Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tobacco Products (Other than Cigarettes) Overview

Cigarettes represent the most widely accepted ways of tobacco use in the modern society, but there are many other tobacco products, which will briefly list and review today.

Tobacco is consumed in many forms and through a number of different methods. Below are examples including, but not limited to, such forms and usage.

  • Beedi (bidi) are thin, often flavored, south Asian cigarettes made of tobacco wrapped in a tendu leaf, and secured with colored thread at one end. The word comes from beeda, Marwari for a leaf wrapped in betel nuts, herbs, and condiments. This traditional method of tobacco use throughout South Asia and parts of the Middle East, now became very popular and inexpensive in India (about 48% of Indian tobacco consumption in 2008). There, beedi consumption outpaces that of conventional cigarettes, although these tobacco-filled leaves deliver more nicotine, carbon monoxide and tar and carry a greater risk of oral cancers.

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  • Chewing tobacco is the oldest ways of consuming tobacco leaves. Native Americans in both North and South America chewed the leaves of the plant, frequently mixed with the mineral lime. Chewing tobacco was the most prevalent form of tobacco use in the United States until it was overtaken by cigarette smoking in the early 20th century. It is consumed orally, in two forms: through sweetened strands, or in a shredded form. When consuming the long sweetened strands, the tobacco is lightly chewed and compacted into a ball. When consuming the shredded tobacco, small amounts are placed at the bottom lip, between the gum and the teeth, where it is gently compacted, thus it can often be called dipping tobacco. Both methods stimulate the saliva glands, which led to the development of the spittoon.
  • Tobacco gum, like dissolvable tobacco, is a recent introduction - a type of chewing gum which, like nicotine gum provides nicotine through oral absorption. However, the difference between nicotine gum and tobacco gum is that tobacco gum is made from finely powdered tobacco mixed with a gum base, rather than freebase nicotine.
  • Cigars are tightly rolled bundles of dried and fermented tobacco, which is ignited so its smoke may be drawn into the smoker's mouth. Besides the most common type of the cigars, they might come in the following varieties: Blunts (wide, somewhat stubby versions of cigars, Cigarillos (long, thin cigars, somewhat larger than cigarettes but smaller than regular cigars, and Little Cigars (cigars that re the same size as a cigarettes, however, retaining its identity as a cigars because of wrapping in a tobacco leaf).

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  • Creamy snuffs are tobacco paste, consisting of tobacco, clove oil, glycerin, spearmint, menthol, and camphor, and sold in a toothpaste tube. It is marketed mainly to women in India, and is known by the brand names Ipco (made by Asha Industries), Denobac, Tona, and Ganesh. It is locally known as "mishri" in some parts of Maharashtra. A similar product known as gul or gadakhu is made with tobacco powder and molasses, and used mainly by women in Central and South Asia as a dentifrice. These products are usually used more in central Asia (India and Pakistan) by both genders. It quickly becomes addictive. It creates a lot of health hazards if taken in large amount and/or regularly. Quitting is difficult and uncommon. Gul causes a lot of health hazards like stomach ulcers, mouth cancer, and gall stones.
  • Dipping tobaccos are a form of smokeless tobacco. Dip is occasionally referred to as "chew", and because of this, it is commonly confused with chewing tobacco, which encompasses a wider range of products. A small clump of dip is 'pinched' out of the tin and placed between the lower or upper lip and gums. The dip rests on the inside lining of the mouth usually for a period depending on the user's preference, usually 45 minutes to an hour. Nicotine is absorbed by the inferior or superior labial arteries.
  • Gutka is a preparation of crushed betel nut, tobacco, and sweet or savory flavorings. It is manufactured in India and exported to a few other countries. A mild stimulant, it is sold across India in small, individual-size packets. It is consumed much like chewing tobacco, and like chewing tobacco it is considered responsible for oral cancer and other severe negative health effects. Gutka is very popular in India among both adults and children. Some packaging does not even mention tobacco as an ingredient, some are chocolate-flavored, and some are marketed as breath fresheners. Therefore, Gutkha use can begin at a very young age. Due to its often flavorful taste, easy availability and cheapness, it is popular with poor children, who can exhibit precancerous lesions at a very early age as a result.
  • Hookah is a single or multi-stemmed (often glass-based) water pipe for smoking. Originally from India, the hookah has gained immense popularity, especially in the Middle East. A hookah operates by water filtration and indirect heat. It can be used for smoking herbal fruits or cannabis. Although the use of Hookah has been commonly attributed to be much worse than regular tobacco smoke, tests remain inconclusive as to the true health impact of the hookah. Some studies conclude that Hookah smoke is safer than tobacco cigarette smoke.

