If you’re trying to cut back on smoking, but are still looking for ways to get your nicotine fix, you might have noticed a new option out there: nicotine pouches.
These smokeless pouches contain nicotine, but don’t contain tobacco or other chemicals found in cigarettes.
For the uninitiated, we’re going to answer all the questions you could possibly have about nicotine pouches to figure out if they might be a good option for you.
First of all, what are nicotine pouches? How do they work?
Nicotine pouches are basically what you’d get if nicotine lozenges and snus had a baby.
They are pre-portioned pouches (a little bigger than a piece of gum) filled with a white powder that contains either tobacco-derived or synthetic nicotine.
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).
How are nicotine pouches different from chewing tobacco or snus?
Nicotine pouches are different from chewing tobacco because you don’t have to chew or spit them. Instead, you put them in your mouth between your gum and your lip, and throw them away when you’re done!
Nicotine pouches and snus are fairly similar, with one key difference: nicotine pouches don’t contain tobacco - only nicotine. This has allowed nicotine pouches to become more popular in countries where snus has been banned or otherwise regulated.
What do nicotine pouches taste like?
Nicotine pouches come in a variety of flavors. LUCY’s pouches currently come in three flavors: mint, mango, and cool cider.
Are nicotine pouches bad for your teeth?
Nicotine pouches won’t stain your teeth the way that snus or cigarettes do. This is because you’re not inhaling smoke, and because the powder in the pouches is already white.
What are some of the benefits of nicotine pouches?
There are several reasons to consider nicotine pouches instead of other nicotine-replacement therapies:
- Longer-lasting: Nicotine pouches contain a higher quantity of nicotine than gum or lozenges, and so one will last for 45 minutes to an hour (as opposed to 15-20 minutes for a piece of nicotine gum). This means you should be able to use fewer throughout the day, and a pack of them will last a day or two.
- Potency: Nicotine pouches contain double the amount of nicotine than a piece of nicotine gum. Because of that, some people find it easier to transition to pouches initially, and then switch to products that contain less nicotine as time goes on.
- Discretion: Because nicotine pouches sit between your gum and your lip, they don’t need to be chewed. This makes them less noticeable than a piece of gum.
And of course, nicotine pouches have several benefits over traditional cigarettes. Some brands of nicotine pouches, including LUCY’s new Slim Pouch, don't contain any tobacco at all, and so you’re not getting all of the harmful side effects from tobacco, as well.
What are the side effects of nicotine pouches?
Nicotine by itself has several potential side effects, including:
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate
- Potential for addiction and withdrawal symptoms
- Irritation or burning sensations in the mouth and throat
- Abdominal pain
- Vomiting or diarrhea
Finally, you should try to never swallow nicotine pouches. Although the ingredients in the actual pouches aren’t harmful, they’re not meant to be consumed. You should contact your doctor if you do swallow a nicotine pouch.
Are nicotine pouches safe?
When it comes to getting the nicotine fix that your body craves, nicotine pouches are a safer alternative to cigarettes.
An analysis from the National Institutes on Health shared, “Because they are not combustible and contain no tobacco leaf, nicotine pouches have the potential to be a lower-risk product. However, we are unaware of any independent testing of product constituents, exposure, or biomarkers of harm. Moreover, research evaluating nicotine delivery is lacking.”
Will nicotine pouches actually help you quit smoking?
The short answer is we don’t know yet. Because nicotine pouches are so new and there’s not a lot of long-term data, nicotine pouches aren’t approved by the FDA as a smoking cessation tool or a nicotine replacement therapy. Various types of nicotine patches, lozenges, and gums have been approved by the FDA as nicotine replacement therapies, but approvals vary by brand and individual products.
It’s very likely that as nicotine pouches become more common and we learn more about them, this will change. Right now, “no current regulations exist that prevent or restrict flavored nicotine pouches, and marketing restrictions are not as rigid as those on smokeless or combustible tobacco products.”
If you’re looking to cut back on smoking, nicotine pouches could be a good way to get started. But it’s important to consult with your doctor to chart the best course of action.
“There is significant evidence suggesting that the most successful attempts to quit include both cognitive behavioral therapy and medications," explains Selzle. "All medications have side effects and indications for use, so it's important to discuss this information with your health care provider before use."
If you’re looking to try out nicotine pouches, LUCY’s new Slim Pouches come in three delicious flavors and are designed to be as safe-to-consume as possible - even using synthetic nicotine to limit your exposure to tobacco. 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.