Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Substitutes For Loose Leaf Tobacco

Tobacco chewers and dippers who want to quit but can't let go of their habit have a number of choice substitutes for loose-leaf tobacco. These products are safe and healthy alternatives, offering the same oral gratification as a dip of tobacco but without the nicotine or the harmful side effects.

Alternative Ingredients

Substitutes for loose-leaf tobacco look the same as chewing tobacco, but with a different set of ingredients that does not contain tobacco. Manufacturers of alternatives to smokeless tobacco have explored using organic, non-nicotine herbs, with all ingredients having gained the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These substitutes come in packages -- usually small, handy tins -- that are similar to that of smokeless tobacco products. Loose-leaf tobacco substitutes have no salt, sugar, nicotine or tobacco and are available in various flavors. Other alternative ingredients used are vegetable fibers with an aroma that resembles peppermint and tobacco in both flavor and smell, or sea sponge that has been infused with Vitamin B-12, caffeine and natural flavoring.


Substitute chews come in a variety of flavors to suit chewers' tastes. There are variants with tobacco-like taste, suitable for those who enjoy the flavor of tobacco. For those who like minty flavors, there are chews that come in flavors such as wintergreen, spearmint and licorice mint. Other alternative flavors include hibiscus-ginger for a hotter, spicier blend and cinnamon for a classic spicy-bittersweet taste. One company even offers a tabasco mash flavor, which is basically a mix of tabasco peppers, salt and vinegar. In addition, some alternative chews may contain cayenne pepper, which provides a sting similar to that experienced in real tobacco products. For those who are used to snus, or Swedish snuff, there is also a nicotine-free substitute of that form that is steam-pasteurized instead of fire-cured.

Health Benefits

In addition to the obvious fact that they contain no tobacco and are nicotine free, many substitutes for loose-leaf tobacco offer other healthy benefits. Because they are made up of herbs, they often feature ingredients that promote good health, such as red clover for cleaning the blood, angelica for improving digestion, black walnut for regulating blood and sugar levels, licorice for reducing stress and cayenne for stimulating circulation.

Fresh Breath

Some side benefits of loose-leaf tobacco substitutes are provided by the different ingredients in the substitute chews. Some alternative chews can serve as breath fresheners -- a pouch can last up to an hour, and because it fits snugly between the gum and cheek, it is virtually invisible to others and doesn't interfere with talking. In addition, some loose-leaf tobacco alternatives serve as mouth moisteners and have been used in hospitals and dental offices to stimulate the salivary glands of people who suffer from dry mouth. Some sugar-free substitutes are even marketed as preventing tooth decay among users.

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