Tobacco is the agricultural product of the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. All species of Nicotiana contain the recreational drug nicotine—a stimulant and sedative contained in all parts of the plants except the seeds—which occurs in varying amounts depending on the species and variety cultivated. It is thought that an interaction between nicotine and MAOI beta-carbolines found in tobacco account for the addictive properties of its use.
Tobacco is primarily derived from the species Nicotiana tabacum, although it is also produced from Nicotiana alata, and to a lesser extent Nicotiana clevelandii, Nicotiana longiflora, Nicotiana rustica, and others.
Dipping tobacco, traditionally referred to as moist snuff, is a type of finely ground or shredded, moistened smokeless tobacco product. It is commonly and idiomatically known by various terms—most often as dip and sometimes as rub. It is used by placing a lump or "dip" of tobacco between the lip and the gum. The act of using it is called dipping, packing or more specifically packing a lip, or packing a lipper. Dip is colloquially called "chew", "snuff", "chaw", "daps", "baccer", "spit tobacco", or "mouth tobacco", among other terms; because of this, it is sometimes confused with other tobacco products—namely chewing tobacco or nasal/dry snuff.
The tobacco industry comprises those persons and companies engaged in the growth, preparation for sale, shipment, advertisement, and distribution of tobacco and tobacco-related products. It is a global industry; tobacco can grow in any warm, moist environment, which means it can be farmed on all continents except Antarctica.
Tobacco, one of the most widely used addictive substances in the world, is a plant native to the Americas and historically one of the half-dozen most important crops grown by American farmers. More specifically, tobacco refers to any of various plants of the genus Nicotiana, (especially N. tabacum) native to tropical America and widely cultivated for their leaves, which are dried and processed chiefly for smoking in pipes, cigarettes, and cigars; it is also cut to form chewing tobacco or ground to make snuff or dipping tobacco, as well as other less common preparations. From 1617 to 1793 tobacco was the most valuable staple export from the English American mainland colonies and the United States. Until the 1960s, the United States not only grew but also manufactured and exported more tobacco than any other country.