Trying to get my patients, and the general public, to stop smoking is one of the prime objectives of the Lung Disease Foundation of Central PA. Everyone realizes that nicotine is the addictive substance that traps many people into a life time of self-destruction. Many patients find that they can give up the smoking part of their habit, but not the nicotine addiction. The tobacco industry is well aware of this circumstance.

In 2016, a tobacco product commonly referred to as nicotine pouches entered the U.S. market. These are small microfiber pouches that contain nicotine powder that dissolve in the mouth, without the need to spit. These nicotine pouches contain nicotine salts, which deliver high levels of nicotine with less irritation than the free-base nicotine found in most smokeless tobacco products. Nicotine is highly addictive and harms fetal development, and can harm brain development through age 25. Leading smokeless tobacco manufacturers sell nicotine pouches in a variety of strengths and flavors, which as you may guess appeals to a younger population of users.

Like all tobacco products, nicotine pouches are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Between 2016 and June of 2020, nicotine pouch sales increased by over 300% and no data is available about the age of most users, but the use of flavors and various marketing schemes seems to be directed at teenagers and younger age groups.

Nicotine in pouches remains as highly addictive and dangerous as nicotine in all other forms.