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US Snuff

AbraxasAbraxas Member
edited May 2012 in Types of Snuff
Ok, it seems that a few of us are discovering the US snuffs. I've slowly tried a few brands over recent months and really enjoyed the strong, penetrating hit that you get. As a long time user of toasts, this snuff fits in completely with the range of snuffs that I enjoy. As I said in an earlier post, we folks in the UK have, for the most part I think, not really had that much of a chance to get aquainted with them: I've not seen them in a single store over here and until our friends on the left of this page changed matters you just couldn't get them easily.

So, for those non-yank snuffers out there, try the US brands as they completely hit the spot.

What I would like to know is how visible are they in the US? Looking at our online stores there seems to be dozens of brands, which just don't figure much in any of the converstaions here. Are they well known in the US or just regional 'oddities'? I think we need an awareness campaign as people don't know what they are missing - they could be a real hit over here..


  • Where I currently live in Florida, just south of Alabama, I thought snuff would be easy to find, I was not only wrong about this but I also discovered that many people around here have no clue as to what 'dry snuff' is. Moist tobacco is popular around here though (Copenhagen, Skoal, etc). Thanks to, I discovered dry snuff which led me to snuffhouse and then to the wonderful shops listed here. ;) The other day I happened to stop in at a convenience store (a mom & pop type) and a very old tin of Dental snuff sat on the shelf. I'm not a huge fan but just because I was so excited, I asked for the tin. I had to point it out to the cashier and when she went to scan the item, it wasn't even in their system. She had no idea how much to charge me and just ended up giving it to me! I'm curious to see what other American's reply will be here. I can't even imagine walking into a store and seeing shelf upon shelf of snuff, I'd probably end up buying one of each!!!
  • Snuff is available in almost every grocery store and some drug stores in my area. I live in SE North Carolina and am able to get most Americans except for Rooster for some odd reason. The problem is American Scotch is all that is available. European snuffs are nowhere to be found. American Scotch snuffs are a harsh beginner snuff, but great for the experienced sniffer. I feel the Scotch snuffs would sell better if people had learned to take snuff from a gentler snuff like a McChrystals or Poschl, then graduate up to the hard stuff. But as they are not available in the local stores, it is holding back snuff from becoming mainstream. I dream of one day being able to walk into a convenience store and finding a large selection of snuffs, as we see with cigarettes.
  • these experiences greatly mirror my own. i have found MANY varities of american snuff, all scotch, all too harse for beginners, sitting on my grocer's tobacco shelf. i live in georgia and i can easily purchase Navy, Peach, Honey Bee, Tube Rose, Buttercup, Society, Square, Checkerberry, Railroad Mills, Dental, and Brutons in a number of shops. American snuffs: easy. European snuffs: rare. My local shope only offer 2 types of poschl, and 1 dean swift (is DS euro?).
  • All I can get locally are WE Garrett Sweet and Scotch. I would love to be able to buy more American snuffs at the store, and would really love to find any of the European brands.
  • AbraxasAbraxas Member
    edited April 2009 PM
    Radar, Dean Swift is made by one of the UK snuff mills, primarily for sale in the US, so Euro in origin I guess.

    Interesting replies. The availability in your strores must show the size of the local snuffing population, ie - there has to be demand for a store to carry lots of brands, or little demand locally for those places that stock little or no snuff. Its similar in parts of England. I come from the north where there was a lot of mining and a lot of snuff taking as a result, so most of what you call 'mom and pop' stores and what we call 'corner shops' still stock it as there is obviously a lingering use locally. What was or is the predominant industry in Radar's part of Georgia?

    The odd thing is that just about every corner shop carries one or two Wilson's - but in nearly 30 years of snuffing I've seen it used openly twice. I think people use it discreetly to the point of secrecy. Someone could get a Phd out of this!
  • My story is that my very first experience with nasal snuff was by chance. It was 1993, I was in a store in Jacksonville, Florida (which to my non American friends, that part of Florida is still very much a part of the South.)

