Tobacco has been used globally for years as a nicotine source, a stimulant that is highly sought by users for reasons like tension relief and pleasure, among others. Tobacco is made from the leaves of the tobacco plant in a curing process that eliminates green pigmentation. It is available in different forms and used in different ways. Here are the common ways in which tobacco is consumed:
Smoking is the most popular method of tobacco consumption. It has been around for a long period, from its native origins in Southern America to eventually spread around Europe in the 16th Century. Smoked tobacco products include:
Cigarettes are the most predominantly used tobacco product globally. They are manufactured by combining shredded tobacco and hundreds of chemical additives that pass through a cellulose filter to deliver nicotine when a cigarette is lit.
Cigars are made using fermented, air-cured tobacco and particularly stand out for their size variations, including cheroots, chuttas and stumpen. Cigars have long been associated with men in authority and some of the most notable statesmen depicted with cigars include Fidel Castro, John F. Kennedy and Winston Churchill.
Bidis referred to a special type of thin cigarettes rolled by hand in India and territories in the South-Eastern part of the Asian continent. They consist of crushed tobacco in a tendu leaf covering and added flavors.
Hookahs, also popularly known as Shisha, are pipes made to smoke flavored tobacco. Charcoal heated tobacco smoke passes through water before reaching a mouthpiece that is usually passed from person to person.
Smoking pipes are some of the oldest tobacco consumption methods, consisting of a bowl for heating the tobacco and a stem that extends to form a mouthpiece. Pipes are available in a wide selection of shapes and quality and have largely evolved in recent years to become class statements.
Several tobacco products are used to deliver nicotine without combustion. These products include:
Snuff has been widely used in traditional societies and consists of fire-cured tobacco ground finely and is used either in its moist or dried state.
Moist snuff is also known as dipping tobacco and is placed between the gum and the lip until it dissolves. The process induces excess production of saliva that requires users to spit throughout the process.
Dried snuff consists of specially cured ground tobacco leaves, which are inserted into the nostrils to deliver nicotine instantly.
Dissolvable tobacco products are a later addition of products which work like snuff. They are placed between the gum and cheeks to release tobacco when they dissolve. The main difference is that they are spit free. They are available in the following variations:
They are shaped like toothpicks and last in the mouth for roughly 10 minutes.
Dissolvable nicotine lozenges are available in soft and hard formats for smoke-free nicotine sessions.
Orbs are shaped like pellets that come in different flavors and last for 15 minutes.
Nicotine strips are similar to strips used as breath fresheners and last for 3 minutes.
Loose-leaf tobacco refers to grounded tobacco leaves rolled into cigarettes using normal rolling papers or cigar wraps by users. Loose leaf is sometimes rolled with cannabis to form a “spliff.”