Whilst nicotine pouches and cigarettes are both used for their nicotine, they are worlds apart in terms of how they are used and the effects they have.
Cigarettes obviously contain tobacco and the smoke generated from them when lit is meant to be inhaled. Once the smoke reaches the lungs, the lungs absorb the nicotine that exist in the tobacco smoke. The issue with smoking is that it is extremely harmful and contains a long list of carcinogenic substances which can lead to a long list of diseases and health complications.
Nicotine pouches, on the other hand, are both smoke-free and tobacco free. Nicotine pouches are used by placing a pouch under the upper lip where it releases nicotine directly into the blood. This means that you can get a nicotine delivery without tobacco and without the harmful effects of tobacco smoke.
Now, as both nicotine pouches and cigarettes are used for their nicotine, this naturally begs the question: do nicotine pouches have more nicotine than cigarettes? Let’s have a look.
Nicotine in nicotine pouches vs cigarettes
As the market for tobacco-free nicotine pouches has explored in recent years, more and more brands as well as variants, flavors, and nicotine strengths have popped up on the market. Nicotine pouches exist in an endless selection of strengths, brands, formats, and flavors to cater to everyone’s tastes and preferences.
Cigarettes obviously also exist in many different types and formats, the selection is more limited – partially because cigarettes do not have flavors. Moreover, the nicotine effect in cigarettes and nicotine pouches is a bit different as well. With nicotine pouches, the nicotine is added afterward since they do not contain tobacco and the nicotine does not exist naturally in the plant fiber that is used. On the contrary, the nicotine in cigarettes comes from the tobacco and therefore, nicotine is not added separately.
For that reason, manufacturers of nicotine pouches obviously get much greater possibilities of making products with a wide selection of nicotine strengths. And the selection of nicotine strengths in nicotine pouches is certainly huge. Today, you can find nicotine pouches with nicotine strengths ranging everywhere from 2mg per pouch up to 150mg per pouch.
Do nicotine pouches have more nicotine than cigarettes?
The short answer is that it depends. Yes, nicotine pouches can have more nicotine pouches than cigarettes but they can also have less. And the fact that different users have different preferences when it comes to nicotine strengths is something that manufacturers have taken notice of.
The ”standard” nicotine strength for nicotine pouches is classified as ”normal” and is generally graded as a 2/4 or 2/5. Normal nicotine pouches generally have a nicotine strength of 4mg per pouch. In contrast, a normal cigarette has according to Nicotinell, anywhere from 8 milligrams to 20 milligrams of nicotine, with the average amount being 12 milligrams.
The nicotine from nicotine pouches is absorbed via the mouth but the nicotine from cigarettes is absorbed from the lungs and this naturally affects the level of nicotine absorption. In fact, according to Nicotinell, your body takes up only approximately 1 milligram of nicotine from a cigarette. A similar principle applies tio nicotine pouches, where not all of the nicotine that is in a pouch is absorbed during use.
In other words, just because a nicotine pouch contains 4mg of nicotine doesn’t mean that all of the nicotine is absorbed during use. In fact, a study by The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), said that ”Pharmaco- kinetic studies show that at least half of the nicotine in the pouch can be absorbed. Relevant nicotine blood levels were achieved, i.e. levels were within a range that is comparable with conventional cigarettes. Use of high-dose products led to significantly higher nicotine levels than cigarette consumption”. (Source)
The latter is to be expected considering the wide selection of nicotine strengths available on the market for nicotine pouches. Meaning, for normal and low-strength nicotine pouches, the nicotine levels in the body are about the same or lower as with a cigarette. But since nicotine pouches also exist with much higher nicotine strengths than cigarettes, they can, in these cases, have more nicotine than cigarettes. But it ultimately comes down to the strength of the nicotine pouch that you use.
Popular nicotine pouches
ZYN Cool Mint Mini Dry Normal 3mg€ 5.50
VELO Freeze MAX€ 5.76
ZYN Cool Mint Mini Dry Extra Strong€ 5.50
ZYN Espressino Mini Dry Normal 3mg€ 5.50
ZYN Mini Black Cherry 6 mg€ 5.50
VELO Ice Cool Mint Strong Slim€ 5.76
ZYN Apple Mint Mini Dry 3mg€ 5.50
ZYN Citrus Mini Dry Normal 3mg€ 5.50
ZYN Bellini Mini Dry Normal 3mg€ 5.50