    I was there on a ship I was working on, so I only had a few hours in port to do some shopping and relax for a while. I was a Copenhagen (moist oral snuff) user at the time, but I saw several kind of Scotch snuffs on the shelf in an aisle in this shop. The shop was in a mall, but it was kind of a variety shop, something like what we call here a "Five and Dime" which is to say lots of unrelated items but all inexpenisve things. I selected to buy two different ones, just to see what it was. At the time of this discovery, true snuff, not the stuff I was dipping, I thought was something only in movies and books of past times. I had no idea that it existed still. I also had no idea that these snuffs were actually used (abused?) as oral snuffs by the majority of their users. I don't even remember what two they were, although the store had a wide selection. I still have the two tins, but the labels I peeled off long ago. I kept them for storage. All I know is that they both have "Helme" on the lids, so they were Swisher brands. I bought them mainly out of curiosity, and because I was just so amazed that such a product existed!

    When I took them to the counter to buy the girl who was the cashier saw these two odd cans which like zzedo's would not ring up. She had to call someone to find out how much they were and she had to read the names over a phone or intercom she kept saying "stuff" instead of "snuff" then correcting herself. It was as if it was the first time she had ever said the word snuff. She also had to say the names of them several times (funny that I remember all this but not the names, eh? At least one of them was a Scotch snuff). Finally she got a price (which I also do not remember) and off I went.

    I was very excited to try them, but like most beginners I sniffed too hard and wailed around in pain. Then later trying to be more gentle, I still didn't get any pleasure from it, and also was uncomfortable with letting anything linger in my nose. So I gave up. I may have tried a bit here and there, but I used them up by dipping (again havning no idea that people dipped these types). Growing up in the semi-urban northeast, I had very little exposure to oral tobaccos, I kind of picked it up in college.

    Now from 1993-2009 I have never ever seen any other American dry snuff in a shop but you have to consider I wasn't looking for them until 2009. Since I have been looking again I have only found 2 shops that carry any. Both are tobacco shops/newstands. The first is ridiculously close, the other is in the next town over (20 minute drive). The near one had two brands (both sweets) the farther one had one only. At that farther one, when I asked for snuff, the shopkeeper paused for a minute as if deep in thought then began digging deep into the botoms of counters until he produced an unopened case of Honey Bee. He too, had no idea what the price was so sold it to me for $2.00 (it should have been closer to $3.50-$4.00.)

    So that's what its like here in Delaware. Not five miles from where Levi and W.E. Garrett had their mill and let loose their divine creation on this green earth you will see no trace of it today. (Except in my snuff drawer). The grocery stores don't sell it. The drug stores don't sell it. The cigarette outlets don't sell it. The convience stores don't sell it. The gas stations don't sell it. There is only one proper tobacco store here and he carries Pöschl (3 styles). Only two little minor tobacco stores have any and they are only sweet ones.

    My theory on that is that many of the elderly urban African-Americans are transplants from the south and they probably picked up dipping sweet snuffs as kids and brought the habit with them, so the more popular sweet snuffs are the ones that get distrubuted to the urban areas where there might be demand for it.

    So snuffster, that should give you a sense of what its like around here. Snuff is practically unknown, but its there if you turn over enough stones. Rumor has it that if I travel about 30-40 miles either south or west my luck will improve greatly at certain supermarkerts. Its a desert here though, but there is the occasional oasis, so I guess its better than some countries, but nothing as good as England or Germany must be. I've pulled the tobacco page out of the phone book and am going through every one on the list one by one. I've already checked the most likely ones though. I prefer to visit in person so it will take awhile. Any discovery I make I will post and also put on Mr. Snuff's store listing page.
    Sorry for the really long post, but hopefully some of it will be of interest. I like to write too much.
  • snuffster says: Someone could get a Phd out of this!

