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Market Date: 20070800[1]
Test market discontinued 2008[2]



Philip Morris USA
Philip Morris


Taboka is a pouch tobacco snuff available as regular or menthol. The primary ingredient is tobacco. It is marketed towards those interested in smokeless tobacco alternatives. [1]


  • A smoke-free and spit-free tobacco pouch product[1]

Product Design Features

  • Appears engineered with very low levels of free nicotine, to augment rather than replace, cigarette smoking
  • Contains pasteurized tobacco, fiber, flavor film materials, water,pouch materials, flavors (including menthol for Taboka Green), sodium carbonate, and sodium chloride
  • Low Free Nicotine Content: 0.4 mg/g
  • Low Total TSNAs: 1.4 mg/g

Taboka was a smoke-free, spit-free tobacco product marketed towards those interested in smokeless tobacco alternatives. Packaged in individual servings known as Tobaccopaks, Taboka was available in both Original and Taboka Green (menthol) flavors.





Industry Documents


Market Testing

  • July 2006-2007: Indianapolis, IN (more than 2000 retail stores)
  • Created as part of a Philip Morris “adjacency growth strategy”

Advertising and Selling Messages

  • Retail brochures, direct mail, new retail signage
  • Sold on cigarette rack with a slide door, resembling slidepak


Free coupons for Taboka were given to purchasers of Marlboro. Advertising materials have been heavily used at POS. Sales in test market were poor, and this product appears to have been developed as a precursor to Marlboro Snus. (See pages 61-62).


  • Sleek SlidePak feature, packs slide open
  • Each carton contained five packages and an onsert
  • In test market, each package contained 12 pouches (Tobaccopaks)
  • Pouches hermetically sealed in each pack to preserve flavor
  • Two versions: Original and Taboka Green (menthol)

The onsert attached to each Taboka package featured catchy product advertising, with slogans stating ,“Step away from the LIGHTER,” and “Tuck a Taboka Instead… and discover a new way to enjoy tobacco! The Taboka Tobaccopak is the smoke-free, spit-free way to enjoy tobacco almost anywhere, anytime.” The onsert also included Surgeon General’s warnings, as well as product usage instructions “Tuck one in your cheek, don’t chew. Please dispose in a proper receptacle.”[1]

Use and the Consumer

  • Instructions from manufacturer
  • Tuck pouch into cheek
  • Does not need to be refrigerated
  • Lasts twice as long as a cigarette

Human Use and Exposure

  • Human exposure: not yet conducted or not available

Toxicity Analyses

  • Ames method in vitro: not yet conducted or not available
  • In vivo MSP: not yet conducted or not available
  • Animal exposure: not yet conducted or not available

Product Chemistry

Analyses conducted for the Harvard School of Public Health, found that both nicotine content and total TSNAs were lower than that of other snus brands. The free nicotine content of Taboka was 0.40 mg/g compared to the 12.3 mg/g average of five non-PREP moist snuff brands produced by Conwood/RAI). Low nicotine levels have raised concerns about the capacity for Taboka to support nicotine dependence without cigarette use, and thus, may promote dual tobacco use. Total TSNAs were 1.4 mg/g (compared to the 23.7 mg/g average of five non-PREP moist snuff brands produced by Conwood/RAI).[1]

Legal Compliance

  • Surgeon General warnings
  • No sales to minors
  • Subject to State and Federal cigarette taxes

Community Response

  • Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids released a report on smokeless tobacco products and addressed concern over several new tobacco products. Due to their novelty, the misconception that they are

safe, and because they can be consumed inconspicuously, TFK feared these products may lure kids.



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