With an array of expressions as colorful and descriptive as an over-the-top art critic, it's no wonder the slang for smokeless tobacco, might make it seem somewhat interesting.
For the curious, here's some info...
It starts with farmers producing dark air-cured and dark-fired tobacco. Dark air-cured tobacco is similar to the dark-fired, except that air—not fire—is used to cure the plant.
With the declining smoking market, farmers are reducing the acres of burley tobacco, the leaf used for cigarette blends.
The tobacco leaf is then ground-up or shredded, cured, mixed with water, salt, sodium carbonate, additives, preservatives and flavors. There are no regulations for the different mixes and additive, and each producer has their secret formulas.
There are at least 2000-3000 chemicals in the various smokeless tobacco ingredients, as compared to 4000 for smoking cigarettes and cigars.
Spit tobacco, commonly also called smokeless oral tobacco, has several different forms, such as snuff and chewing tobacco.
Chewing tobacco comes in pouches, plugs or strands of loose tobacco leaves, sometimes twisted together. Users take these plugs, wads or chews and put them between their gum and cheek or lower lip to suck on, spitting out the tobacco juice. Snuff, both dry and moist, is finely ground tobacco supplied in a pouch or can. It is used by either sniffing up the nose, or by taking a pinch, dip or quid and tucking it the cheek, then sucked on.
Many countries have their own preferences and slang for their smokeless tobacco ingredients. The Swedish product called "snus" (pronounced "snoose") used to be illegal to sell outside Sweden, but is now widely available, especially online.
Swedish snus is processed differently from American snuff, and studies show that mouth and lung cancer rates are slightly lower with snus. Some popular brands are General, Skruf, Rocker, Kicks and Granit.
In India, smoking is huge; especially bidis in rural areas, but chewable tobacco products are popular too, such as pan, guthkas and dried tobacco leaf.
In Britain, the traditional nasal snuff is being re-invented, and tins of this snuff stuff are flying off the shelves.
British snuff is made by grinding tobacco leaves with traditional iron pestles in oak mortars to bring out the natural aromas. Then comes the flavor lures... maybe liquorice, menthol and eucalyptus, strawberry and raspberry, cinnamon and coffee, or for the discerning—blends of subtle scents using expensive perfumes and oils of apricot, vanilla or attar of roses. Exotic names like 'Crumbs of Comfort' and 'Golden Glow,' complete the allure.
In USA, USSTC (U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company) is the main producer, with moist smokeless tobacco brands of Copenhagen, Skoal, Rooster, Red Seal, Bandits, Husky, and new kid on the block—Revel Tobacco Packs.
USSTC sells more than 1.7 million cans of moist smokeless tobacco per day, or approximately 640 million cans annually.
Modern snuff is more often supplied as spitless tobacco, as in sachets like small tea bags, which means there is no need to spit, and the bag can be thrown away afterwards.
Philip Morris have just launched Taboka, a new spitless, smokeless tobacco product. It comes in white menthol flavor pouches, which can be placed between the lip and the gums for five minutes to 30 minutes and then thrown out.
Reynolds American Inc. subsidiary, R.J. Reynolds has recently introduced frost-flavored Camel Snus. With maximum appeal targeting young people, Camel Snus comes in dinky little pouches in bubble-gum type tins. It smells and tastes like a cross between candy and gum.
Reynolds also own Conwood, a private company that makes Kodiak snuff and Levi Garrett chewing tobacco.
There's even a new "tobacco substitute," being researched without the normal smokeless tobacco ingredients, but rather nicotine extract and black tea.
In light of global smoking bans, the tobacco industry is rapidly developing and advertising new smokeless tobacco ingredients with greater appeal.
With their quirky flavors and catchy packaging, tobacco companies are offering free samples and coupons to entice new users, and encourage smokers to change their tobacco consumption practices instead of quitting smoking.
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