    Why not you? Maybe this guy he is a professor already!
  • Thats a great post Xander and does give me a real impression of what its like in your area, and probably most of the US? The availability issue is, as you suppose, better here but we are a tiny island so never too far from a manufacturer or decent shop, but its only tobacconists that sell anything like a range. However, you can easily sustain youself with Wilsons from the corner shop if you run out etc.

    The secrecy issue fascinates me. Im typing this from a burb of London and ten minutes walk in either direction would find me a shop with a can of Wilsons in it. Where are the snuffers? You can see the smokers everywhere, the snuffers must just lurk? I snuff freely wherever I am, including work.

    Great post
  • Prof Griffiths is a great snuffer and I love his site. Read his 'personal impressions' abput how he discovered snuff.
  • Walking around town the other day, I was thinking something like that about the smokers as they stood outside of buildings taking their breaks. The thing is, snuff takes all of 20 seconds to do and smoking a cigarette (at least a good one like a American Spirit) can take up to 15 minutes. So blink and you'll miss it. Its just part of its nature to be less visible, so secrecy may not be all of it.

    Yes, Prof Griffiths is a good read. It was one of the first sites I discovered when I came online to find out about snuff earlier this year. I found this forum a little later and then started to collect (and hoarde?) different snuffs. Its been a fun trip.
  • cstokes4cstokes4 Member, Moderator

    I was in Wilmington a few weeks back. They had a decent selection at the Food Lion's up there. I was very impressed.
  • edited April 2009 PM
    Snuffster, I agree with you. I've been looking for a nice, strong snuff. I want something which can bite me!! Thanks to Xander I've found this snuff now. I have some Carharts Choice up my nose now and although it's a bit to sweet for my liking, it's got a good bite and kick. I'm ordering some sample packs and I'm sure I will find something that suits me. Another thing is price. The tins are mostly 30 grams for almost the same price I pay for much less snuff from the UK. I just want to check out postage and handling. I also received some Honey Bee and Tops Sweet from Xander. Maybe a bit to sweet but also with a nice kick and bite.
    So, what I'm saying is that the American Snuffs are now on my favourites list which means ORDERING SOME MORE SNUFF AGAIN!!!!!!
    When is it going to stop???
  • Pieter, I am working on preparing a decent sampling of American Scotches for you, so don't be so impatient.

    Xan, where you in the Navy?

    I live in Louisville, KY, and my local Kroger grocery store had the regular Bruton, and W.E. Garrett. I bought a can of each. I think most of the American scotch buyers do so for oral use.

  • I am thinking the sweets are made specifically with oral use in mind, which is why they are sweetened. At least the straight scotch has a similar essence to the European toasts. I have so many Sweets, but I quit dipping, so I wonder if they will get used as nasal snuffs much, but from what I have read here and in snuffreviews, the sweets do seem to have a nasal fanbase as well. If anyone would like some samples, whisper me, I'd like to share my bounty, as I know I won't ever use them up.

  • toffeenosetoffeenose Member
    edited April 2009 PM
    @ Xander: great post, very informative. It must be quite frustrating having to go such great distances to find a can of snuff. Thank heavens for the internet, eh?

    @ snuffster: I recently found one newsagent near me that sells Wilson's; they said that no-one bought it so I bought up their entire stock (only about 6 tins) and have been distributing them amongst my snuff buddies on here and some snuff-curious friends. It is a far cry from even the 1980s when you could find it almost everywhere, even in London.

    @ Pieter: It will never stop for you - you are a confirmed snuff addict!! ;-)

    I wonder why none of the UK online snuff shops don't/wont/can't stock US snuffs - would they be really expensive to import?
  • Hey guys... please add ANY stores you find that carry snuff. Email me or add them yourselves here: Add a Store

    Thanks to whoever added Kenny the King in Illinois.

