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• Beedi are thin, often flavored, south Asian cigarettes made of tobacco wrapped in a tendu leaf, and secured with colored thread at one end.
• Chewing tobacco is one of the oldest ways of consuming tobacco leaves. It is consumed orally, in two forms: through sweetened strands, or in a shredded form. When consuming the long sweetened strands the tobacco is lightly chewed and compacted into a ball. When consuming the shredded tobacco, small amounts are placed at the bottom lip, between the gum and the teeth, where it is gently compacted, thus it can oftentimes be called dipping tobacco. Both methods stimulate the salve glands, which led to the development of the spittoon.
• Cigars are tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco which is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the smoker’s mouth.
• Cigarettes are a product consumed through the inhalation of smoke and manufactured out of cured and finely cut tobacco leaves and reconstituted tobacco, often combined with other additives, then rolled or stuffed into a paper-wrapped cylinder.
• Creamy snuff are tobacco paste, consisting of tobacco, clove oil, glycerin, spearmint, menthol, and camphor, and sold in a toothpaste tube. It is marketed mainly to women in India, and is known by the brand names Ipco (made by Asha Industries), Denobac, Tona, Ganesh. It is locally known as “mishri” in some parts of Maharashtra.
• Dipping tobacco are a form of smokeless tobacco. Dip is occasionally referred to as “chew”, and because of this, it is commonly confused with chewing tobacco, which encompasses a wider range of products. A small clump of dip is ‘pinched’ out of the tin and placed between the lower or upper lip and gums.
• Electronic cigarette is an alternative to tobacco smoking, although no tobacco is consumed. It is a battery-powered device that provides inhaled doses of nicotine by delivering a vaporized propylene glycol/nicotine solution.
• Gutka are a preparation of crushed betel nut, tobacco, and sweet or savory flavorings. It is manufactured in India and exported to a few other countries. A mild stimulant, it is sold across India in small, individual-size packets.
• Hookah are a single or multi-stemmed (often glass-based) water pipe for smoking. Originally from India, the hookah has gained immense popularity, especially in the middle east. A hookah operates by water filtration and indirect heat. It can be used for smoking herbal fruits, tobacco, or cannabis.
• Kreteks are cigarettes made with a complex blend of tobacco, cloves and a flavoring “sauce”. It was first introduced in the 1880s in Kudus, Java, to deliver the medicinal eugenol of cloves to the lungs.
• Roll-Your-Own, often called rollies or roll ups, are very popular particularly in European countries. These are prepared from loose tobacco, cigarette papers and filters all bought separately. They are usually much cheaper to make.
• Pipe smoking typically consists of a small chamber (the bowl) for the combustion of the tobacco to be smoked and a thin stem (shank) that ends in a mouthpiece (the bit). Shredded pieces of tobacco are placed into the chamber and ignited.
• Snuff are a generic term for fine-ground smokeless tobacco products. Originally the term referred only to dry snuff, a fine tan dust popular mainly in the eighteenth century. Snuff powder originated in the UK town of Great Harwood and was famously ground in the town’s monument prior to local distribution and transport further up north to Scotland. There are two major varieties which include European (dry) and American (moist); although American snuff is often referred to as dipping tobacco.
• Snus is steam-cured moist powder tobacco product that is not fermented and does not induce salivation. It is consumed by placing it in the mouth against the gums for an extended period of time. It is a form of snuff that is used in a manner similar to American dipping tobacco, but does not require regular spitting.
• Topical tobacco paste are sometimes recommended as a treatment for wasp, hornet, fire ant, scorpion, and bee stings. An amount equivalent to the contents of a cigarette is mashed in a cup with about a 0.5 to 1 teaspoon of water to make a paste that is then applied to the affected area.
• Tobacco water are traditional organic insecticide used in domestic gardening. Tobacco dust can be used similarly. It is produced by boiling strong tobacco in water, or by steeping the tobacco in water for a longer period. When cooled the mixture can be applied as a spray, or ‘painted’ on to the leaves of garden plants, where it will prove deadly to insects.
