The nicotine pouches are not approved as a smoking cessation medication or nicotine medication. As a result, they are not marketed as such, with the exception of specific nicotine pouches that are classified as nicotine medication such as Zonnic.
However, just because nicotine pouches are not marketed or seen as a nicotine medication for quitting smoking, it does not mean that it cannot be an effective aid for quitting smoking.
According to Vårdguiden, nicotine medication almost doubles the chance of quitting smoking, especially if counseling and support is received during the process.
According to Vårdguiden, nicotine medication is greatly helpful when you want to quit smoking, but so far, there is no evidence that they work when you want to quit using snus. However, more studies need to be done in this area.
Can nicotine pouches help you quit smoking? Let’s take a closer look.
Smoking and snus in Sweden
In 2019, Eurostat conducted a survey of the percentage of smokers in all EU countries. They found that the country with the lowest percentage of daily smokers was Sweden (6.4%).
It was further stated that “In all EU Member States, the percentage of daily cigarette smokers was higher among men than among women, except in Sweden and Denmark.”
Sweden’s low percentage of smokers has been long explained by snus. Sweden has a long history of snus and is the only country in the EU where snus is allowed.
Imperial Brands science conducted a scientific literature review that thoroughly examined independent data on snus and came to the following conclusions:
Snus is directly responsible for Sweden having the lowest smoking rate in Europe (5%). In contrast, the British smoking rate is nearly 15%.
Only 10% of Swedish snus users also smoke, which clearly underscores the product’s potential as an “off-ramp” from smoking.
While tobacco consumption among men in Sweden is slightly higher than the EU average (primarily through snus), Swedish men also have the lowest incidence of lung cancer in Europe. This strongly suggests that it is the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke that cause lung cancer, rather than the tobacco itself. (Source)
In the Imperial Brands study, it is stated that a goal for several EU member states is to achieve a smoking rate of less than 5% by 2025. No one is currently close to achieving this – except for Sweden.
It is clear that snus in Sweden has a direct connection to Sweden’s low rate of smokers. And the fact that the rate of smokers in Sweden is higher among men can easily be explained by the fact that snus is more common among men than women.
However, this is changing as tobacco-free nicotine pouches have become more and more common on the market. Among users of tobacco-free nicotine pouches, women make up a larger share than they do for tobacco snus. The Public Health Agency states that ‘A larger proportion of men than women report using snus that contains tobacco, either every day or sometimes. A roughly equal proportion of men and women use nicotine snus.'”
Percentage of participants aged 16-88 years in Sweden who reported using tobacco-containing snus and nicotine pouches, seen to the right, divided by gender:
The positive aspect is that the whole EU now has access to nicotine pouches, unlike snus. Given the clear correlation between snus use and a lower proportion of smokers in Sweden, this can hopefully also contribute to a reduction in smoking in other EU countries.
Some argue that snus is not an effective alternative to quitting smoking. Whether this is true or not can be debated, but the numbers speak for themselves. Even if this were the case, nicotine pouches can make future generations choose nicotine pouches instead of starting to smoke, which is different from switching from smoking to using nicotine pouches.
Nicotine pouches – a much safer alternative to smoking
Studies are clear that both snus and nicotine pouches are a safer nicotine alternative than smoking.
The European Commission says the following:
“Tobacco consumption is the single greatest health risk that can be avoided and the main cause of premature death in the EU, responsible for nearly 700,000 deaths each year. Approximately 50% of smokers die prematurely (on average 14 years earlier). Despite significant progress in recent years, the number of smokers in the EU remains high – 26% of the total population and 29% of young Europeans aged 15-24 smoke.”
Studies on any health risks with nicotine pouches need to be studied further, but what can be stated with certainty is that it is significantly healthier than smoking.
The first independent study on nicotine pouches, Tobacco Control, was conducted by Rutgers University and came to several interesting conclusions.
In the study, researchers asked 1,018 smokers in the USA about their knowledge of nicotine pouches, whether they had tried them, and whether they planned to continue.
