Snuff, a finely ground or shredded tobacco, is packaged as dry, moist, or in sachets (tea bag-like pouches). Typically, the user places a pinch or dip between the cheek and gum.
Chewing tobacco is available in loose leaf, plug (plug-firm and plug-moist), or twist forms, with the user putting a wad of tobacco inside the cheek. Smokeless tobacco is sometimes called "spit" or "spitting" tobacco because people spit out the tobacco juices and saliva that build up in the mouth.The most serious health effect of spit tobacco is an increased risk of cancer of the mouth and throat. Oral cancer occurs several times more frequently among snuff dippers compared with non-tobacco users. The risk of cancer of the cheek and gums may increase nearly 50-fold among long-term snuff users.
Studies have shown that about 7% to 27% of regular spit tobacco users have gum recession and bone loss around the teeth. Tobacco can irritate or destroy the gum tissue.