Smoking isn't the only way to enjoy a fine tobacco. Still popular in parts of the US, though now less so in Europe, chewing tobacco offers a way to enjoy the stimulation, without reaching for a lighter.
Ciccare, as it's known in Italy, was very fashionable at the beginning of the 20th century, especially when smoking itself was banned. Many sportsmen adopted the trend too, as it had less impact on their breathing. Due to its rich, complex flavor, Toscano was one of the most popular brands, especially in Tuscany, its home.
Thanks to its simplicity, the pastime has ancient origins, with Latin American civilizations chewing tobacco, along with coffee beans, to stave off hunger and keep them alert. Its popularity in more modern times led to it being packaged differently to regular tobacco, with small, bite-sized strips being individually packaged and often infused with additional flavoring to boost the appeal. Women were even targeted with aromas like honey or molasses infused with the tobacco itself.
When campaigns began to discourage a habit many saw as disgusting (especially when it came to spitting out the buildup of saliva while chewing), demand started to wane, and to quench the desire created by the absence of chewing tobacco, a new invention was launched – chewing gum. Which ironically, is all about leaving mouths, and breath, fresher than they were before.
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