Among the findings, they found that smokers who were most interested in using pouches in the future were those who had plans to quit smoking and those who had tried and failed to quit previously.
This suggests that nicotine pouches, even though it is not marketed as such, may be a good tool for smokers to quit smoking.
Can nicotine pouches help you quit smoking?
One should always have a risk-reducing approach when it comes to tobacco and nicotine products. As we have established that nicotine pouches are significantly less harmful than smoking, it is therefore a better option if you are considering increasing your nicotine intake.
A study established that only 4% of people who try to quit smoking continue to do so a year later. With this in mind, it may be a good idea to look for alternative nicotine products that make it easier to quit or at least reduce smoking. Every cigarette you do not smoke is a success. For many people, a little extra help is needed to get them to quit smoking and nicotine pouches can therefore be helpful in facilitating this transition.
Even though nicotine pouches are not classified as a nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation, it can be an extremely effective tool for quitting smoking. They provide the same familiar nicotine kick, but without many of the harmful side effects of smoking.
Changing cigarettes with nicotine pouches
When it comes to cigarette addiction, it’s primarily the nicotine that people experience withdrawal from after quitting smoking. But what if there was a way to get nicotine without all the harmful effects of cigarette smoke? There is. And it’s spelled nicotine pouches.
Switching from smoking to nicotine pouches can satisfy your nicotine cravings while avoiding the highly harmful cigarette smoke.
Long-term smoking can cause significant harm to your lungs, particularly damaging your cilia, which are crucial in preventing smoke, dust, and other harmful debris from entering your lungs. You also have a higher risk of emphysema, cancer, and lung disease.
When you quit smoking and switch to nicotine pouches, you will see an improvement in these lung-specific conditions. You may have easier breathing and your cilia will start regrowing almost immediately.
Some benefits of using nicotine pouches include:
- Does not damage the lungs as nicotine pouches are smoke-free
- Spit-free with minimal drip
- Smell-free – avoid the smell of smoke and avoid negatively affecting your surroundings
- No passive smoking – noone needs to know that you are even using nicotine pouches
- Discreet and practical – nicotine pouches can be used anytime, anywhere
- No stained or discolored teeth
How to use nicotine pouches to quit smoking
Are you ready to quit smoking for good? Reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke each day is an important first step, so it may be helpful to start there.
Steg 1: Create a plan
The first step in quitting smoking is to create a plan. Quitting smoking is difficult and it’s important to mentally prepare yourself to do it wholeheartedly. You don’t want to “kind of” quit smoking. This ensures that you are motivated and can keep your promise even when cravings creep in. If you are not fully committed, there is a high risk that you will fall back again.
A good way to keep yourself motivated is to write down a list of all the reasons, as well as the primary reason, why you want to quit smoking. When you feel you need a bit of motivation, you can look at your list and remind yourself that the benefits of quitting make it worth it.
Steg 2: Change cigarettes for nicotine pouches to begin reducing the number of cigarettes
The first step in quitting smoking is to create a plan. Quitting smoking is difficult, and it’s important to mentally prepare yourself to do it wholeheartedly. You don’t want to “kind of” quit smoking. This will ensure that you are motivated and can keep your promise even when cravings creep up. If you’re not fully committed, there’s a high risk that you will fall back again.
Steg 3: Decide when to quit completely
Before you start, you should set a date to quit smoking completely. As you gradually reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke per day, the transition will become easier when you switch to nicotine pouches instead. If you experience withdrawal and crave to smoke, use a nicotine pouch to alleviate your cravings.
When choosing nicotine pouches for your smoking cessation, consider the nicotine strength of the pouches. You can do this by counting the number of cigarettes you usually smoke per day.
In a regular cigarette, the average smoker inhales 1-2 milligrams of nicotine. Nicotine pouches range from 1mg to 15mg. Look at the nicotine strength to match this with the levels you typically get from your cigarette. During the transition, you want to make sure to maintain your total daily nicotine consumption approximately the same to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
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