US 20040217024 A1
A smokeless tobacco product user package (10). To further improve the packaging of smokeless tobacco doses so that the tobacco product at each single instance can be made more easily accessible to the user in a wider range of desired amounts the package comprises a plurality of product portions (18) arranged in a spaced relation one after another. The portions (18) are sealed in pockets (20) between layers of flexible sheet permeable to tobacco ingredients. The layers of sheet are bonded together face to face outside said portions (18) and form a band (12) joining the portions (18) together. The band (12) is also separable between adjacent portions (18) selectable by the user.
1. A smokeless tobacco product user package (10), comprising: a plurality of product portions (18) arranged in a spaced relation one after another;
said portions (18) being sealed in a pocketed manner between layers of flexible sheet (14, 16) permeable to tobacco ingredients;
said layers of sheet (14, 16) being bonded together face to face outside said portions (18);
said layers of sheet (14, 16) forming a band (12) joining the portions (18) together; and
said band (12) being separable between adjacent portions (18) selectable by the user.
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3. The package according to
4. The package according to
5. The package according to
6. The package according to
7. The package according to
a container (28) for storing said portions (18);
said container (28) having a opening (34) for exposing an end of said band outside the container and allowing withdrawal of said snuff portions from said container (28).
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9. The package according to
 The present invention relates to smokeless tobacco product user packages.
 Today, tobacco products, particularly in the form of oral snuff, are commonly available in powder form, where the user picks a snuff dose by his/her fingers from an open package. In order to provide oral snuff in a more hygienic and clean manner, it is also known to package oral snuff in separate small bags, each having a predetermined amount of snuff stored therein.
 An object with the present invention is to further improve the packaging of smokeless tobacco doses so that the tobacco product at each single instance is more easily accessible to the user in a wider range of desired amounts.
 Another object is to present the user with a smokeless tobacco having a more appealing visual appearance.
 According to one aspect the invention provides a smokeless tobacco product user package, comprising a plurality of product portions arranged in a spaced relation one after another, said portions being sealed in a pocketed manner between layers of flexible sheet permeable to tobacco ingredients, said layers of sheet being bonded together face to face outside said portions, said layers of sheet forming a band joining the portions together, and said band being separable between adjacent portions selectable by the user.
 The smokeless tobacco product is suitably an oral snuff product.
 Each of the product portions has preferably a weight of approximately 0.05 to 0.3 g.
 The surface of each portion is preferably covered by a powder material having a white or other light color.
 Other objects and advantages of the invention are apparent from the following detailed description and the claims.
FIG. 1 is a lateral view of a smokeless tobacco product for use in the invention;
FIG. 2 is a lateral view of the smokeless tobacco product shown in FIG. 1 and being sprayed with starch to fix a whitening agent;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary plan view of a smokeless tobacco product package according to the invention;
FIG. 4 is a lateral view of the smokeless tobacco product package shown in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is fragmentary plan view of a tobacco product package having perforations between adjacent tobacco portions;
FIG. 6 is a lateral view of a modified tobacco product package according to the invention; and
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary view of an exemplary box for containing a smokeless tobacco product package according to the invention.
 In a preferred embodiment, the smokeless tobacco product according to the invention typically comprises a so called oral snuff product comprising a particulate or powdery tobacco product that is provided in portions 18 (FIG. 1) either in a powder state (not shown) or a pelletized tobacco dough shape, where in the latter case a thickening agent could be added to the tobacco product powder.
 According to the invention, the portions 18 are packaged in pockets 20 one after another in a spaced relation between layers 14, 16 of flexible sheet bonded together face to face. The flexible sheet is preferably a paper permeable to tobacco ingredients and well-known in the art for oral snuff portion bags. The layers 14, 16 of flexible sheet may be composed optionally of two separate sheets or a single sheet (not shown) that is folded once over itself. Further, the portions 18 need not be situated at one side only of the band but can be arranged in the center line of the band to be exposed symmetrically at both sides of the band as is indicated in FIG. 6.
 According to the invention, the smokeless tobacco product package is shaped as a band 12. The band 12 having a large number of pocketed portions 18 may advantageously be contained in a small snuff box 28 (FIG. 7), where the band 12 is compacted into a roll shape or a compressed meander or zigzag shape (not shown). Preferably, a free end of the band 12 is exposed from an opening 34 in the box 28 so that the user can pull a desired number of portion pockets 18 from the box 28 and tear the band 12 apart in the space between the desired number of pockets 20 and the following pocket 20. To facilitate the tearing apart of the band 12, the band 12 can be provided with perforations 22 (FIG. 5) between each pocket 20. Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 7, the box may be provided with a cutting means in the shape of a knife 32 or the like in the vicinity of the opening 34 exposing the free end of the band 12 for cutting the band apart. In the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 7, the knife 30 is mounted on a hinged lid 30 for penetrating a slit 36 when cutting the band 12 and closing the lid 30. However, many modifications of the box and cutting means may be imagined by the skilled person.
 By the provision of a continuous band 12 of pocketed smokeless tobacco portions 18, the user has the option of easily choosing a desired dose of portions 18. More precisely, at each instance the user has the choice of selecting one or more, for example one, two or three portion pockets 20. In order to present the user to a more variable choice of dose, each portion 12 may contain a smaller amount of smokeless tobacco product than a single product bag according to the prior art. To this end, each portion 18 preferably contains between about 0.05 to 0.3 g of smokeless tobacco product.
 In order to give the portions 18 a more light colored or whitish appearance visible through the layers 14, 16 that usually are at least partially transparent, as indicated in FIG. 2, each portion is covered by a light color or whitening agent 24, for example a powder material such s a white flour, for example potato flour, maize or rice starch.
 Oral snuff having a dough consistency and a water content of approximately 50% by weight was kneaded into a thin dough having a thickness of about 2 to 3 mm. Oral snuff portions of cylindrical shape, approximately 7 mm in diameter, were punched out from the dough and subsequently allowed to dry to a water content of about 30% by weight. Starch glue comprising about 5% by weight maize starch boiled in water was sprayed to a thin coating onto the oral snuff portions. The snuff portions were mildly shaken in a container filled with powdered maize starch and were allowed to dry for 15 minutes. The portions thereby obtained a whitish appearance. Finally, the oral snuff portions were placed between strips of heat sealable now-woven paper and were heat sealed between the strips to form a band of pocketed oral snuff portions.