By Sara Ebden
Even before the continued cigarette use among the youths is reduced, a variant form of nicotine flavored product is becoming popular daily. Nicotine pouches can be categorized among tobacco products as they contain nicotine. However, these pouches do not have any tobacco in them. The pouches are presented in various flavors. Thus the youths enjoy them even more. However, the nicotine content in the pouches can be addictive.
Nicotine Pouches Definition
Nicotine pouches involve tiny bags containing nicotine chemicals and several other ingredients, including plant-based fibers, sweeteners, and flavoring. This product does not have any tobacco leaf or stem. Users place the pouches between the gum and lip for up to an hour to absorb its contents. This product should not be swallowed or smoked. The lack of tobacco in nicotine pouches makes them different from other tobacco smokeless products having nicotine. Some smokeless tobacco products include snus, chewing tobacco, and snuff. People confuse snus pouches with nicotine pouches, but snus encompasses moist and finely ground tobacco. The use of nicotine among teenagers should be monitored as research shows that those who begin using nicotine at an early age are likely to experience lifetime addiction. Also, the use of nicotine products has significantly impacted the attention span and learning ability among students.
Are Nicotine Pouches Better than Vaping, Chewing, or Smoking Tobacco?
More research needs to be done regarding nicotine pouches as the long-term effects of this product are not well known. Even though the pouches are technically not classified as smokeless tobacco, they lack strict regulation from the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) as combustible tobacco. The lack of enough evidence leaves the case undecided on whether nicotine pouches are better. It is yet to be proved how reduced exposure can translate into reduced harm to a user’s health.
Nevertheless, since nicotine pouches exclude tobacco contents, they might be safer than other smokeless tobacco products, including snus. Consuming smokeless tobacco products can put you at risk of several diseases and complications, such as;
- Gum diseases
- Cancer affecting the pancreas, mouth, or throat
- Stained teeth and cavities
- Tooth loss
- Elevated chances of suffering from stroke or heart diseases
Taking nicotine pouches rather than tobacco products can exclude you from these risks.
Nicotine pouches do not encounter marketing restrictions as rigid as those on combustible or smokeless tobacco products. Also, no existing regulations restrict or prevent the sale of flavored nicotine pouches.
Nicotine Pouches Side Effects
Although nicotine pouches have reduced risks, this does not mean that they do not have side effects. The users of this product can experience various side effects such as;
- Sore mouth
- Stomach upsets
- Gum irritation
In summary, some companies like Snusdirect produce nicotine pouches and market them as a safer alternative to dipping or smoking. I would advise you to talk to your physician before trying nicotine pouches as an alternative to smoking if you are trying to quit. Remember that nicotine causes addiction; thus, it can elevate your chances of relapsing back to your old habit.