Are Nicotine Pouches the New Frontier? Everything You Need to Know, Recognizing the harmful effects of smoking, more institutions are pushing for innovative solutions to decrease the amount of smokers in the US. Dr. Albert Rizzo points out that tobacco smoking accounted for more than 200 million deaths over the last 30 years, making it the top preventable cause of death worldwide. Though the number of smokers dropped to 14% in 2019, Dr. Rizzo states that this issue still needs to be further addressed through multiple interventions.
As such, companies are stepping forward to create more innovative products for smokers who are trying to make the switch. Now that people are looking for alternatives, a Prilla report found that 70% of tobacco users are planning to convert to tobacco-free products like patches, gums, and pouches. Out of these products, there is a greater preference for pouches because of the convenience they provide.
The Difference That Nicotine Pouches Can Make
Nicotine pouches are considered an alternative to traditional smoking products, such as cigarettes, because of their potential to reduce tobacco harm. Nicotine pouches deliver concentrations similar to cigarettes, but, as research by British American Tobacco notes, the former contains less toxicants when compared with similar products like the Swedish snus. Given their shorter nicotine delivery, nicotine pouches have the potential to generate a lower abuse liability as compared to combustible tobacco products.
On top of that, nicotine pouches do not require combustion, unlike other popular reduced harm nicotine products like e-cigarettes. The vapor from e-cigarettes has caused particular concern for public health, as it allows nicotine to be absorbed through the airways and lungs. Since pouches are inserted under the lips, the nicotine is passed through the bloodstream only through the oral mucosa.
Vaping can still build up the risk for certain health issues, and male fertility specialist Kevin McEleny highlights that infertility is one of them. McEleny clarifies that the chemicals from the e-cigarette aromas can cause one’s sperm count to decrease. In contrast, nicotine pouches do not release any aromas, nor any smoke for that matter, so they are less likely to induce this effect.
The Future of Nicotine Products
Authorities have enacted different strategies to limit the sales of cigarettes and other electronic smoking counterparts due to their health hazards. The US FDA banned menthol cigarettes and cigarettes across the country in April 2021, and quickly followed up with blocking the sale of several e-cigarette products. The FDA denied the orders of over 55,000 electronic nicotine products, arguing that the marketing of these products specifically targeted the youth. While authorities are evaluating whether the benefits of vaping could outweigh its risks, nicotine pouches are primed to take the top spot as the most optimal substitute to tobacco products.
These restrictions on vapes and similar e-cigarette products coincide with the rise of consumer awareness of safer alternatives. One can only expect the interest in nicotine pouches to continue to grow, as more individuals are making the switch from traditional cigarettes. Pouches provide convenience and discretion, since they do not emit smoke, nor cause staining or mouth odor like other tobacco-free products— making them particularly attractive for users.
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