Smokeless, or dipping, tobacco is a common alternative to cigarettes and cigars. Instead of inhaling and blowing out smoke, which is more and more restricted across the country, you can get a nicotine fix by placing tobacco in your mouth and sucking on the juices. Keep in mind though that using smokeless tobacco can still have serious health risks cancers around your mouth, and other health problems like high blood pressure, and increased risk of heart attack or stroke. If you are determined to try it though, it is very simple to do.
Getting Ready to Dip Tobacco
1.Be of legal age to purchase tobacco. Laws governing tobacco products cover smokeless tobacco, and can vary by state across the US. Starting in 2016, the minimum age was raised to 21 in Hawaii. In addition, cities and towns in California, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio have all raised the age to 21. Make sure you know the proper age for your location.
- Smokeless tobacco is a legal product, but you don't want to enjoy it while breaking the law by pretending to be of age, or purchasing it for someone who is underage.
2.Decide what kind of smokeless tobacco you want. There are a variety of smokeless products out there. Their use is pretty similar, so your preference will really come down to personal taste.
- Moist snuff. This tobacco has been fermented, aged, and finely chopped up. It is packed into tins. As the name suggests, this is slightly moistened, as opposed to dry snuff, which is powdery, and can be taken by sniffing it into your nose. This is the most common form of dipping tobacco sold in the US, and the kind you are most likely to see in stores.
- Loose-leaf tobacco. Another common form of chewing tobacco, these leaves have been dried and fermented, then sold in foil packets.
- Plug tobacco. In this form, the tobacco has been packed tightly together with molasses, or some other adhesive, into a block. You'll either cut or bit off a piece of the block to use it. You may also find twist tobacco, which a similar form where the tobacco has been braided into long strands.
- This is a newer form, originally developed in Scandinavia. The tobacco is put in individual packets, and may be flavored with a variety of sweeteners. There are differences between snus made in the United States compared to countries like Sweden, such as amount of tobacco in a packet, which can lead into differences in physical effects on your mouth.
3.Get somewhere you can use the tobacco. Compared to smoking, there are fewer restrictions on where you can use smokeless tobacco. Because you are going to be spitting, though, you will want to be somewhere where you can do that politely, or at least have a bottle or something you can spit into.
- You don't want to be doing something physically active, as you'll want to avoid accidentally swallowing the tobacco or your spit. A relaxing activity like reading, watching television, or hanging out with friends, can be a good complement to dipping.
- Avoid doing other things with your mouth while dipping, like eating or drinking. You don't want to mix your food with the dip.
Dipping Your Tobacco
1.Take a pinch of tobacco. Reach your thumb and forefinger into the tin or pouch, or break off a piece of your plug. If you are a beginner to dipping, your pinch really should just be a small amount between your thumb and forefinger, probably about the size of a quarter. As you get more used to the taste and strength, the size of your pinch can grow, depending on how long you want it to sit in your mouth and how strong of dose of nicotine you are looking for.
2.Place between your gum and cheek. Take your tobacco and put it down in your mouth between your gums and cheek of your lower lip. Pack tightly together so you don't lose any of the leaves, and accidentally swallow them.
- Snus packets can also be held in the upper lip. The effect is roughly the same, though you may create more juice in your lower lip.
3.Let the tobacco sit in your mouth. Chewing tobacco works because the nicotine seeps into your bloodstream through your gums, rather than by inhaling smoke. Dipping tobacco can just sit in your mouth as long as you can feel something coming from it. You can get up to several hours worth of nicotine from a pinch of chewing tobacco, much longer lasting than a cigarette.
- If the tobacco starts to get loose, and you are worried about swallowing, use your finger or tongue to tamp it down back into place.
4.Spit as necessary. Having something in your mouth will produce saliva, which will mix with the tobacco. You don't want to swallow this juice, and it is meant to be spit out. If you are outside, you can just spit onto the ground, but if you are indoors, keep an empty water bottle to spit into.
- When using a spit bottle, it is better to replace the cap when you set it down. You don't want to accidentally knock it over and spill tobacco spit.Because the tobacco from snus packets can't get loose, the juice you make is meant to be swallowed.The flavoring used in snus can make it less irritating than juice from other forms of tobacco.
5.Throw out the tobacco. Do not swallow your tobacco. Once you are finished with the tobacco, either because you don't feel any nicotine or you are doing something that requires a clean mouth, take it out of your mouth. Grab the tobacco with your hand, pull it out, then throw it away. If you are near enough to a garbage can, you can also spit out your tobacco. There's no reason to keep the tobacco any more.
- Rinse your mouth. After you spit your dip out, you may want to rinse your mouth to get rid of any excess tobacco. Don’t use your spit bottle for rinsing, and be careful not to swallow the water you rinse with.