Frequently Asked Questions


What is Smokeless Tobacco?

Smokeless Tobacco (also known as spit, plug dip, chaw, rack, spits, grizz, and tasties) comes in 2 forms: chew and snuff. Chewing tobacco is available in loose-leaf, twist, and plug forms, whereas snuff comes in moist, dry, and sachet forms.

    1.  Snuff: Available in dry or moist forms, snuff is finely ground or shredded tobacco leaves that are packaged in tins or teabag-like pouches. A pinch of snuff is placed between the lower lip and gum or cheek and gum. Users typically spit out the tobacco juices, but those who swallow the juices become more addicted. Dry forms of snuff can be sniffed into the nose; using snuff is also called dipping.

    2.  Chew (chaw): A wad of chewing tobacco is placed inside the cheek and held there, sometimes for hours, and users spit out the tobacco juices. Chew is made from loose tobacco leaves that are sweetened and packaged in pouches.

    3.  Plug: Chewing tobacco is pressed into a brick, usually with the help of molasses or another sweet syrup. Users cut off or bite off a piece of the plug and hold it between the cheek and gum, spitting out the tobacco juices.

    4 Twist: Twist is flavored chew, braided and twisted into rope-like strands. It is held between the cheek and gum, and users spit out the tobacco juices.

    5.  Snus: The relatively new snus (pronounced "snoos") is a smokeless, spitless tobacco product that originated in Sweden. Snus comes in a pouch that is placed between the upper lip and gum for about a half-hour before discarding.

    6 Dissolvable tobacco products: Pieces of compressed powdered tobacco, similar to small hard candies, dissolve in the mouth and require no spitting of tobacco juices. Instead, they melt like breath mints. Sometimes called "tobacco lozenges," these products are sold in shiny plastic cases and are not to be confused with the nicotine lozenges used for smoking cessation. Dissolvable tobacco products include (1) Orbs: similar to popular tiny breath mints; (2) Sticks: similar to toothpicks; and (3) Strips: similar to mouthwash breath strips.


What is the allure of smokeless tobacco?
    1.  Teens may still view smokeless tobacco products as relatively harmless compared with cigarettes.

    2.  Adolescent girls may use smokeless tobacco to try to lose weight.

    3.  With increasing smoking restrictions, smokeless tobacco gives people a way to get nicotine without having to go out in the cold or having to wait until they are out of the no-smoking zone.

    4.  Recent mergers and acquisitions resulted in the production and sales of smokeless tobacco moving from companies that do not manufacture cigarettes to companies that do manufacture them increases marketing and name recognition.

    5.  New forms and flavors of smokeless tobacco are more appealing to youth.  Flavors such as apple, butternut, peach, tequila, black wild cherry, "fresh," and "mellow."

    6.  Smokeless products are heavily promoted.

    7.  Smokeless products are used by youth role models, including MLB players and rodeo stars.


Who uses smokeless tobacco?

     As many as 20% of high school boys and 2% of high school girls use smokeless tobacco, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of the 12 to 14 million American users, one third are under age 21, and more than half of those developed the habit before they were 13.

    Peer pressure is just one of the reasons for starting the habit. Serious users often graduate from brands that deliver less nicotine to stronger ones. With each use, you need a little more of the drug to get the same feeling.

What Products are in Smokeless Tobacco?

        Chewing tobacco and snuff contain 28 carcinogens.  The most harmful carcinogens in smokeless tobacco are the tobacco–specific nitrosamines (TSNAs). They are formed during the growing, curing, fermenting, and aging of tobacco. TSNAs have been detected in some smokeless tobacco products at levels many times higher than levels of other types of nitrosamines that are allowed in foods, such as bacon and beer.  Other cancer–causing substances in smokeless tobacco include nitrosamino acids, volatile nitrosamines, benzopyrene, volatile aldehydes, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, crotonaldehyde, hydrazine, arsenic, nickel, cadmium, benzopyrene, and polonium–210.   All tobacco, including smokeless tobacco, contains nicotine, which is addictive. The amount of nicotine absorbed from smokeless tobacco is 3 to 4 times the amount delivered by a cigarette.

What Can Smokeless Tobacco Do to The User?


Use of smokeless tobacco has short-term and long term health effects.


    1.  Minor effects range from bad breath and yellowish-brown stains on your teeth to mouth sores (about 70% of spit tobacco users have them).


    2.  Cracking and bleeding lips and gums, receding gums (which can eventually make your teeth fall out).


    3.  Increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and irregular heartbeats, all leading to a greater risk of heart attacks and brain damage.


    4.  Cancer in the mouth, the lips, the tongue, the floor of the mouth, the roof of the mouth, the cheeks, or gums. Also, some of the cancer-causing agents in the tobacco can get into the lining of your stomach, your esophagus, and into your bladder.


What is policy on tobacco in the minor leagues of baseball? What are the details?

   1.  The use of tobacco in any form is prohibited, at all time, in all parts of the ballpark and during team travel.

    2.   All managers, coaches, instructors, trainers, players, scouts, umpires, bat boys/girls, field and clubhouse personnel and subject to this policy.

    3.   Managers, umpires and compliance personnel enforce the ban.

    4.  Violations on the field may result in ejection from the game without warning.  Violations in the clubhouse are subject to fines (ranging from $100 for the lower levels to $1000 for Triple A players) for each violation.  If the violator receives more than one violation, he is required to attend mandatory cessation counseling.

    5.   In order to play for a minor league team, every player must sign the tobacco non-use agreement.

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