Chewing tobacco doesn’t enjoy the most refined reputation, a sticky black mess tucked into a corner of the mouth, the steady stream of spit making bystanders queasy. And yet, cigarette companies are rushing into the category to escape a growing smoking malaise.
To resonate with a young and fashion-forward audience, the humble oral nicotine has undergone a makeover, in some cases removing tobacco altogether. British American Tobacco Plc is pushing a brand called Lyft—slender white pouches, infused with eucalyptus and pine tree fibers, that release mint or berry flavor once discreetly tucked under the upper lip. The tobacco-laced sister brand Epok promises hints of tropical fruit or peppermint.