Opinion Piece - Nicotine Pouches and their Benefits

General May 10, 2021

So before I throw myself into the hard sell on the benefits of nicotine pouches - it’s only fair to disclaim a few details first!

  1. I quit smoking in 2 weeks using nicotine pouches… this is after over two years of trying (and failing) using an e-cigarette. This has created somewhat of a personal drive to educate people about the product.
  2. At Nicotine Freak we work with the people producing and selling these products - so a conflict of interest can easily be argued. However, I’d suggest our reporting history speaks to our goal of impartiality as well as my own personal drive.

The opinions in this piece are mine alone - I’m not a scientific expert and I lack any relevant credentials in this area. That being said - I was a long term smoker (14 years), tobacco enthusiast, and I’ve been involved to some degree with the nicotine pouch market when the products were first available in the UK.

Now in a world increasingly hostile to the traditional tobacco inclined individual - nicotine pouches can allow users to consume their product of choice despite the ever encroaching ‘no smoking’ zones and sky-high tobacco duties.

No Smoking here, no smoking there…
Photo by Brian Kostiuk / Unsplash

There are a couple of specific areas I’d like to address -

Smoking cessation

Now this is a tricky one as mention the topic in the subject line above and you walk onto an instant regulatory minefield - however I can certainly speak to my own experience.

When I hit 28 I came to a realization… I’d now been a smoker for 50% of my life. Now as I’ve already mentioned - I’m no scientist, but I had a pretty good idea that smoking was perhaps not the best activity to continue on with. Now as someone with a genuine love of all things' tobacco - this wasn’t an easy choice to make - but ultimately I’d prefer not to shred my lungs and ruin my cardiovascular system (gone was my teenage invincibility!).

Photo by Robina Weermeijer / Unsplash

I made the logical choice available at the time and switched to vaping with some moderate success… but always fell back into traditional tobacco combustion. Vaping always felt like a cheap imitation of smoking - no matter how ridiculous the flavour - that’s something I couldn’t escape.

The one day I was at my local convenience store at the time who had a single promotional box of Nordic Spirit on display. Feeling unreasonably flush with cash and my eyes lighting up at the simple mention of ‘nicotine’ I picked up my first can of nicotine pouches. Since then, I’ve not turned back.

Unlike vaping - oral nicotine consumption like nicotine pouches (or traditional snus) isn’t pretending to be something it’s not. Oral nicotine consumption is an experience in itself - one I happen to enjoy - that comes with the pleasant benefit of eliminating nicotine cravings without filling your lungs with smoke.

No more nipping out into the cold for a much-needed cigarette, no more dirty ashtray and no more worry about when you can squeeze the next cigarette in.

Photo by Sajjad Zabihi / Unsplash

Now nicotine pouches are no silver bullet. I’m still addicted to nicotine and the oral pouch format simply won’t cater for some people’s tastes - but I have found a way to enjoy a substance (not entirely dissimilar from caffeine) without the known hazards of tobacco consumption - and the potentially unknown issues associated with e-cigarettes.

Discrete consumption

As I touched on earlier - we now live in a world where tobacco is a dirty word - and the number of places you can smoke is becoming increasingly small.

From public transport and workplaces to restaurants and bars - the list of places smokers aren’t welcome only gets bigger. Not to mention long haul flights, bus trips, train journey, long meetings and more…

UK's Underground
Photo by Joshua Anand / Unsplash

I remember as a kid walking into smoke filled rooms in my Father's old office… not in the UK you typically have to leave the premises entirely. Even as far back as 2006 - I wasn’t allowed to smoke in sight of the shop I worked… we had to hide around the corner!

So I’m short - if you're a smoker - you better make sure you pick an appropriate spot to light up!

Now consider nicotine pouches… you can throw all those restrictions out the window. You can enjoy a nicotine pouch pretty much anytime and anywhere without anyone even noticing.

A much easier way to enjoy the train!

Now of course products like nicotine gum, inhalers and patches have been available for some time now - but they suffer from two realities. Firstly - they have no pleasurable appeal whatsoever - and secondly - they aren’t typically offered in a strength to satisfy a smoker.

Nicotine pouches don’t suffer from these two issues - being available in both a range of flavours and strengths to cater for most potential users. Some regulation is undoubtedly required… but that’s a conversation for another day.

Hopefully that article goes some way to explaining my own interest in nicotine pouches - and the benefits they can offer to people looking to quit smoking and move to a safer alternative.

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Richard Crosby

Founder of Nicotine Freak, ex-smoker - but lover of tobacco.

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