Smokeless Tobacco Revisited - Confusion Still Exists..

March 9, 2008 -There are two types of smokeless tobacco (ST) chewing tobacco and snuff (moist and dry) Chewing tobacco and dry snuff have fallen in popularity. The only part of the tobacco market in which sales are growing is moist snuff. These products can be SMOKELESS BUT NOT SPITLESS and others are BOTH SMOKELESS AND SPITLESS. Examples of only smokeless are UST's Skoal, Copenhagen; RJR-Conwood's Kodiak, Swedish Match's Red Man Moist Snuff and Philip Morris' Marlboro Moist Smokeless Tobacco. The NON-SPITLESS (American style) SNUFF usually contains high amounts of moisture (50% or more, and lots of salt) and SMOKELESS and SPITLESS (Swedish style) SNUFF called SNUS contains less moisture and less salt. SNUS comes in two forms loose and portioned. Original snus (loose-weight), is a moist powder which can be portioned and packed into a cylindrical or spherical shape with the fingertips or SNUS portioner and Portion-packed SNUS - the type marketed in the U.S., is prepackaged powder in small bags made from the same material as teabags. White portioned SNUS contains even less moisture (and the taste may be enhanced).The main ingredients in the preparation of SNUS are ground tobacco, water, salt (ordinary cooking salt) and sodium carbonate. Additional ingredients are aromatic compounds and moisture-preserving substances. The salt is added for two reasons: to add to the flavor and to extend the shelf life of SNUS. Sodium carbonate (or potassium carbonate)is used to give the SNUS its characteristic flavor and aroma and also gives it a slightly basic pH value. Jonathan Foulds has described SNUS as moist snuff typically containing about 50% water. We believe this value to too high - the value is more like 10-15% water like found for Marlboro Snus. A CDC study analyzed the nicotine, pH and moisture content of six NON-SPITLESS SNUFF (e.g., Copenhagen, Skoal, Skoal Bandits, Kodiak) products found the moisture content ranged from 48.9% to 54.1% and the pH ranged from 5.55 for Skoal Bandits Straight to around 8.1 for Copenhagen. ( MMWR,v48#19,May 21, 1999) The amount of nicotine a person might actually obtain from smokeless tobacco products varies according to a number of factors, including how long a person holds the product in his or her mouth, how large of a pinch of tobacco is placed in the mouth, the quantity of nicotine in the tobacco, and the quantity of un-ionized nicotine in the tobacco. Nicotine in tobacco exists in two chemical forms – "free" (un-ionized) nicotine and "bound" (ionized) nicotine. The pH of a smokeless tobacco product can affect the estimated amount of its nicotine present in the un-ionized form as compared to the ionized form. The un-ionized nicotine is known to be the form of nicotine absorbed most easily in the mouth In order to be called SPITLESS the packet (pouch, sachet) has to be placed in a particular location in the mouth between the upper lip and gums and kept there with very little movement. Click on image to enlarge..