Nicotine pouches were introduced in the UK in 2019. Since then, new products with different flavourings, like peppermint and citrus, have been introduced. But are nicotine pouches more prevalent in the UK compared to other countries? And how can nicotine pouches help you quit smoking better than vapes or patches?
What Are Nicotine Pouches?
Nicotine pouches are small pouches with nicotine, which users put in the space between the lip and gum. When nicotine pouches are used in the mouth, the nicotine is instantly released since users do not need to chew the pouch. The pouches can have up to 10 mg of nicotine per pouch.
Nicotine pouches are often compared to the Swedish snus, as they look alike. However, the two are not the same. The difference between the two is that nicotine pouches don’t contain tobacco, and they don’t have plant material since nicotine is derived from the plant. Because of the latter, nicotine pouches last longer than snus. In short, the nicotine pouch is a tobacco-free version of snus.
Nicotine Pouches Use in GB
There isn’t much information about nicotine pouch use globally. According to a journal article, nicotine pouch use is rare in Great Britain. One in every 400 adults uses the product, although the prevalence is increasing. The average user is male, young, or middle-aged, which correlates with data from surveys from other countries. The article also shows that the users are adults who already use other nicotine products and have smoked earlier.
Among adults in the UK, another survey from ASH from 2022 shows that 3.9 percent have tried nicotine pouches before. The survey also shows that although they haven’t tried them, 44% of adults have heard of nicotine pouches compared to 34% in 2020. This fact goes to show that the awareness of nicotine pouches is increasing.
Nicotine Pouches vs. Cigarettes
Nicotine pouches can often be perceived as less harmful than cigarettes because they don’t contain tobacco. There are few studies on the long-term health impact of the pouches. Therefore, whether nicotine pouches are a safe alternative when trying to quit smoking is unknown. If you are struggling with nicotine dependence, speaking to your GP or a stop-smoking adviser is advised.
How To Quit Nicotine
Nicotine use can result in nicotine addiction, so many experts advise smokers to stop their use. In some Scandinavian countries, smokers sometimes use nicotine pouches to replace tobacco. However, it is unknown whether some smokers use nicotine pouches exclusively or whether they smoke and use nicotine pouches simultaneously.
Users can use replacement therapies like nicotine patches, inhalers, and gum to deal with urges when trying to live without nicotine.
Read: Why vaping is a problem.