As you’re looking for resources to cut back on cigarettes, you’ve probably come across a lot of tools - from hypnosis, nicotine patches, and nicotine gum. And recently, you might have seen a new product on the market: nicotine pouches.
Nicotine pouches originated in Europe and have become increasingly popular in the United States and abroad, including Sweden, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Kenya, and Japan. Sales of nicotine pouches in the United States increased by nearly 500% during the first half of 2020.
So what are nicotine pouches -- and can nicotine pouches help you cut back on cigarettes?
What are nicotine pouches? How do nicotine pouches work?
Nicotine pouches are essentially a combination of nicotine lozenges and snus.
They are pre-portioned packages (a little bigger than a piece of gum) filled with a white powder containing nicotine, flavorings, sweeteners, and plant-based fibers. They don’t contain tobacco or any other chemicals found in cigarettes.
Using a nicotine pouch is pretty similar to a nicotine lozenge - you simply put it in your mouth between your gum and your lip, and the nicotine begins to release. When you’re done, you simply throw the pouch away - no spitting involved!
Different brands of pouches contain different amounts of nicotine - LUCY nicotine pouches, for example, contain either four, eight, or twelve milligrams of nicotine. (For comparison, a typical cigarette contains between ten and twelve milligrams of nicotine). This means they could be a good option for getting your nicotine fix and skipping the nasty chemicals found in cigarettes.
What do we know about nicotine pouches?
As of early 2021, only five original research studies have been published in academic journals, revealing the following:
- We do know that nicotine pouches pose lower health risks than smoking cigarettes.
- One study compared nicotine pouches with a higher concentration of nicotine (6 or 8 mg) to a nicotine gum with 4 mg of nicotine. They found that the pouches “deliver nicotine as quickly and to a similar concentration compared to existing smokeless products, with no significant adverse effects,” suggesting that nicotine pouches could be effective in “reducing withdrawal symptoms and helping smokers reduce or stop combustible tobacco use should be similar or better than other nicotine replacement therapies.”
- Because some nicotine pouches contain synthetic nicotine (that is not derived from tobacco) as well as flavoring, some countries regulate nicotine pouches as food products as opposed to tobacco products. This could make them more easily accessible, and could make it harder for regulators to control the ingredients.
Are nicotine pouches safe?
As we discussed above, there isn’t a lot of available research to determine whether nicotine pouches are safe for long-term consumption, but from what we know, they are much safer than cigarettes.
But, in 2019, the Food and Drug Administration authorized a Swedish company to put a modified risk claim on eight of its snus products, stating, “Using General Snus instead of cigarettes puts you at a lower risk of mouth cancer, heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis.”
This label does not count as an FDA endorsement or approval, and the products also have to include the standard warning labels for all smokeless tobacco products.
To come to this conclusion, the FDA reviewed evidence that found using nicotine pouches exclusively was better for you than smoking cigarettes and that the average consumer could easily understand this comparison.
Are nicotine pouches a good tool for quitting smoking?
Because nicotine pouches are so new, there’s no long-term or peer-reviewed research on their effectiveness as an FDA-approved smoking cessation tool.
We created LUCY nicotine pouches as an alternative to cigarettes. You can get the nicotine fix your body craves, without needing to leave your office, family, or friends for a cigarette or vape break outside.
If you want to give nicotine pouches a try as a first step to cut back on cigarettes, LUCY’s new Slim Pouches are the new product for you. They come in three delicious flavors - apple cider, mango, and wintergreen, and three different levels of nicotine to suit anyone’s needs. We even use synthetic nicotine that’s not derived from tobacco, to make them as safe as possible. Give them a try and let us know what you think!
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should not be construed as a substitute for, professional medical or health advice on any subject matter. Please consult your physician regarding any medical treatment decisions.