29 August 2016

General Omni (Licorice) - Reviews (Discontinued). 29 August 2016.

NOTE:  This product has been discontinued and is no longer for sale.

White Tobacco products/"purified tobacco" products have been all the rage lately. After the popularity of Epok Snus, it appears that Swedish Match is getting interested in this category. I recently reviewed their first offering in this category, Zyn NT and now we're going to be discussing their latest product, Omni by General. Today we are going to be talking about General Omni Licorice, which is described as, "Distinct notes of salty licorice, along with hints of fudge A small, thin and dry pouch, which, once moistened under the lip, releases flavor quickly and powerfully."  But, before we get into that, let's talk about what General Omni is.

Doing a comparison of Swedish Snus, Omni and Zyn NT, you'll notice that Omni is closer to Zyn NT than Epok. It is a finer material, and resembles table salt, much like Zyn NT. The difference I find between Omni and Epok is that there are very small brown pieces within the pouch, which Zyn NT does not have. Omni is said to be a mix between cellulose fibers, a small share of tobacco and food grade approved flavorings. I’m assuming the “small share” of tobacco is the brown specks I see in the pouch. If you want more detailed background information, I did a more "in depth" preview article which goes a bit further into this.

Omni comes in two strengths, regular (3mg) and strong (6mg). The 3mg is said to be comparable to regular strength General at a strength of 0.8% nicotine. The 6mg is said to be comparable to an extra strong product, with 1.5% nicotine.  The cans are about the size of a mini portion snus and have the smaller catch lid.  The regular strength can has 2 out of 4 dots, and the extra strong can has 4 out of 4 dots and a red ring around the label on the top catch lid.  The pouches are relatively flat, but about the same size as a regular Swedish Snus portion. Each pouch has a weight of 0.4 grams.

When you open a can of General Omni: Licorice, the aroma is a really present smell of black licorice. It isn't too sweet, and the smell is quite rich. The pouches are relatively dry, but are surprisingly comfortable in the lip. The flavor comes on quicker than I expected. The licorice flavor is quite present and does come with a nice touch of salt. There's a very mild sweetness to it, as well. The one thing that surprised me was the hint of fudge. I read that in the description and didn't imagine I'd actually taste it, but I did. One of my favorite candies is Bassetts Licorice Allsorts, and there's one that is a "sandwich" of black licorice and chocolate, and this one reminds me a lot of that in terms of flavor. It's actually pretty good.  Both of the nicotine strengths have the same mouthfeel, aroma and flavor, but the difference is the nicotine.  I will say with the regular strength 3mg one I did feel about the same amount of nicotine as a regular strength snus.  With the 6mg strong one I did notice an extra kick of nicotine, but I didn't feel on par with an "extra strong" snus.  I would say it ranks closer to a "strong" snus than an "extra strong".

So, in the end, what do I think about General Omni? As I said with Zyn NT, this isn't a product for me, nor is it something I would use. I can say, objectively, that these are good products and I'm glad they exist. Not everyone quits smoking the same way, and the rise of white tobacco products shows that people have an interest in trying these non-traditional smokeless tobacco products. I'm glad they exist because everyone quits smoking a different way, and these products may help someone quit smoking. At the end of the day, that's what I view as most important. So even though these aren't products I would personally use, I still will suggest them to people looking for different ways to consume nicotine.  I personally enjoy Epok more, but for those who want more discrete/drier products, these are a good avenue to pursue and a good alternative.

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