Smokeless Tobacco: Products and Marketing

Smokeless tobacco:

  • Is not burned1
  • Includes tobacco that can be sucked or chewed1
  • Can be spit or swallowed, depending on the product1
  • Can be spitless, depending on the product2
  • Contains nicotine and is addictive1
  • May appeal to youth because it comes in flavors such as cinnamon, berry, vanilla, and apple3,4

Types of smokeless tobacco:

  • Chewing tobacco (loose leaf, plug, or twist and may come in flavors)1
  • Snuff (moist, dry, or in packets [U.S. snus])1
  • Dissolvables (lozenges, sticks, strips, orbs)3

Smokeless tobacco is not a safe alternative to smoking. Learn more about these products.

Chewing Tobacco

Chewing tobacco comes in the form of loose leaf, plug, or twist1

Plug and loose tobacco
Market Share of Types of Chewing Tobacco
Form Description Use Market Share
(in 2011)*5
*Market share is the percentage of the U.S. smokeless tobacco market for a specific product. For example, almost 2 of every 10 smokeless products (17.5%) sold in the United States in 2011 were loose-leaf smokeless tobacco products.5
Loose leaf Cured (aged) tobacco, typically sweetened and packaged in foil pouches Piece taken from pouch and placed between cheek and gums 17.5%
Plug Cured tobacco leaves pressed together into a cake or “plug” form and wrapped in a tobacco leaf Piece taken from pouch and placed between cheek and gums 0.5%
Twist or roll Cured (aged) tobacco leaves twisted together like a rope Piece cut off from twist and placed between cheek and gums 0.2%


Snuff is finely ground tobacco that can be dry, moist, or packaged in pouches or packets (dip, U.S. snus).2,4

  • Some types of snuff are sniffed or inhaled into the nose; other types are placed in the mouth.
  • Snus is a newer form of moist snuff used in the United States.
Various types of snuff
Market Share of Types of Snuff
Form Description Use Market Share
(in 2011)*5
*Market share is the percentage of the U.S. smokeless tobacco market for a specific product. For example, more than 8 of every 10 snuff products sold in the United States in 2011 were moist snuff products.5
Moist Cured (aged) and fermented tobacco processed into fine particles and often packaged in round cans Pinch or “dip” is placed between cheek or lip and gums; requires spitting 80.7%
Dry Fire-cured tobacco in powder form Pinch of powder is put in the mouth or inhaled through the nose; may require spitting 1.1%
U.S. snus Moist snuff packaged in ready-to-use pouches that resemble small tea bags Pouch is placed between cheek or teeth and gums; does not require spitting Data unavailable

Other Tobacco Products That Are Not Burned

Dissolvables are finely ground tobacco pressed into shapes such as tablets, sticks, or strips.3

  • Dissolvable tobacco products slowly dissolve in the mouth.
  • These products may appeal to youth because they come in attractive packaging, look like candy or small mints, and can be easily hidden from view.
Market Share of Other Types of Tobacco
Form Description Market Share
(in 2011)
Lozenges Resemble pellets or tablets Data unavailable
Orbs Resemble small mints Data unavailable
Sticks Have a toothpick-like appearance Data unavailable
Strips Thin sheets that work like dissolvable breath strips or medication strips Data unavailable

Marketing Information

Some cigarette companies make and sell smokeless tobacco products.2

  • In 2019, $576.1 million was spent on advertising and promotion of smokeless tobacco products, a decrease from 2018.6 Price discounts comprised nearly 65.3% of all advertising and promotion expenditures in 2019.6 Smokeless tobacco products include dry snuff, moist snuff, plug/twist, loose-leaf chewing tobacco, snus, and dissolvable products.
  • Some cigarette companies advertise that smokeless tobacco can be used in places where tobacco smoking is not allowed.7
  • Additional research is needed to examine long-term effects of newer smokeless tobacco products, such as dissolvables and U.S. snus.
  1. World Health Organization. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Volume 89: Smokeless Tobacco and Some Tobacco-Specific N-Nitrosamines [PDF–3.18 MB]. Lyon (France): World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2007 [accessed 2017 Nov 3].
  2. Mejia AB, Ling PM. Tobacco Industry Consumer Research on Smokeless Tobacco Users and Product Development. American Journal of Public Health 2010;100(1):78–87 [cited 2016 Dec 8].
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2012 [accessed 2017 Nov 3].
  4. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Smokeless Tobacco and Kids [PDF–4.87 MB]. [accessed 2016 Dec 8].
  5. Maxwell JC. The Maxwell Report. The Smokeless Tobacco Industry in 2011. Richmond (VA): John C. Maxwell, Jr., 2013 [cited 2017 Nov 3].
  6. U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Federal Trade Smokeless Tobacco Report for 2019 [PDF – 1 MB]. Washington: Federal Trade Commission, 2021 [accessed 2021 Apr 27].
  7. Timberlake DS, Pechmann C, Tran SY, Au V. A Content Analysis of Camel Snus Advertisements in Print Media. Nicotine and Tobacco Research 2011;13(6):431–9 [cited 2017 Nov 3].