Home Health Nicotine Pouches: Free from tobacco but not from risks

Nicotine Pouches: Free from tobacco but not from risks

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Nicotine Pouches: Free from tobacco but not from risks

Modern successors to the traditional snus

In Scandinavia, so-called “snus” is traditionally popular: the small tobacco pouches are pushed behind the upper lip onto the gums and kept in the mouth for some time. The nicotine it contains gets into the body through the mucous membrane.

Banned here, but available online

Tobacco-free nicotine pouches – also known as nicotine pouches or nicopods – are now also circulating in Germany as a modern successor to the well-known oral tobacco. They consist of plant fibers, humectants, water, flavorings and nicotine salts.

The control authorities of the federal states classify them as “novel food”. You need a permit, but you don’t have one. Therefore, their sale is prohibited in this country. However, they are available online, for example.

With mint or fruit aroma

The providers promise, for example, a smoke-free nicotine pleasure or a strong nicotine kick – clean, discreet and easy to use. Since the bags do not contain any tobacco, there is no unsightly side effect of darkly discolored teeth. According to the suppliers, the flavored pouches with the powder-like content sometimes taste fresh, sometimes fruity, like mint, lemon or watermelon.

Pouches are also likely to be addictive

What about nicotine-free pouches? The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has viewed studies on the products, examined some nicotine pouches and one Opinion on the preliminary health assessment of nicotine pouches veröffent­licht.

It says: “The BfR does not yet have any specific findings on the addictive effect of nicotine pouches.” However, it is assumed that this form of nicotine use is also addictive. The authority is currently doing “experimental studies” with nicotine pouches.

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Nothing for heart patients, pregnant women and young people

Since nicotine affects the heart and circulatory system and can potentially be addictive, the BfR warns several groups of people against consumption: Pregnant and breastfeeding women, people with cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure or coronary heart disease, non-smokers and young people should not consume nicotine pouches. Also, the bags should never get into the hands of children.

Authority warns of high nicotine levels

According to the investigations of Federal Institute for Risk Assessment Nicotine pouches can increase the nicotine level in the blood to values ​​that are also reached when smoking conventional cigarettes and some e-cigarettes. The authority had examined 44 nicotine pouches. Result: The nicotine content varied greatly and was between 1.79 milligrams and 47.5 milligrams of nicotine, with an average of 9.48 milligrams per bag. For comparison: In the EU, the upper limit for the nicotine content of cigarette smoke is 1 milligram.

become a non-smoker

  • Do you smoke and want to give up that annoying vice? Become a non-smoker with Stiftung Warentest: Our health experts explain which general tricks and motivational aids make it easier to quit.
  • It is not advisable to simply switch to alternatives such as e-cigarettes, tobacco heaters or nicotine pouches – because they are not free from health risks either.

Cases of poisoning with pouches have occurred

According to the BfR, some cases of poisoning with mild courses and symptoms such as nausea and vomiting caused by nicotine pouches are already known. What is still pending are long-term studies examining the consequences of regular and long-term use of nicotine pouches.

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