Table 1

Description of representative products from three broad categories of oral tobacco products used globally1 3 5 6 (some products with the same name can fit in more than one category based on formulation)

ProductCommon geographic originsCommon ingredients
Category I: tobacco (with or without flavourants)*
 Tobacco leafBangladeshTobacco
 MisriIndiaTobacco (powdered)
 Qimam (kiman)IndiaTobacco, additives, spices (aniseed, cardamom, saffron)
 Loose leafUSATobacco (air-cured cigar leaf), sweeteners (sugar, molasses), liquorice
 PlugUSATobacco (burley, bright, or cigar tobacco) leaves, sweeteners, liquorice
 TwistUSATobacco (dark and air-cured leaf), tar-like tobacco leaf extracts
 Dry snuffUSA, UK, IndiaTobacco (fermented fire cured, Kentucky and Tennessee), flavourings
 SnusSwedenTobacco, sodium carbonate, sodium chloride, moisturisers, flavouring
 Moist snuff (lower pH)USATobacco (fermented air cured or fire cured), flavourings, inorganic salts
Category II: tobacco with various alkaline modifiers
 Chimó§VenezuelaTobacco, sodium bicarbonate, brown sugar, Mamón tree ashes
 Naswar (Niswar, Nass)Central Asia, Pakistan, IranTobacco, slaked lime, indigo, cardamom, menthol
 KhainiIndiaTobacco, slaked lime paste (sometimes areca nut)
 ToombakSudanTobacco (fermented),** sodium bicarbonate
 Iq'mikUSA (Alaska)Tobacco (air cured or fire cured), willow or punk fungus ashes
 GulCentral/eastern IndiaTobacco powder,** molasses, alkaline modifiers
 Snuff (higher pH)USA, South AfricaTobacco (fermented air cured or fire cured), flavourings, various alkaline modifiers
Category III: tobacco with slaked lime (as an alkaline modifier) and areca nut††
 GutkhaIndia, Southeast Asia, UKTobacco, slaked lime, areca nut, catechu, saffron, saccharine, flavourings
 MawaIndiaTobacco, slaked lime, areca nut
 ManipuriPakistanTobacco, slaked lime, areca nut, spices
 ZardaIndia, Arab countriesTobacco, slaked lime, usually areca nut, spices, vegetable dyes
 Betel quid (with tobacco)South Asia, Southeast Asia, China‡‡Tobacco, slaked lime, areca nut, flavourings§§ wrapped in betel leaf
  • * These products may contain small amount of compounds that boost alkalinity.

  • These products are made with Nicotiana tabacum L. (cultivated tobacco) and/or Nicotiana rustica L. (Aztec or shamanic tobacco) that has a higher nicotine content.

  • Alkaline modifiers, which that can boost product pH, may include inorganic salts (sodium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate, potassium carbonate, etc.), slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) and ashes from various plants, Mamón (Meliccoca bijuga L.) and willow (Salix spp.) trees and from punk fungi (Phellinus igniarius (L.) Quél.).

  • § Chimó may also contain banana peel, avocado seed and yoco (Pauliinia yoco L.) as flavourings.

  • Slaked lime (ie, calcium hydroxide) can be obtained from coral, shellfish, or quarried limestone.

  • ** This product may be made of N tabacum, N rustica, or Nicotiana glauca Graham (Brazilian tree tobacco).

  • †† These products made with areca nut (Areca catechu L.) can be made with or without piper betel leaf (Piper betle L.) and catechu (Acacia catechu L.).

  • ‡‡ Betel quid with tobacco is used in countries including India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, New Guinea, Taiwan, China and Guam.

  • §§ The flavourings used can include menthol, camphor, sugar, rosewater, aniseed, mint and other spices; this handmade product may also contain catechu.