Tobacco is cultivated similar to other agricultural products. Seeds were at first quickly scattered onto the soil. However, young plants came under increasing attack from flea beetles (Epitrix cucumeris or Epitrix pubescens), which caused destruction of half the tobacco crops in United States in 1876. By 1890 successful experiments were conducted that placed the plant in a frame covered by thin fabric. Today, tobacco is sown in cold frames or hotbeds, as their germination is activated by light.
In the United States, tobacco is often fertilized with the mineral apatite, which partially starves the plant of nitrogen to produce a more desired flavor. Apatite, however, contains radium, lead 210, and polonium 210—which are known radioactive carcinogens.
After the plants have reached relative maturity, they are transplanted into the fields, in which a relatively large hole is created in the tilled earth with a tobacco peg. Various mechanical tobacco planters where invented in the nineteenth and twentieth to automate the process: making the hole, fertilizing it, guiding the plant in—all in one motion.
Tobacco is cultivated annual, and can be harvested in several ways. In the oldest method, the entire plant is harvested at once by cutting off the stalk at the ground with a sickle. In the nineteenth century, bright tobacco began to be harvested by pulling individual leaves off the stalk as they ripened. The leaves ripen from the ground upwards, so a field of tobacco may go through several so-called “pullings,” more commonly known as topping (topping always refers to the removal of the tobacco flower before the leaves are systematically removed and, eventually, entirely harvested. As the industrial revolution took hold, harvesting wagons used to transport leaves were equipped with man-powered stringers, an apparatus which used twine to attach leaves to a pole. In modern times large fields are harvested by a single piece of farm equipment, although topping the flower and in some cases the plucking of immature leaves is still done by hand.
Curing and subsequent aging allows for the slow oxidation and degradation of carotenoids in tobacco leaf. This produces certain compounds in the tobacco leaves very similar and give a sweet hay, tea, rose oil, or fruity aromatic flavor that contribute to the “smoothness” of the smoke. Starch is converted to sugar which glycates protein and is oxidized into advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs), a caramelization process that also adds flavor. Inhalation of these AGEs in tobacco smoke contributes to atherosclerosis and cancer. Levels of AGE’s is dependent on the curing method used.
Tobacco can be cured through several methods which include but are not limited to:
• Air cured tobacco is hung in well-ventilated barns and allowed to dry over a period of four to eight weeks. Air-cured tobacco is low in sugar, which gives the tobacco smoke a light, sweet flavor, and high in nicotine. Cigar and burley tobaccos are air cured.
• Fire cured tobacco is hung in large barns where fires of hardwoods are kept on continuous or intermittent low smoulder and takes between three days and ten weeks, depending on the process and the tobacco. . Fire curing produces a tobacco low in sugar and high in nicotine. Pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, and snuff are fire cured.
• Flue cured tobacco was originally strung onto tobacco sticks, which were hung from tier-poles in curing barns (Aus: kilns, also traditionally called Oasts). These barns have flues which run from externally fed fire boxes, heat-curing the tobacco without exposing it to smoke, slowly raising the temperature over the course of the curing. The process will generally take about a week. This method produces cigarette tobacco that is high in sugar and has medium to high levels of nicotine.
• Sun-cured tobacco dries uncovered in the sun. This method is used in Turkey, Greece and other Mediterranean countries to produce oriental tobacco. Sun-cured tobacco is low in sugar and nicotine and is used in cigarettes.
There are many species of tobacco, which are encompassed by the genus of herbs Nicotiana. It is part of the nightshade family (Solanaceae) indigenous to North and South America, Australia, south west Africa and the South Pacific.
Many plants contain nicotine, a powerful neurotoxin that is particularly harmful to insects. However, tobaccos contain a higher concentration of nicotine than most other plants. Unlike many other Solanaceae they do not contain tropane alkaloids, which are often poisonous to humans and other animals.
