Types of OTPs

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It can be tricky to keep all the OTPs straight.  This is your cheat sheet of different types.

Visit the Other Tobacco Products Toolkit for general talking points and presentations for OTP education.

Smokeless Tobacco

The U.S. Surgeon General, National Cancer Institute, and other health authorities have clearly shown that smokeless tobacco is harmful. However, new products are being developed and marketed that are appealing to kids and attractive to smokers who are trying to quit. For more details, download Smokeless Tobacco in the United States from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK).  

  • Oral (moist) snuff is a finely cut, processed tobacco, which the user places between the cheek and gum that releases nicotine which, in turn, is absorbed by the membranes of the mouth.
  • Snus (or pouches) is a tea-bag like packet of moist snuff tobacco and flavorings, placed between the upper gum and lip. The product design does not require the user to spit, unlike traditional moist snuff.
  • Dissolvable tobacco products are made of ground tobacco and flavorings, shaped into pellets, strips, or other forms, that the user ingests orally. These products do not require spitting.
  • Looseleaf chewing tobacco is stripped and processed cigar-type tobacco leaves, loosely packed to form small strips. It is often sold in a foil-lined pouch and usually treated with sugar or licorice.
  • Plug chewing tobacco consists of small, oblong blocks of semi-soft chewing tobacco that often contain sweeteners and other flavoring agents.
  • Nasal snuff is a fine tobacco powder that is sniffed into the nostrils. Flavorings may be added during fermentation, and perfumes may be added after grinding.

Cigars, Cigarillos, Little Cigars, and Blunt Wraps

Many small cigars are being designed to look almost identical to cigarettes, yet they are taxed differently, making them more affordable for kids and adult cigarette smokers looking for a cheaper alternative. Several types of cigars and little cigars come in kid-friendly candy flavors as well. Here are some resources to learn more:

  • A cigar is a roll of tobacco wrapped in leaf tobacco or any substance that contains tobacco and that is not a cigarette.
  • Little cigars (or cigarillos or tip cigars) are small cigars, with or without filters, that are available in a variety of flavors.
  • Blunt wraps are sheets or tubes made of tobacco. They can be filled with loose tobacco or marijuana.

E-Cigarettes

An electronic cigarette is an oral device that can be used to simulate smoking and that produces an aerosol of nicotine and/or other chemicals. Experts have raised concerns that these products may increase nicotine addiction among young people. Check out the E-Cigarette Toolkit to learn more.

Hookah and Shisha

A hookah is a water pipe used to smoke tobacco through cooled water, and shisha is the tobacco smoked in a hookah. For more details, visit the CDC's Hookah page.

Roll Your Own

Roll-your-own or loose tobacco is tobacco that does not come wrapped in paper or tobacco leaf but is used by consumers to make cigars or cigarettes. Under federal law, a retailer with a RYO machine in operation is also considered a tobacco product manufacturer and subject to tobacco taxes (even if a customer operates the machine). RYO stores are currently prohibited from operating machines in Wisconsin. For more information check The Problem with Roll Your Own and Other Smoking Tobacco from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.