Nicotine pouches are a new alternative in nicotine delivery for smokers. They are designed to be a safer and more discreet alternative to smoking a tobacco cigarette and other forms of smokeless nicotine products, such as vaping, patches, lozenges, and gum.
Smokers can now get rid of cigarettes while still getting the nicotine they crave with nicotine pouches, which have recently made their way to the mainstream market. They are discreet and can be used in a variety of places, including indoors, in places where it is prohibited to smoke, and in a professional setting.
Nicotine pouches are often wrongly referred to as snus. These are two completely different product as unlike snus, the nicotine pouch contains no tobacco. The nicotine pouch is cleaner than snus as they only contain food-grade ingredients. This means that there are less health risks associated with a nicotine pouch, where in comparison, snus has been linked with the increase in risk of cancer and dental hygiene issues.
Swedish snus is a tobacco product that was invented in Sweden. Tobacco leaves are dried and re-moistened before being made into snus. Snus users insert tobacco pouches under the lip in contact with the gum. This allows the nicotine in the tobacco leaves to be released into the mouth. However, this also leaves the mouth susceptible to the health risks associated with tobacco, such as cancer and poor dental hygiene.
Swedish snus was the only available option less than 50 years ago. These days, snus comes in a variety of forms and varieties to suit any current snus user's needs. The Swedish term for a pinch of snus is still 'portion' or 'prilla'. Today – with continuous innovation, there are 150 different types of snus on the market in Sweden and the surrounding Nordic countries. Snus can only be purchased in Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Switzerland. The EU regulations restrict its distribution in other countries on the continent due to its increased health risks.
There are three forms of grind for loose snus: coarse, medium, and fine. When using loose snus, you form a portion of it in your hand and place it under your lip. This Swedish tradition still revolves around loose snus, which looks the same today as it did 200 years ago.
The first Swedish snus pouches came out in the 1970s – known today as original portion. This type of snus was preferred by many because it did not require shaping by hands, so there was less risk of spillage. In the snus industry, this marked the beginning of a new era. It wasn't until 20 years later that a white portion was launched, which unlike other portions is white before, during, and after use.
Unlike nicotine pouches, flavoured snus is in a minority. This is largely due to its manufacture and composition and the fact that you can't escape from the fact that snus use has a pronounced tobacco taste. A small number have been made in mint and menthol flavours with little uptake – contrary to the nicotine pouch where mint is by far the most popular flavour!
Sometimes referred to as American snus - what is actually being referred to is nicotine pouches.
Over the pond in America, nicotine pouches are beginning to take the helm as the next big thing in nicotine delivery. Sales of nicotine pouches in the states have risen 300 times higher over 5 years since 2016. With more brands being launched, nicotine pouches seem as though they are one of the most rapidly growing tobacco products on the market there. These figures are likely to grow exponentially if public health organizations begin to encourage smokers to use them. However, further research is needed to support such an initiative.
We have seen early signs of similar growth in America. Some believe that the growth in the Tobacco-free pouch in the UK is due to the ban on menthol cigarettes, which has meant that customers have been left eager to seek new ways of consuming their nicotine.
Vaping has seen one of the biggest changes in UK smoking habits, and that is largely due to Public Health England promoting vape products as being a 95% safer alternative to smoking. Whilst this is true – vape products don't always present itself as a viable option – specifically in cases where vaping is not permitted, i.e. on a plane, train, at work, or in a public health space like hospitals and doctors' surgery. Nicotine pouches are different for their discreet nature, which present a unique opportunity for you to get your nicotine fix where no other option is viable. This benefit is the decreased the likelihood of reaching for a cigarette when the time presents itself.
The cultivation of tobacco may have started in 5000 BC, when maize-based agriculture was developed in Central Mexico. New Mexico's High Rolls Cave contains the remains of cultivated and wild tobacco from 1400 to 1000 BC. France introduced tobacco in 1556, Portugal in 1558, Spain in 1559, and England in 1565. Englishman John Rolfe cultivated the first successful commercial crop in Virginia in 1612. The crop became the colony's major export within seven years. This proves how quickly it is addictive to the world's inhabitants.
It wasn't until medical reports in the 1950s and 1960s confirmed that tobacco use caused a range of serious diseases and health risks, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. This paved the way to tobacco-free alternatives such as nicotine gum. These dates also tie in with Sweden's emergence of snus use around this time.
Flash forward to 2001 when the first vaping e-cigarette was invented – which help transformed the way we think about nicotine today. Vaping allowed us, and later Public Health professionals, to imagine a world where it commercialized and became socially acceptable to consume a tobacco – less nicotine product. In 2015 Public Health England announced research that confirmed that e-cigarettes were less harmful and safer than smoking tobacco – in terms of health outcomes and health effects.
Whilst we all know that nicotine is a highly addictive substance, it is the tar and toxins found in cigarette smoke that are known to be cancer causing and culpable for diseases in the lung such as lung cancer – not forgetting pancreatic cancer, oral cancer – to name but a few.
The growth in popularity of vape related products has left smokers yearning for more alternative and innovative nicotine delivery methods. This is why we are currently seeing huge interest in smokeless tobacco products like nicotine pouches for harm reduction on cigarette smoking. As nicotine is delivered through the gums, rather than inhaled, there are no lung-related toxicity or diseases risks associated with the pouch, such as cancer.
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