Products made from tobacco
Is the agricultural product of the leaves of plants in the genus . All species of Nicotiana contain the addictive drug nicotine—a stimulant and sedative contained in all parts of the plants except the seeds—which occurs in varying amounts depending on the species and variety cultivated. See types of tobacco and curing of tobacco for more information.
The vast majority of commercially available tobacco is derived from the species, although it is also produced from, and to a lesser extent, , and, among others.
Once tobacco has been grown, harvested, cured, and processed, it is used to produce a number of different . These are most often consumable; however, tobacco and the nicotine derived from it are also used to create pesticides.
Tobacco products can generally be divided into two types: smoked tobacco (see tobacco smoking ) and smokeless tobacco.
An expert in tobacco and tobacco products — especially pipes, pipe tobacco, and cigars—including their procurement and sale, is called a tobacconist.
Chewing is one of the oldest methods of consuming tobacco leaves. Native Americans in both North and South America chewed the fresh leaves of the plant, frequently mixed with lime. Modern chewing tobacco (colloquially known as chew or chaw, especially in the American South and Midwest) is produced from cured and often fermented tobacco, usually dampened and mixed with some type of sweetener. (Often molasses.) Twist tobacco may be an exception in this case, as many brands of twist are not sweetened.
In using chewing tobacco—at least types other than tobacco pellets—the consumer usually deposits the tobacco between the cheek and teeth and lightly macerates and sucks the tobacco to allow its juices to flow. Thus when chewing, it is common to spit and discard excess saliva caused by the release of juices from the tobacco, justifying the existence of the spittoon, or cuspidor.
The popularity of chewing tobacco and the subsequent spittoon reached its height in the American Midwest during the late 19th century; however, as cigarettes became the predominant form of tobacco consumption the spittoon gradually fell into disuse. While spittoons are often a rarity in modern society, loose leaf chewing tobacco can still be purchased at many convenience stores or from tobacconists throughout the United States and Canada.
Chewing tobacco is manufactured in several forms:
Loose leaf chewing tobacco, also known as scrap, is perhaps the most common contemporary form of chewing tobacco. It consists of cut or shredded strips of tobacco leaf, and is usually sold in sealed pouches or bags lined with foil. Often sweetened, loose leaf chew may have a tacky texture. Common, modern brands of scrap sold in North America include Red Man, Levi Garrett, Jackson's Apple Jack (made by Swisher International), Beech-Nut, and Stoker's.
Pellets or bits consist of tobacco rolled into small pellets. They are often packaged in portable tins. Tobacco pellets are used in the same manner as snus, in that they are placed between the lip and gum, and that spitting is typically unnecessary. It is suggested that the user may periodically chew the pellets lightly in order to release additional juice, flavor, and/or nicotine. Tobacco bits are almost exclusively produced under the Northern European Oliver Twist and Piccanell brands. They are thus—like snus—preponderant in the Scandinavian region.
Plug tobacco is made up of tobacco leaves that have been pressed together and bound by some type of sweetener, resulting in a thick, brick-like tobacco mass. One can then bite directly from the mass or slice the tobacco into portions. Some types of plug may either be chewed or smoked in a tobacco pipe, and some are exclusive to one method or the other.
Plug tobacco was once a much more common product, available to many American consumers during the 19th century. Two tobacco companies that historically manufactured plug are Liggett and Lorillard.
Twist or rope tobacco is made up of rope-like strands of tobacco that have been twisted together and cured in that position, afterwards being cut. Some types of twist may either be chewed or smoked in a tobacco pipe, and some are exclusive to one method or the other.
Unlike other types of chewing tobacco, twist tobacco isn't always a sweetened product, and may be devoid of molasses.
CigarsSeveral different cigars.
A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco which is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the smoker's mouth and expelled; thus the cigar is generally "puffed on" (like a tobacco pipe) as opposed to being inhaled from (as is the case with cigarettes). The cigar is one of the oldest methods of preparing tobacco for consumption, some of the first cigars being introduced to Europeans as rolls of tobacco smoked by the Taíno of 15th century Cuba.
There are numerous varieties of cigar, differentiated by their respective size, shape, color, and composition. Some products developed from the cigar are, however, markedly different from the traditional product. (Cigarillos, blunts, and little cigars, for instance.) Cigarettes may be the most notable example of this deviation, although they do, in a sense, represent a category of their own.
Tobacciana associated with cigars include cigar tubes, cigar boxes, cigar holders (also known as "cigar mouthpieces"; cf. cigarette holder), cigar cutters (including cigar scissors or shears), cigar cases, and humidors.
Blunts are wide, somewhat stubby versions of cigars. Most, if not all, are machine-made "domestic cigars" created from homogenized or reconstituted tobacco. They are usually inexpensive, and only lightly fermented.