Despite containing enough nicotine and other compounds such as germacrene and anabasine and other piperidine alkaloids (varying between species) to deter most herbivores, a number of such animals have evolved the ability to feed on Nicotiana species without being harmed. Nonetheless, tobacco is unpalatable to many species and therefore some tobacco plants (chiefly Tree Tobacco, N. glauca) have become established as invasive weeds in some places.
There are a number of types of tobacco include but are not limited to:
• Aromatic Fire-cured, it is cured by smoke from open fires. In the United States, it is grown in northern middle Tennessee, central Kentucky and in Virginia. Fire-cured tobacco grown in Kentucky and Tennessee are used in some chewing tobaccos, moist snuff, some cigarettes, and as a condiment in pipe tobacco blends. Another fire-cured tobacco is Latakia and is produced from oriental varieties of N. tabacum. The leaves are cured and smoked over smoldering fires of local hardwoods and aromatic shrubs in Cyprus and Syria.
• Brightleaf tobacco, Brightleaf is commonly known as “Virginia tobacco”, often regardless of which state they are planted. Prior to the American Civil War, most tobacco grown in the US was fire-cured dark-leaf. This type of tobacco was planted in fertile lowlands, used a robust variety of leaf, and was either fire cured or air cured. Most Canadian cigarettes are made from 100% pure Virginia tobacco.
• Burley tobacco, is an air-cured tobacco used primarily for cigarette production. In the U.S., burley tobacco plants are started from palletized seeds placed in polystyrene trays floated on a bed of fertilized water in March or April.
• Cavendish is more a process of curing and a method of cutting tobacco than a type of it. The processing and the cut are used to bring out the natural sweet taste in the tobacco. Cavendish can be produced out of any tobacco type but is usually one of, or a blend of Kentucky, Virginia, and Burley and is most commonly used for pipe tobacco and cigars.
• Criollo tobacco is a type of tobacco, primarily used in the making of cigars. It was, by most accounts, one of the original Cuban tobaccos that emerged around the time of Columbus.
• Dokham, is a tobacco of Iranian origin mixed with leaves, bark, and herbs for smoking in a midwakh.
• Oriental tobacco, is a sun-cured, highly aromatic, small-leafed variety (Nicotiana tabacum) that is grown in Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, and Macedonia. Oriental tobacco is frequently referred to as “Turkish tobacco”, as these regions were all historically part of the Ottoman Empire. Many of the early brands of cigarettes were made mostly or entirely of Oriental tobacco; today, its main use is in blends of pipe and especially cigarette tobacco (a typical American cigarette is a blend of bright Virginia, burley and Oriental).
• Perique, A farmer called Pierre Chenet is credited with first turning this local tobacco into the Perique in 1824 through the technique of pressure-fermentation. Considered the truffle of pipe tobaccos, it is used as a component in many blended pipe tobaccos, but is too strong to be smoked pure. At one time, the freshly moist Perique was also chewed, but none is now sold for this purpose. It is typically blended with pure Virginia to lend spice, strength, and coolness to the blend.
• Shade tobacco, is cultivated in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Early Connecticut colonists acquired from the Native Americans the habit of smoking tobacco in pipes and began cultivating the plant commercially, even though the Puritans referred to it as the “evil weed”. The industry has weathered some major catastrophes, including a devastating hailstorm in 1929, and an epidemic of brown spot fungus in 2000, but is now in danger of disappearing altogether, given the value of the land to real estate speculators.
• White Burley, In 1865, George Webb of Brown County, Ohio planted Red Burley seeds he had purchased, and found that a few of the seedlings had a whitish, sickly look. The air-cured leaf was found to be more mild than other types of tobacco.
• Wild Tobacco, is native to the southwestern United States, Mexico, and parts of South America. Its botanical name is Nicotiana rustica.
• Y1 is a strain of tobacco that was cross-bred by Brown & Williamson to obtain an unusually high nicotine content. It became controversial in the 1990s when the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used it as evidence that tobacco companies were intentionally manipulating the nicotine content of cigarettes.