Nicotine pouches are tea bag-like pouches which are placed under the upper lip for about 15 to 30 minutes depending on one’s preferred nicotine dose. While similar to snus, they have the added benefit of being tobacco-free, odour-free, unlike snuff they do not require spitting.
A loss for tobacco harm reduction
Nicotine pouches are tobacco-free, odour-free, and do not require spitting.
A distributor of nicotine pouches in New Zealand, Miles Illemann, has previously explained that the product is more effective than e-cigarettes and that his company’s mission is helping New Zealand achieve smokefree status by 2025. “They just have such a high, proven effective rate. What we’re seeing in European countries is nicotine pouches have a success rate of 60-75 percent in getting people to quit smoking.”
“Vaping has a success rate of around 18 percent and that’s with the help of nicotine patches. Sweden has a 5 percent smoking rate and Norway has an under 5 percent smoking rate for people under the age of 34. Five percent smoking prevalence classifies a country as smokefree. They’re the only ones to do that and it’s because of these products,” added Illemann.
However, pointed out Illemann earlier this month, the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill has banned the pouches, in what is a loss for tobacco harm reduction. Other restrictions set in place by the bill are a tobacco age limit of 18, restricting the sales of flavoured vaping products to specialist vape retailers, new advert regulations and the implementation of standards to ensure product safety.
Safer than cigarettes and snus
Meanwhile, a recent (non-independent) study conducted by BAT, compared the tobacco company’s Velo nicotine pouches with a cigarette and a Swedish-style snus pouch. The nicotine pouches were found to be less biologically active than cigarette smoke and snus, even at greater concentrations of nicotine and across a range of tests. In fact, during many attempts Velo failed to elicit a biological response at all, which led the researchers to conclude that they are safer than traditional cigarettes and Swedish-style snus.