May 30, 2024
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Studies Show That the Nicotine Pouch is a Viable Tobacco Harm Reduction Tool — Here’s What You Need to Know

Alternatives to combustible cigarettes are becoming increasingly available to circumvent the dangers related to tobacco smoking. In fact, our post ‘New Tech and New Aromas Make Vaping an Even More Attractive Way to Quit Smoking’ shows how various manufacturers offer a wide array of e-cigarettes that are equipped with different aromatic substances and tastes. This is in order to motivate smokers to switch to vaping devices and move away from tobacco cigarettes.

Notably, a recent report published in JMIR Formative Research explains that oral nicotine pouches play a significant role in smoking reduction. Below, this article will provide a more in-depth discussion of how this is possible.

Several studies confirm that nicotine pouches can help bolster tobacco harm reduction.

As shown by the referenced JMIR report, oral nicotine pouches can serve as an aid for tobacco harm reduction. Case in point, among the participants who utilized said products, 82% of smokers were able to reduce their combustible cigarette use.

A similar review on nicotine pouches conducted by Imperial Brands Science illustrates that effective nicotine delivery is crucial to reducing tobacco harm for smokers. In the aforementioned 2021 review, Dr. Thomas Nahde, Head of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, stated that following the initial use of Imperial Brands’ pouches, individuals were able to minimize their desire to smoke combustible cigarettes. This is because nicotine pouches could provide adequate satisfaction for up to four hours. In comparison, cravings would manifest again within less than an hour with tobacco cigarettes.

Finally, a new clinical study on Velo pouches by British American Tobacco points out that modern oral nicotine pouches are designed to offer adult smokers an enhanced tobacco-free, reduced-risk alternative. In a 2022 Tobacco Reporter feature titled ‘BAT Conducts New Study of Velo,’ BAT’s Group Head of Regulatory Sciences discussed how “We have already generated data that shows Velo has a toxicant profile better than snus and is comparable to nicotine-replacement therapy.”

Given that there is growing evidence that points to the viability of nicotine pouches as a tobacco harm reduction tool, it doesn’t come as a surprise that more and more companies are offering these products to Americans.

What are the popular nicotine pouch brands in the US?

Currently, various companies manufacture nicotine pouches. Specifically, a 2022 JAMA Network report titled ‘Nicotine Pouch Sales Trends in the US’ demonstrates that ZYN, Rogue, On!, and Velo are the leading nicotine pouch brands in the country—with a total of 808.14 million units sold from January to March 2022. As shared by a Nicotine & Tobacco Research report, ZYN pouches, specifically, are widely distributed in the US. They’re primarily created with ingredients like food-grade additives, fillers, and flavoring. Because they don’t contain tobacco—and consequently don’t generate smoke or foul odors—they’re convenient to use in bars, restaurants, and other public spaces.

Of course, to use this product responsibly and effectively, it’s essential to understand the side effects of ZYN pouches. Depending on the flavor or strength that the user opts for, nicotine pouches may cause an upset stomach. This is why, when an individual is sensitive to strong flavors like peppermint, it’s ideal to choose an unflavored option. On the other hand, users may also experience mouth soreness if they’re unacquainted with the sensation of holding a nicotine pouch between their cheeks. Fortunately, with continued use, smokers can adjust to the tingling feeling and successfully meet their cravings.

Interestingly, a ThinkGlobalHealth article published last July 2022 shows that applications have been submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for initial approval of nicotine pouches. The offerings from Verve, in particular, which don’t contain cut, ground, powdered, or leaf tobacco, received “premarket approval”.

In her interview with ThinkGlobalHealth, FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products director Mitch Zeller shared that, “Evidence shows these products could help addicted smokers who use the most harmful combusted products completely switch to a product with potentially fewer harmful chemicals.”

Because the FDA views nicotine pouches from companies like Verve as appropriate for the protection of public health, it’s possible that these products can usher in better outcomes in mitigating tobacco harm.

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