Smokeless tobacco products are either chewed, snuffed orally, nasally, rubbed on teeth and gums gargled or drunk. Usage varies in various geographic locality, ingredient availability, cultural/societal norms, and personal preferences.
Smokeless tobacco (SLT) products range in complexity from simple cured tobacco to elaborate products with numerous chemical ingredients and, in some cases includes non-tobacco plant material that may affect the attractiveness, addictiveness, and toxicity of the products. For certain products, preparation, ingredient selection (including non-tobacco plant materials) is specific.
In terms of production and preparation, SLT can be broadly divided into premade and custom-made products . Premade SLT products, which are made for sale and generally consumed as purchased (i.e., “ready-to-use”), can be subdivided into:
- Commercial products (i.e., moist snuff, snus, khaini) that are made in traditional manufacturing settings such as factories or production facilities.
- Cottage products (toombak, nasway, mainpuri, mawa) that are made in non-traditional production environments (market stalls, shops, houses, etc.) and often sold in non-commercial packaging (paper or plastic bags; wrapped in paper).