Rural Hall, North Carolina
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Common Tobacco Terminology
Tobacco products come in many forms. Entire retail shops devoted to tobacco exist, though more common products can be found at most convenience retail shops. Terminology is used to distinguish between the many different forms in which tobacco can be bought and used.
Cigarette - This is one of the most common forms of tobacco. Very small pieces of tobacco leaves are rolled into a paper. Cigarettes can be purchased already rolled, or rolled by hand before smoking. Pre-rolled cigarettes may be filtered or unfiltered.
Cigar - These are made by rolling together dried tobacco leaves. Like cigarettes, they are consumed by smoking.
Pipe Tobacco - Finely cut tobacco leaves, sometimes with flavor additives. This type of tobacco is designed to be smoked out of a pipe. It is often sold in tins.
Chewing Tobacco - A product which is designed to be chewed. Chewing tobacco may come as twist, plug, or scrap. Many chewing tobacco users also find it beneficial to have a spittoon handy while chewing.
Dipping Tobacco - Also called dip or chew, this type of tobacco is designed to be put between the user's lip and the gum. It is not designed to be chewed. Dip may come in the form of loose leaves or in a pouch.
Shisha - Tobacco combined with sweeteners or other flavor additives. Shisha originated is typically smoked out of a hookah.
Snuff - This term can refer to two types of tobacco. European snuff is sniffed into the nasal passages and American snuff often refers to dipping tobacco.
Retail tobacco dealers sell tobacco products of all kinds, from cigars and cigarettes to chewing tobacco and snuff. They buy their products from wholesalers in bulk and sell them to the general public. Different brands are usually on sale at any given time. Products such as cigarettes, cigars, lighters, and paper are sold in small cases or cartons in stand-alone retail shops, outlets, or convenience stores.
Tobacco is processed from the leaves of Nicotiana plants, and is cured either by fire or air. The tobacco industry is still booming, although cigarette sales have been slowly declining over recent years.
Retail tobacco stores sell a wide range of products, such as humidors, which are humidity-controlled cases to store cigars. They may also sell pipes, lighters, chewing tobacco, organic and imported cigarettes, and hookahs. A hookah is a single or multi-stemmed waterpipe used for smoking tobacco. It's inhaled after it has been cooled and filtered through water.
Retail tobacco shops also usually sell kits with instructions on how to roll your own cigarettes with leaves. Types of cigarettes range from ultra and smooth to filtered and unfiltered. Many smoke shops provide a homey place to sit and smoke, while conversing with their friends. Often, these places provide a legal place for smoking, but they need to feature appropriate ventilation. Consumers often find out about smoke shops through friends, but listings can be found on the internet. Newspaper ads can also advertise local smoke shop events, such as fundraisers and private parties that people can attend.