Not just a Pashtun vice

Whether we like it or not the tobacco known as “naswar” is associated with Pashtuns. Naswar is primarily used in Central Asia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Sweden and India. In Pakistan though it is is predominantly used by members of the Pashtun ethnic group. Some of the many varieties of naswar are produced in different parts of the Khyber-Pakhtunkwa Province of Pakistan and the city of Bannu is especially famous for producing the best naswar.

Naswar is held in the mouth for 10 to 15 minutes. If it is chewed it produces a bad taste in the mouth. Usually, the consumption varies but mostly people take it on an hourly basis as it is highly addictive. Nowadays most of the educated Pashtuns are against the use of this product because of it’s detrimental health effects.

An assortment of naswar.

A worker crushing dried Tobacco for converting it to Naswar. Naswar or dried Tobacco is used mostly by Pashtuns but it is also popular among many others. Naswar could be found in two colors i.e green or Black, and the use of Naswar is by placing a small portion like a small tablet inside the mouth and then extracting the juice out of it without bringing down the material of naswar to the stomach, and after few minutes the Naswar is then thrown out.

Naswar waiting to be sold in Karachi.

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