Most smokeless tobacco use involves placing the product between the gum and the cheek or lip. Smokeless tobacco is a noncombusted tobacco product.
There are two main types of smokeless tobacco that have been traditionally marketed in the United States: chewing tobacco and snuff, including snus.*
* If a snus or other smokeless tobacco product claims to be made with synthetic nicotine, it is subject to requirements for non-tobacco-nicotine (NTN) products.
Smokeless tobacco is addictive and contains chemicals that make it more dangerous than you may think. “Smokeless” in “smokeless tobacco” does not mean this type of tobacco product is harmless. Although you don’t inhale smokeless tobacco, there are still more than 4,000 chemicals in these products, and as many as 30 of these have been linked to cancer.
There is no safe level of smokeless tobacco use. And smokeless users can experience health consequences at any age, even as teenagers. Despite age restrictions on its use, teens are still at risk for the negative effects of smokeless tobacco use, particularly white, rural, teen boys who often see their male role models using “dip.”
Did You Know?Although all tobacco products are potentially harmful and people who do not use them should not start, FDA granted modified risk granted orders for some snus smokeless tobacco products. This means these specific products may be advertised with information about their lower risks of certain health effects when compared to smoking cigarettes.
Resources in the FDA Tobacco Education Resource Library
The FDA Tobacco Education Resource Library, from FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, provides tobacco education resources. This site offers digital and print content for state and local health officials, nonprofit organizations, and schools to support public outreach efforts.
If you have experienced an unexpected health or safety issue with a specific tobacco product, you can report your adverse experience. Knowledge about adverse experiences can help FDA identify health or safety issues beyond those normally associated with product use.
If you believe these products are being sold to people who are underage, or you see another potential violation of the federal Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) or FDA’s tobacco regulations, report the potential violation.
FDA regulates the manufacture, import, packaging, labeling, advertising, promotion, sale, and distribution of smokeless tobacco products, which includes products for use in the oral and nasal cavity, under the Comprehensive Smokeless Tobacco Health Education Act; the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act); and the FD&C Act’s implementing regulations.
If you make, modify, mix, manufacture, fabricate, assemble, process, label, repack, relabel, or import smokeless tobacco, you must comply with these requirements for manufacturers.
CTP’s Office of Small Business Assistance can answer specific questions about requirements of small businesses and how to comply with the law. This office also provides online educational resources to help regulated industry understand FDA regulations and policies.