Naswar in Central Asia, is the Asian version of Snus or snuff, a type of dipping tobacco. It is a moist powder tobacco product that originated from a variant of dry snuff in the early 19th century in Sweden and is consumed by placing it under the lip for extended periods of time.
Naswar is a mixture of Sun and heat-dried tobacco leaves, slaked lime, ash from tree bark, and flavoring and coloring agents are mixed together. Water is added and the mixture is rolled into balls
It is consumed mostly in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, India, Sweden, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikestan and Kyrgyestan.
According to official statistics more than 70 per cent of the people in K-P are in the habit of chewing naswar. According to the Pakistan Tobacco Board, there is a huge market for naswarin the province estimated at around Rs6 billion annually.
Dera Ismail Khan and Bannu, also export the product to Punjab and Sindh. There is a huge demand for naswar in Karachi, which has a large population of migrants from K-P.
Naswar is made from fresh tobacco leaves, calcium oxide and wood ash. Senior medical practitioner and a chest specialist, the use of naswar directly causes lung, stomach and mouth cancer besides causing bronchitis, kidney, heart and other diseases.