Nicotine pouch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Lyft nicotine pouches.
Nicotine pouches.

Nicotine pouches are white pre-portioned pouches containing either tobacco derived nicotine or synthetic nicotine, but no tobacco leaf, dust, or stem,[1] and are described as either similar to or a tobacco-free version of snus.[1][2][3] But the difference between snus and nicotine pouches is about more than the simple presence or lack thereof of tobacco – nicotine pouches are also more long lasting and have a longer shelf-life than traditional snus.[4] No combustion is involved.[1] The user puts a pouch between the upper lip and gum, and leaves it there while the nicotine and taste is being released.[5] When finished, the pouch is disposed of in household trash.[5] Many brands have a storage area in the top case (a ‘catch lid’) where used pouches can be kept if no trash can is readily available. The small pouches are not like chewing tobacco, as the user does not need to spit, since the contents of the pouches stay inside the pouches during use.[6][1]

There is no independent testing of their constituents, exposure or biomarkers of effects.[1] Research analyzing their nicotine delivery is unavailable.[1] The pouches are sold in an array of flavors.[1] In 2019, five big tobacco companies offered nicotine pouch products.[1]


The history behind nicotine pouches is not a very long one, unlike its ancestor – Swedish snus. But the two do share many similarities, which is perhaps why pouches became popular almost immediately upon their first release back in 2018. Many of Sweden’s leading snus manufacturers, such as Swedish Match, Skruf and AG Snus created their nicotine pouch brands (ZYN, Shiro, Swave etc) as a direct response to demand for a nicotine option with less conspicuous usage.

No studies are available to determine if smokers would switch to nicotine pouches or if they would continue to smoke and use nicotine pouches, resulting in dual use.[1] Nicotine pouches typically cost about as much as a pack of regular cigarettes.[1] Unlike vaping products, they require no batteries and no accessory device.[1]

Nicotine pouches may entice youth as well as young adult never-smokers because they are available in an array of fruit flavors and may be used unobtrusively.[1]

In Norwegian pharmacies, nicotine pouches are also sold as a delivery mechanism for nicotine replacement therapy, approved by the Norwegian Medicines Agency for smoking cessation and sold under the brand Zonnic.[7][8]


Nicotine pouches often contains food grade fillers, water, salt, flavorings and nicotine.[1] The nicotine content among nicotine pouch brands differ per pouch.[1] Nicotine pouches are sold in an array of fruit flavors such as black cherry and citrus.[1] Other flavors include peppermint and coffee.[1]


Although nicotine pouches have the possibility of being a reduced risk product, there is no independent testing of their constituents, exposure or biomarkers of effects.[1] Research analyzing their nicotine delivery is unavailable.[1] The pouches contain the addictive chemical nicotine.[6]

The US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) does not list nicotine among the over 69 cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco.[9]


Advocacy groups opposed to the introduction of nicotine pouches in Kenya have protested that they may raise the risk of cancer, heart disease, and reproductive or developmental harms.[10] The Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance alleged that given the higher levels of some toxic chemicals, and what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said was a lack of medical data showing the pouches are safer than cigarettes (as claimed by manufacturer British American Tobacco), the government should not license the product.[10]


It is assumed they are classified as tobacco products in the US because they contain nicotine obtained from tobacco.[1] It is not clear how they are classified in other countries.[1]

Tobacco-free nicotine pouches were for sale in Norway from 2014 to 2018, under the name Epok.[11]In June 2018 the Norwegian Directorate of Health forced British American Tobacco Norway to remove Epok from sale or face daily fines of 150 000 NOK, due to reasons which were described as "ridiculous" by Norwegian press and politicians. The Norwegian Directorate of Health argued that since Epok didn't contain any tobacco it was a new form of nicotine product, distinct from the other forms of snus approved in Norway. New forms of nicotine products are extremely unlikely to get approved, the nicotine pouch brand ZYN had already been rejected approval twice for an extremely similar product.[12]

Within days of the ban Epok was re-introduced to the Norwegian market, with a minute amount of bleached tobacco added, to qualify as an already approved form of nicotine product.[13] Because tobacco-free nicotine pouches were not banned there, the Epok brand was discontinued in Sweden and replaced by Lyft, an otherwise identical product that contains pine and eucalyptus fibers instead of tobacco filler. As of February 2020, Epok is still sold by Norwegian and Swiss grocery stores.[14][15]

In Canada, nicotine is considered a prescription drug, therefore personal imports of nicotine are prohibited. Exceptions do exist for those being of these criteria: a health practitioner or medical practitioner, a drug manufacturer, a wholesale druggist, a pharmacist, or a resident of a foreign country while a visitor in Canada. [16][17]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Robichaud, Meagan O.; Seidenberg, Andrew B.; Byron, M. Justin (2019). "Tobacco companies introduce 'tobacco-free' nicotine pouches". Tobacco Control: tobaccocontrol-2019-055321. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2019-055321. ISSN 0964-4563. PMC 7239723. PMID 31753961.
  2. ^ Klausen, Marte (2018-07-25). "Bråstans for snus uten tobakk". (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2020-02-02.
  3. ^ "LYFT | Vitt utan Tobak! | Nettotobak!". Retrieved 2020-02-03. LYFT är det senaste inom helvitt snus
  4. ^ Difference between Nicotine Pouches and Snus SnusDirect February 2021
  5. ^ a b How to Use Nicotine Pouches
  6. ^ a b Buehler, Hannah (16 October 2019). "Concern over nicotine pouches targeting teens". WKBW-TV. Archived from the original on 18 October 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Zonnic Niconovum munnpulver i porsjonspose - Felleskatalogen Pasientutgave". Archived from the original on 2020-02-03. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  8. ^ "Røykeslutt - legemidler -". Archived from the original on 2020-02-03. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  9. ^ "Harms of Cigarette Smoking and Health Benefits of Quitting - National Cancer Institute". 2017-12-21. Retrieved 2021-06-07.
  10. ^ a b Kabale, Nasibo (8 June 2019). "Lobby alleged the introduction of pouches could result in increased risk for cancer". Daily Nation. Archived from the original on 2 December 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  11. ^ "Why did BAT kill the EPOK brand for LYFT?". SnusCENTRAL. 2019-03-18. Archived from the original on 2020-02-03. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  12. ^ Journalist, Lene Skogstrøm. "Denne snusen blir nå trukket tilbake fra hyllene. Årsak: Den inneholder ikke tobakk". Aftenposten. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  13. ^ Klausen, Marte (2018-07-26). "Disse snusboksene forsvinner fra butikkene". (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  14. ^ "Epok |". (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  15. ^ "Epok -". (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  16. ^ "Notice: Prescription Drug List (PDL): Nicotine Qualifier Clarification |". Retrieved 2020-12-15.
  17. ^ "Food and Drug Regulations |". Retrieved 2020-12-15.

External link[edit]