Tobacco smoking is among the leading causes of preventable death, with over 480,000 smoking-related deaths every year in the United States, according to the CDC. It is also well-documented that smoking is a major risk factor for chronic conditions including strokes, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and several types of cancer.
Moreover, a recent study published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research found that smokers’ risk of developing a hearing impairment is higher by up to 1.6 times compared to nonsmokers. While the study was not able to explain the exact mechanism by which smoking affects hearing, another major finding was that the smoking-related risk of hearing loss could decrease within five years of quitting smoking.
In order to minimize the aforementioned risks and prevent smokers’ health from worsening, it is essential to find ways to reduce the harm associated with smoking. As tools for tobacco harm reduction have emerged, nicotine pouches have been proven to be an alternative way to deliver nicotine into the body without the same level of risk that tobacco has.
Nicotine pouches have significantly lower toxicant levelsNicotine pouches belong in the category of oral nicotine products that are marketed as non-combustible, smokeless, and tobacco-free. Similar to snus, the pouch that is made from organic cellulose compounds is placed between the gum and top lip for direct nicotine absorption. Since pouches have pharmaceutical-grade nicotine in place of tobacco, they have a reduced risk profile compared to cigarettes and other tobacco products like snus and chewing tobacco.
Indeed, studies have found that nicotine pouches have lower levels of toxicants and thus produce greatly reduced toxicological effects. Among these is a journal article published in Taylor & Francis Online which assessed biomarkers of exposure (BoE) to toxicants and biomarkers of potential harm (BoPH) linked to smoking-related diseases.
Due to the reduced toxicants and absence of combustion in nicotine pouches, the study found that users had significantly lower exposure to NNK, a tobacco-specific compound that plays a key role in carcinogenesis. Compared to smokers, nicotine pouch users also showed lower inflammation, which is one of the biomarkers known to be raised during the development of lung cancer.
Using nicotine pouches can reduce tobacco product useAside from low toxicant levels, nicotine pouches can help people transition away from tobacco and eventually quit smoking for good.
The Rogue nicotine pouches at Prilla are 100% tobacco-free, making them viable alternatives for individuals who need to cut back on their smoking and chewing tobacco habits, but still need a pure dose of nicotine. These pouches come in different flavors like lemon, cinnamon, and wintergreen, and they also do not emit any smoke, bad odor, or residue. These properties allow smokers and chewing tobacco consumers to conveniently use them throughout the day, therefore increasing their chances of successfully quitting tobacco.
Prevalence of nicotine pouch use has a public health impactBeyond the individualized nicotine experience, the potential of nicotine pouches for tobacco harm reduction can also be attributed to its positive public health impact. Following the introduction of the nicotine pouch ZYN into the US in the 2000s, a study published in BMC Public Health has concluded that the prevalence of nicotine pouch use can influence the substantial reduction of tobacco product-related deaths over time.
It is estimated that by 2050 if smokers intending to quit switched to nicotine pouches instead of continuing smoking, the number of deaths from diseases linked to tobacco would be reduced by 249 in a sample size of 100,000 — equivalent to almost 700,000 in the whole US population.
Taking all these factors of reduced toxicants, tobacco product use, and smoking-related mortality, it is evident that nicotine pouches are a promising tobacco-free alternative, especially among smokers who struggle with quitting successfully. While these pouches can be bought over the counter online and offline, there needs to be a greater effort to inform current smokers about the harm reduction properties so they can carefully consider their options and reduce the chance of smoking-related illnesses.