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  • Kreteks are cigarettes made with a complex blend of tobacco, cloves and a flavoring "sauce". Haji Jamahri, a resident of Kudus, Java, created kreteks in the early 1880s as a means to deliver the eugenol of cloves to the lungs, as it was thought to help asthma. Jamahri believed the eugenol cured his chest pains and he started to market his invention to the village, but he died before he could mass market it. M. Nitisemito took his place and began to commercialize the new cigarettes. Partly due to favorable taxation compared to "white" cigarettes,  kreteks are by far the most widely-smoked form of cigarettes in Indonesia, where about 90% of smokers usually smoke kreteks.
  • Roll-Your-Own, often called rollies or roll ups, are very popular, particularly in European countries. These are prepared from loose tobacco, cigarette papers, and filters - all bought separately. Hand-rolled cigarettes give smokers the ability to roll cigarettes of any diameter they choose, and hence vary the strength of the cigarette. Rolling tobacco is generally not additive free, in particular the wet nature of the product necessitates the use of chemical preservatives, as well as other chemicals used for flavoring, although premium additive free products are available. Roll-your-own cigarettes are also preferred by some smokers because they are cheaper than machine-made cigarettes and for the ritual of making the roll up.
  • Pipe smoking typically consists of a small chamber (the bowl) for the combustion of the tobacco to be smoked and a thin stem (shank) that ends in a mouthpiece (the bit). Shredded pieces of tobacco are placed into the chamber and ignited. Pipes can range from the very simple machine-made briar pipe to highly-prized handmade and artful implements created by renowned pipemakers which are often very expensive collector's items. The bowls of tobacco pipes are commonly made of briar, meerschaum, corncob or clay. Less common are cherrywood, olivewood, maple, mesquite, oak, and bog-wood. Generally a dense-grained wood is ideal. Minerals such as catlinite and soapstone have also been used. Pipe bowls of all these materials are sometimes carved with a great deal of artistry.

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  • Snuff is a generic term for fine-ground smokeless tobacco products. Originally the term referred only to dry snuff, a fine tan dust popular mainly in the eighteenth century. Snuff powder originated in the UK town of Great Harwood, and was famously ground in the town's monument prior to local distribution and transport further up north to Scotland. There are two major varieties: European (dry) and American (moist)—though American snuff is often called dipping tobacco. In recent years because of the ban on smoking in pubs in most European Union countries, the practice of snuff taking has increased somewhat. When sniffed, snuff often causes a sneeze. The tendency to sneeze varies with the person and the particular snuff. Generally, drier snuffs are more likely to do this. For this reason, sellers of snuff often sell handkerchiefs.
  • Snus is a steam-cured moist powder tobacco product that is not fermented, and does not induce salivation. It is consumed by placing it in the mouth against the gums for an extended period of time. It is a form of snuff used in a manner similar to American dipping tobacco, but does not require regular spitting.
  • An electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, is an electrical device that attempts to simulate the act of tobacco smoking by producing an inhaled mist bearing the physical sensation, appearance, and often the flavor and nicotine content of inhaled tobacco smoke. The device uses heat, or in some cases ultrasonics, to vaporize a propylene glycol- or glycerin-based liquid solution into an aerosol mist, similar to the way a nebulizer or humidifier vaporizes solutions for inhalation. Nicotine, if present in the liquid solution being used, is absorbed through membranes of the mouth and lungs.
  • Topical tobacco paste is sometimes recommended as a treatment for wasp, hornet, fire ant, scorpion, and bee stings. An amount equivalent to the contents of a cigarette is mashed in a cup with about a 0.5 to 1 teaspoon of water to make a paste that is then applied to the affected area.
  • Tobacco water is a traditional organic insecticide used in domestic gardening. Tobacco dust can be used similarly. It is produced by boiling strong tobacco in water, or by steeping the tobacco in water for a longer period. When cooled, the mixture can be applied as a spray, or 'painted' on to the leaves of garden plants, where it kills insects.


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