Combustible cigarettes are the overwhelming leader in tobacco sales not only in the United States, but worldwide. Smokeless tobacco products are only a small fraction of the market. Still, their sales increases are consistently wafting upward.
So, what does the industry mean by “smokeless”? The answer is fairly straightforward – anything you can’t light up or vape or inhale through the lungs is considered part of the segment.
Chewing tobacco. Snuff. Snus. Nasal snuff. Even nicotine pouches that have no tobacco. In fact, we can even include non-nicotine, non-tobacco products like herbal snuff and flavored coffee grounds. Below is a breakdown.
Snuff. Also referred to as “moist” tobacco. Commonly called “dip.” Snuff is a loose tobacco product the consumer “pinches” with the fingers and places between usually the lower lip and gum. Dip creates a lot of saliva so users will need a “spitter” – something to hold the spit until disposing of it later.
Snus. Also referred to as “spitless.” Snus – with a long “U” and a hard “S” sound, rhymes with goose – is tobacco wrapped in a small pouch, placed between usually the upper lip and gum. Its saliva production is minimal so the user doesn’t need a spitter and typically just swallows any excess. The pouch makes it cleaner, less messy.
CBD to Tobacco-Free
With the omnipresent CBD trend, the smokeless segment now has Cannadips, a CBD snus product out of Humboldt, California. Unlike many of the CBD products landing on store shelves, though, Cannadips’ three flavors – American, citrus and mint – are designed to get users “high.” They contain 150mg of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Only the mint flavor offers the option of either THC or the less intense CBD variety.
Snus maker Swedish Match recently added a spitless nicotine product, called ZYN, that is consumed just like snus. Because it contains no tobacco, ZYN may be flirting with nicotine-delivery systems status long-considered the province of pharmaceutical companies. Stay tuned.
Non-tobacco smokeless has been an option for some time. While Smokey Mountain is the longtime mainstay of the flavored herbal dip and snus lineup, the options are growing. In addition to flavored coffee grounds brands, a brief online search also yielded flavors such as licorice, sunflower seed, mint and coconut, among others.
Obviously, smokeless options are plentiful. Chances are segment sales will soon rise above its single-digit tobacco market status.