Indians had a curious habitof chewing green leaves mixed with a white powder. They carried two gourds around their necks -- one filled with leaves, the other with powder. First, they put leaves in their mouths.Then, after dampening a small stick with saliva, they dipped it in the powder and mixed the powder with the leaves in their mouths, making a kind of chewing tobacco.Jacques Cartier, on his second voyage to Canada in 1535, noted that he had seen the Indianssmoking pipes. "In Hochelaga, at the head of the river in Canada, grows a certain herb whichis stocked in large quantities by the natives during the summer season, and on which they setgreat value. Men alone use it, and after drying it in the sun, they carry it around their neck wrapped up in the skin of a small animal, like a sac, with a hollow piece of stone or wood.When the spirit moves them, they pulverize this herb and place it at one end, lighting it with afire brand, and draw on the other end so long that they fill their bodies with smoke until itcomes out of their mouth and nostrils as from a chimney. They claim it keeps them warm andin good health. They never travel without this herb."The newly arrived tobacco in Europe was treated as medicine. Jean Nicot was the Frenchambassador to Portugal in the 1560s. When he returned to Paris, he brought tobacco with him.He cured Queen Catherine de Medici's chronic headaches with a powder made of tobaccoleaves. The French Court discovered snuff.
 
In 1638 one of the ships of Swedish Shipping Company,
Söder Kompanier returned toStockholm with tobacco from a journey to the Swedish colony at the mouth of the DelawareRiver. It was the initial import as well as first introduction of tobacco in the Swedish market.Within a short period, tobacco became a major trade item and the farmers became curious tocultivate tobacco in Sweden.In 1725 Jonas Alströmer, who was the first farmer, succeeded in planting of tobacco inSweden. His plantation began to grows rapidly and reached to 35 000 plants within a fewyears and by 1732 it had grown to 130.000 plants. Tobacco became one of the most important products for Swedish economy and remained as a vital item all the way to the 19
th
century.The use of tobacco in various forms continued to grow and the authorities imposed a tobaccotax to control consumption of tobacco. Swedes had to pay tax for smoking according to socialrank. Nobility, priests and burghers had to pay a one-dealer silver to smoke and a 16 öre silver coin to usesnuff.The tax for farm hands and maids was four öre. Soldiers, boatmen andminers from Sala were exempt from tax.In 1741 a law was introduced that prohibited everyone under the age 21 to smoke. Actuallythis legislation indirectly accelerated the use of snuff in Sweden.During the 1700s, inhaling of snus through nose was a fashion for Swedes. At the end of the1700s, Swedes invented tucking snuff that is known today as oral snus. This type of oral snuff is used not only in Sweden, even in USA, North and Central America, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya,Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa.Financial status played a vital role in favouring the use of oral snuff instead of nasal snuff.Snuff was considered as luxury products. So only the Aristocrats and Bourgeoisies could usesnuff. But when the ordinary people found new method of taking snuff by mouth, snuff  became quickly popular and ousted more expensive chewing tobacco.In 1822, Jacob Fredrik Ljunglöf began manufacturing snus. Within a few years, he became awell knownsnus producer. His trademark was known as Number One (Ettan).Another brand known as General Snus was immerged as a general type of snus, i.e. a snuswithout its own brand. A recipe for a general snus was made based on available ingredients atthe time.Other old brands such as Röda Lacket from Norrköping, Friskens Norrlandssnus fromHudiksvall, Prestsnus from Gothenburg and Stockholmssnus from Kockums in Malmö werealso widely distributed.In 1860 Jacob Fredrik’s son Knut Ljunglöf (1833-1920) took over the business. Knut hadinherited his father's passion for snus and the quality of the snus. He tested himself day’s production, before he allowed it to be sold. The invention of tinfoil was very favourable tomarketing snus. Wrapped in tinfoil (a metal foil made of zinc or lead) was used to distributesnus even further from Stockholm. This boosted snus market significantly.Pope Leo XII was One of Ljunglöf's most prominent customers. Swedish emigrants inAmerica were another vital customer for Ljunglöf's snus. During the famine years, one fourthof the Swedish population immigrated to America. Many emigrants started to produce snususing the commonly known method with the longer curing process. They copied names for 

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