Frequently Asked Questions about Smokeless Tobacco

Does smokeless tobacco contain nicotine?

Yes, nearly all smokeless varieties contain nicotine, just as typical cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products have. Make sure to check product warnings before purchase if you are looking for nicotine-free products. For some varieties of smokeless, such as snus, nicotine-free options may be available. These are rare, but can be found in Scandinavia and in some North American stores.

How is it different than other tobaccos?

As the name suggests, is designed to be enjoyed without the use of burning. This is typically done by chewing the tobacco or soaking it in the cheeks. This is one of the earliest ways that tobacco was used by humans, and it remains common today in many parts of the world.

How are chewing tobaccos produced?

Chewing tobaccos are produced much in the same way as traditional tobaccos. They are produced through a process that involves curing leaves of a chosen breed, then cutting and fermenting the leaves until they’re ready to be processed. Chewing tobacco production often involves a step where the tobacco is sweetened with other flavors.

Are chewing tobaccos always sweetened?

No, there are some varieties of smokeless tobacco, and chewing tobaccos in particular, which are not sweetened. Chew bags, which are sold in small bags designed to be stored in the cheek and then chewed on for tobacco release, are typically not sweetened.

Types of Smokeless Tobacco

Dipping Tobacco Chewing Tobacco Snus
Dipping tobacco is a type ofsmokeless tobacco  that is cut very finely and then moistened so that it can be pinched and placed into the space between the lips and the gums. The cut sizes of dipping tobacco can vary widely from finely ground to extra-long cuts. It is often flavored during processing. Chewing tobacco is placed between the lip and gums, and then chewed for the nicotine release. Compared to dipping tobacco, it is usually drier and much larger in size. Chewing tobacco comes in several forms, including loose leaf and tightly-packed tobacco that is designed to be bitten off. Snus is a form of tobacco that, unlike dip and chew, is not designed to be spit. The tobacco in snus is very finely ground, to the point that it’s more like a powder than a type of cut. There are different varieties of Snus, and those sourced from different countries can have very different characters.

Smokeless Tobacco Cuts

Scraps Plugs Twists
Scraps, also known as loose leaf, are one of the most common cuts for chewing tobacco. This type of cut goes back to days in the past when chewing tobacco was sourced from leftover cigar cuttings. This type of cut is more common among chew than any other varieties. Plugs are a type of cut that is pre-pressed into a brick to allow the tobacco to be pulled off or bitten off in chunks. Plugs are not a common variety even among chewing tobaccos, and this preparation is not common for other smokeless varieties. This uncommon preparation of involves braiding tobacco into a tightly-wrapped rope that is then bitten off. This cut can be found for chewing tobacco, but few others.
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