We’ve noticed there is a lot of confusion about nicotine pouches, so this post is intended as a FAQ for people new to them and a guide to the different brands out there.
What are nicotine pouches?
Nicotine pouches are tobacco-free pouches that are similar to snus (a moist powder smokeless tobacco product) which are filled with white powder that will have nicotine in it.
What are nicotine pouches used for? And why should I try them instead of smoking?
First off, proper independent research needs to be done in this area (see below), but advocates of nicotine pouches say that they can help you quit smoking and are much healthier than smoking while giving you the same satisfaction as smoking. We all know about the harmful effects that smoking has on your lungs. Nicotine pouches work differently, however — the same amount of nicotine can be consumed as in smoking, but you do not absorb it via the lungs as you do when smoking. The second major benefit is that they do not harm other people and pollute your surroundings, so you can use them anywhere. You can easily take a nicotine pouch in a restaurant, for example, without having to step outside. It’s easy to see why they are appealing to people.
What are the best nicotine pouches in 2020 (and where can I read reviews of nicotine pouches)?
These are the best nicotine pouches available in 2020:
ZYN is a very popular nicotine pouch brand (probably the most popular) and I definitely recommend trying their COOL MINT flavor, pictured above. It takes about 2 minutes for the mint flavor to come through, and after an hour the flavor will subside.
I had some trouble getting these as they’re not available at most places you’d expect like Amazon. The brand is from Dholakia Tobacco, based in India. I tried the Blueberry version and found that at 14mg/g, the taste is pretty strong. No complaints.
ZoneX / Zone X Review
Based in the UK, ZoneX is another tobacco-free nicotine pouch that comes in two strengths of 6mg (ZoneX #2) and 10mg (ZoneX #3). The taste is simple and clean.
Owned by R. J. Reynolds Vapor Company and sold in the US, the nicotine content for Velo is much lower than other brands (2 or 4 mg). The flavor, though quite delicious (I tried the Citrus version above) is pretty mild, and you probably will have to take 2 at once to get the same effect like other brands. The flavor lasted about half an hour for me.
If you try On!, I recommend the mint flavor, though there are plenty of others (coffee as pictured, cinnamon, original etc). This is an inexpensive, quality product that many people try as their first nicotine pouch, especially as it’s easier to pick up than many of the other brands here. You can’t go wrong with the brand, in my opinion — it’s just a matter of what flavor you get, as there’s a lot of them.
Nordic Spirit Review
Nordic Spirit smooth mint comes in a 13-gram can with 20 portions, with a nicotine content of 9mg. The flavor lasted about 45 minutes for me, and the taste was similar to ZoneX.
Not to be confused with the Uber clone, Lyft nicotine pouches are quite similar to Epok Mint that were introduced in Norway (see below), and feature slim and soft portions. I liked the balanced flavor and the clean taste.
Dryft comes in a number of flavors (spearmint, dragon fruit, wintergreen, citrus etc) and may be available locally for you. It’s made in Sweden and I found it the citrus flavor to be quite pleasant.
I have yet to try all of these, but based on the testing I’ve done so far, (Update February 13 – we can now comment on all of these). I like ZYN and On! nicotine pouches the best (these are also the most popular as of now, and are available in the US, unlike many others on that list like Lyft). The best thing about these is that you can slowly scale down the strength you take (I started at 8mg pouches, and since moved down to 1mg pouches) and this makes it easier to quit. They taste fine and I had no adverse effects taking them.
For more reviews on different nicotine pouches beyond our own experiences listed above, we recommend reading the subreddit /r/snus on reddit (see reddit.com/r/snus) to see what kinds of experiences other people have had. My opinion is similar to most there, that ZYN and On! are the best ones right now.
Are nicotine pouches safe?
We believe so, but research needs to be done before we can say that they are definitely safe. In fact, at this stage, no independent research has been done yet regarding their ingredients and exposure, and that has to be done before nicotine pouches really become mainstream.
With that said, as of 2020, a number of large companies have come out with their own nicotine pouches, but not enough people are really using them yet to say whether they are superior to other methods of nicotine delivery. I can at least say that based on the nicotine pouches I’ve used, they taste fine, definitely won’t cause oral cancer or gum disease, and also won’t stain your teeth.
How do you use nicotine pouches?
Simply put the pouch between your lip and gum and chew slowly. You do not need to spit it or store the nicotine pouch in your fridge.
What are the side effects of nicotine pouches?
Nicotine has many potential minor side effects including headaches, dizziness, constipation, runny nose and more, though most people are able to take it without any issues. You should definitely see your doctor if you have more serious side effects such as allergic reactions, seizures or rashes.
Where can you buy nicotine pouches?
Nicotine pouches are available online (some legitimate sites are northerner.com, nicokick.com and snusdirect.com), as well as at certain stores (see https://www.zyn.com/us/en/storelocator/ – ZYN is sold in over 4,000 different stores in the US, for example). Many 7-11’s and local minute markets will have at least one brand of nicotine pouch.
Other things to consider about nicotine pouches
Nicotine pouches may be safe, but they’ve had a significant amount of opposition. Here are two cases:
- In Kenya, advocacy groups opposed the introduction of nicotine pouches on the grounds that they may raise the risk of cancer and heart disease. That was based on the Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance claiming that there are higher levels of toxic chemicals in nicotine pouches, and the FDA’s position in the US is still that there is a lack of medical data demonstrating that nicotine pouches are healthier and safer than conventional cigarettes.
- Nicotine pouches faced some controversy in Norway. They were introduced in 2014 (under the Epok brand) and temporarily banned in 2018 by the Norwegian Directorate of Health, a decision which was widely opposed and ridiculed by the press (the reason the Norwegian Directorate of Health gave, that nicotine pouches are a new form of a nicotine product different to the snus already approved, didn’t seem to make much sense). A few days later the product was modified slightly with a little bit of bleached tobacco which put it in the category of already-approved products. As of February 2020, Epok is still sold in Norway.
If you’re turning to nicotine pouches to help you quit smoking:
We recently compiled a collection of wonderful stories from ex-smokers who managed to quit and have shared some great advice on quitting smoking. I strongly recommend having a read through it:
There are also some premium products available that may be able to help you quit smoking and other addictions, such as Truth Of Addiction and Break Bad Habits. We haven’t reviewed these ourselves yet.
A short disclaimer
As this product relates to your health, we should stress that you should see a doctor if you are concerned about the effects of nicotine pouches on your health and nothing in here is intended to be taken as medical advice in any way whatsoever. And for one last time – more research needs to be conducted on nicotine pouches to confirm their health benefits and/or risks.
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