Nicotine pouches are emerging nicotine products, containing nicotine, cellulose, water, flavoring and sodium carbonate, which are placed inside the mouth between the lip and gum. Nicotine absorption occurs through the lining of the mouth. Most nicotine pouches are available in a range of nicotine strengths, typically between 1.5 and 8 mg per pouch, with some products containing nicotine doses of up to nearly 50 mg per pouch. Nicotine pouches are distinguished from the smokeless tobacco product snus (a spitless, moist tobacco pouch)because they do not contain tobacco leaf. However, nicotine pouches contain either nicotine derived from tobacco or synthetic nicotine.
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Nicotine pouch brands including Zyn, Velo and On! are produced by multi-national tobacco companies and come in a variety of flavors that have similarly attracted youth and young adults to e-cigarettes.Nicotine pouch use has significantly increased since 2016, and its use is most common among young adults aged 18-24.Nicotine from any product is a highly addictive substance that is particularly harmful to pregnant women and adolescents. Nicotine exposure in children and adolescents can affect brain development, negatively impact learning and attention spans and potentially lead to anxiety disorders.The U.S. Surgeon General concluded that “The use of products containing nicotine in any form among youth, including in e-cigarettes, is unsafe.” In general, nicotine has also been found to impact the cardiovascular system. Aside from inhalation or absorption of nicotine, accidental or purposely ingestion of nicotine-containing products like e-liquids is toxic and can result in serious cardiovascular and respiratory complications.