the history of chewing tobacco

The History of Chewing Tobacco


Chewing tobacco spans traditional practices and carries with it a storied past that spans centuries. This guide to the history of chewing tobacco embarks on a journey across the timeline of chewing tobacco, delving into its unique history and origins. From its beginnings among indigenous cultures to its widespread popularity in the U.S., we explore its origins, the notable brands, and cultural impact of chewing tobacco.


The Origins of Chewing Tobacco History: From Ancient Times to Early America


Chewing tobacco has a long and fascinating history that dates back as early as the 1400s. Native American cultures were among the first to embrace the practice, chewing a mixture of tobacco leaves and plants for spiritual and medicinal purposes. As European explorers arrived in America, they were captivated by this unique tradition and brought it back to Europe.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, commercial chewing tobacco brands began to emerge in the U.S., including iconic names like Red Man and Beech-Nut. These brands have stood the test of time and continue to be enjoyed today, carrying with them a rich heritage. Chewing tobacco gained widespread popularity in America during the 19th and early 20th centuries, primarily among soldiers and laborers due to its portable nature and the fact it is long-lasting which made it a convenient choice for those working outdoors.

Throughout the years, chewing tobacco brands have become deeply intertwined with American culture and history. The unique aromas and flavorful blends of the best chewing tobacco means that they have remained a popular choice with oral tobacco users. 


The History of Tobacco in America: How Chewing Tobacco Grew from A Local Tradition to a Common Oral Tobacco Choice


Chewing tobacco history and timeline from a local tradition to a popular pastime is an intriguing tale that spans centuries. But when did chewing tobacco start to take off in America?


Old chewing tobacco brands like Red Man and Beech-Nut emerged in the 18th and 19th centuries, becoming household names and captivating tobacco consumers across the nation. Chewing tobacco's popularity soared in the 19th and early 20th centuries, with people from all walks of life taking part in the sensory experience of using chewing tobacco. Soldiers in the Civil War found using chewing tobacco a convenient option to use, while laborers also found the benefits of it during demanding workdays.


The oldest chewing tobacco brands have stood the test of time, with companies like Levi Garrett (established in the 18th century) still continuing to provide chewing tobacco to enthusiasts who appreciate the rich history and distinct flavors.


Chewing tobacco's roots run deep in American culture, intertwining with the nation's history. While the reasons behind its popularity varied – from it being used in social settings to the perceived medical benefits – chewing tobacco found its place as a cherished tradition.


Chewing Tobacco Brands Over Time: Looking at the Oldest Chewing Tobacco Brands


Throughout the history of chewing tobacco, several popular chewing tobacco brands have emerged, shaping the landscape of chewing tobacco consumption in America. These old chewing tobacco brands have become synonymous with tradition and quality. Let's take a closer look at some of the oldest chewing tobacco brands and their contributions to chewing tobacco history:


  • Red Man. Dating back to the 1800s, Red Man is one of the oldest chewing tobacco brands in the United States. Known for its distinctive packaging and rich flavor, Red Man has remained popular among avid chewers.


  • Levi Garrett. Introduced in the late 1800s, Levi Garrett quickly gained popularity as a premium chewing tobacco brand. It is celebrated for its unique taste and superior quality.


  • Beech-Nut. Originating in the early 1900s, Beech-nut offers a range of chewing tobacco products. Its long-standing presence in the market reflects its commitment to providing a satisfying chewing experience.


  • Stoker's. Founded in the 1940s, Stoker's has earned a reputation for producing high-quality chewing tobacco. Its focus on delivering bold flavors and long-lasting satisfaction has garnered a loyal following.


These oldest chewing tobacco brands have withstood the test of time and continue to be preferred choices among chewing tobacco enthusiasts. Their rich history and commitment to craftsmanship have contributed to the enduring popularity of chewing tobacco with oral tobacco users. 


Modern Chewing Tobacco in the US


In recent years, the landscape of chewing tobacco in the United States has evolved to meet the changing preferences of chewing tobacco users. While the old chewing tobacco brands continue to hold their place in the market, newer brands and offerings have also emerged to cater to a wider range of preferences. Let's explore some of the newer chewing tobacco brands in the US:


  • Skoal. Skoal is a prominent brand known for its range of chewing tobacco products. Their range offers different cut options (such as long cut and fine cut) as well as popular flavor options (such as wintergreen and mint). They also offer alternatives to chewing tobacco including tobacco dip and pouches.


  • Grizzly. Grizzly is another popular brand that has gained a loyal following. The Grizzly range is unique as all their products are made of 100% dark-fired American tobacco.


  • Copenhagen. Copenhagen is a trusted name in the chewing tobacco industry and is one of Northerner’s best-selling dip tobacco and chewing tobacco brands. Their range of chewing tobacco is made with 100% American tobacco.


  • Timber Wolf. Timber Wolf is a brand known for its long-cut chewing tobacco, offering a robust flavor profile. It has carved a niche for itself among those who appreciate a traditional chewing experience.

Buying Chewing Tobacco in the U.S


You can buy chewing tobacco on Northerner with fast shipping options. Order your favorite chewing tobacco products and get your order dispatched from one of our U.S. warehouses straight to your home with fast shipping options.

NOTE: You can only buy tobacco products (like chewing tobacco) online in the U.S. if you are 21 years of age or older. However, there are some local and state restrictions on the sale of smokeless tobacco. It is important to note that all Smokeless Tobacco is shipped requiring an adult signature upon delivery, no matter which state you are ordering to.
Want to see if Northerner ships to your state? Check out our dedicated shipping info page.