Smoking cessation is a challenging endeavor, with the National Cancer Institute reporting that around 65.7% of smoking adults in the US are trying to quit, but only 10.6% of the smoker population have managed to do so successfully. This is because withdrawal symptoms like restlessness, irritation, and heightened cravings to smoke make it difficult to sustain the process of quitting. As such, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products have been gaining traction since they can address these symptoms and aid in smoking cessation.
One NRT product that’s seen a recent increase in popularity is the nicotine pouch. In fact, the global market for nicotine pouches is expected to grow in value from $3.45 billion to $11.82 billion between 2022 and 2032. With this in mind, you might be wondering: What’s so special about them, and are they actually worth the hype? The short answer is yes—read on to find out why.
Understanding nicotine pouches
Nicotine pouches are small bags containing different substances that are absorbed by the mouth. They’re meant to be taken orally and are usually placed between the cheek and gums to extract the contents of the product. What makes them stand out are the common nicotine pouch ingredients found across different brands, which include nicotine, flavorings and sweeteners, plant-based fibers, a pH adjuster, and water. The pH of nicotine present is important since it dictates the rate at which the substance enters your mucosa before going to your bloodstream.
Additionally, nicotine pouches are buffed to a slightly alkaline pH level for the nicotine to pass into the body in its unionized form and distribute the sensations associated with the substance. A high pH level also means high nicotine absorption, so nicotine pouches can be absorbed easily and satisfy cravings more quickly. Most nicotine pouches also hit that sweet spot with pH levels, avoiding excess alkalinity that can irritate the mouth and be highly uncomfortable for those who use pouches.
What makes nicotine pouches special?
Like other NRTs, nicotine pouches are completely smoke-free, do not emit foul odors associated with cigarettes, and provide convenience of use. But what makes nicotine pouches so special is that they are better tolerated than other NRTs on the market. A study conducted compared nicotine pouches with nicotine gum and lozenges, with the results showing that the former is a more pleasant NRT compared to others.
While the kind of NRT used can be preferential or following a recommendation from a medical professional, the study revealed that the side effects of using NRTs were minor with nicotine pouches. While the human body can reliably heal itself after experiencing physical ailments—including the ability to repair tissue, such as if it was damaged by smoking—it is important to use products that do not cause discomfort, especially when addressing smoking withdrawal symptoms. Participants reported fewer degrees of dizziness, headaches, hot flushes, and back pain when using nicotine pouches and generally had a better experience of using them, making pouches a more viable option when quitting smoking.
Nicotine pouches can also be bought conveniently, as they’re easily available for purchase online. Here, you can choose between leading brands such as Zyn, On!, VELO, and Rogue, which all offer a variety of strengths and flavors to satisfy your cravings. You can even purchase these products at discounted prices, which is great for those curious about nicotine pouches and who want to try them without spending too much on a product.
Are they worth it?
Considering that nicotine pouches can provide a more satisfying experience of using NRTs, they are definitely worth trying. They come in a variety of flavors and usually have stronger nicotine strengths compared to other oral NRTs, which can be appealing to those who want these features. At the end of the day, though, the kind of NRTs you use is up to preference or upon recommendation of your doctor to ensure that you’re not exacerbating any side effects from smoking or its withdrawal.
Overall, nicotine pouches are on the rise since they provide a convenient and effective way of satisfying the same cravings brought by smoking cigarettes. They are tobacco-free and easy to use, which appeals to a lot of people in the market for NRTs.