  • toffee- I believe the US snuffs are considered as an oral snuff, and thus banned for sale in UK. That's my guess.
  • @ tom502: Oh, that didn't occur to me. Are they packaged as such?
  • cstokes4cstokes4 Member, Moderator
    I think the damning evidence on the can is: "May cause mouth cancer and tooth loss"
  • Oh, well I've never actually seen a can...Oh wait, I've a Checkerberry can, but I don't remember seeing that on there. I'll have a look tonight when I get in.
  • hosshoss Member
    The American Snuffs are pretty rare to find here in East Texas as well. I stopped at a local tobacco shop while out for lunch and picked up a tin of Red Seal Sweet and W.E. Garret Scotch. Here in Texas dip like Copenhagen and Skoal is really popular but the snus and dry snuffs seem to confuse people. The lady at the counter seemed to think I was kidding when I asked for dry snuff, lol. As a side note, both tins indicate the product can cause mouth cancer, so I'm thankful that it's going in my nose. Taste wise I may have to try a few more of the Scotches, can't quite make a call on the sweet yet.
  • The online stores the left of this post ship to the UK, I believe its only snus thats banned from being sold here. There is nothing to stop you buying it as far as I know.
  • @ Pieter, that Carhart's choice was a bit different wasn't it. Not like the Honey Bee and Tops which seem identical, except for the sweetener used.

    @ tom502: I'm in the navy reserve (I wear uniform 2 weeks a year) but never went to sea with them. My full time job (or would be full time if I had some work) is merchant marine, which is cargo and passenger ships. Jackosnville has a huge container port.

    @ toffeenose: yes, I wouldn't know anything if it wasn't for the internet!

    @snuffster: you can import any oral tobacco to UK for personal use, snus included. You just can't sell it there. Some government agency would have to evaluate the American snuffs, then determine that its for nasal use, then maybe it could be sold there. Considering how Swisher, Conwood, and especially US Smokeless do everything in their power NOT to promote their dry snuffs, don't count on any of them looking to expand the market for them anytime soon.
    Two things will happen. Either nasal snuff will really take off and these things will have a resurgance and the companies will notice, OR the mainstay of users (mostly older people) dies off and the habit dies off with them. Less and less of this is sold every year. So these snuffs might die off, which would be a tragedy.
  • I am suprised at the vast amount of American Scotches that are made. I'd think if it's use dwindled so bad, then maybe there would be 4 types and that's all. But still, there are so many, so someone must be buying them.

    I was in the Navy at Kingsbay Sub base in St. Mary's GA, and Jacksonville was a popular hang out spot back then in the 80's there.
  • Ahh, ok. There is also a navy base & shipyard in Mayport (just down the river from Jacksonville). I've never been, except in passing to get to Jax. Lots of beaches there popular with the navy guys.

    There are a lot of names, how different they are from each other I can't say, as I've only had a handful. Aldready the more popular ones have edged out the least popular ones, and some have been dropped in the last few decades. True someone must be buying them. Usually, I think, someone gets their one brand and sticks to it though. Not like us. We like to explore and enjoy the variety.
    I'm off to the post office and smoke shop. Doubt if they will have anything new, but I need to buy a pipe.
  • Xander, you are quite right, the Carharts Choice's "bite" is more distinct than that of Honey Bee/Tops Sweet. I've been looking for a snuff like it for a long time already. I have some up my nose right now, very, very more ish.
  • OK just back. The shop sold the last two tubs of Carhart's Choice. I did't ask if they will reorder. The case of Honey Bee there that I spotted last week is untouched. Seems daft to carry Tops and Honey Bee and nothing else. The two are too similar. Maybe I'll ask if he'll stock Levi Garrett and Maccoboy for me. Those seem to be my favorites.

    Pieter, I think the only difference is that Honey Bee is sweeted with honey and Tops is probably molasses. Carhart's reminds me of a Skoal (oral moist snuff) flavor I had years ago, though I can't put my finger on it. Tops has a mild scotch too, though I've never had it or seen it.
  • I wonder if I could get a job at the larger of the tobacconists here, as a snuff expert (not an expert really, but I probably know more than he does). First I have to convince him to carry more than Pöschl. I'd feel lucky then.
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