What Is All The Hype Around Nicotine Pouches?

If the latest research is to be believed, people are moving away from traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes and exploring other alternatives. Data analysis firm TD Cowen indicates that, as of the first half of January 2024, cigarette volumes have dipped by 10%. On the other hand, financial news provider Barron notes that e-cigarette sales fell by 11.3% in the same period. Meanwhile, sales in the smokeless tobacco or nicotine category, which includes nicotine pouches, grew by 12.1% during this time. Nicotine pouches were relatively unknown until recently, but various social and environmental factors have turned the tide since. Here are a few reasons nicotine pouches may be gaining traction:

Variety of flavors and strengths

Traditional cigarettes offer very little in the way of choosing nicotine strengths. E-cigarette cartridges may come in various flavors, but nicotine content is still measured in milligram-to-milliliter ratios – for example, 20mg/ml – making it challenging to manage consumption or achieve the desired strength. On the other hand, oral nicotine pouches are single-dose products with specific strengths and a wide variety of flavors. This variety can be seen in the wide selection from online nicotine pouch retailer Prilla, which offers flavors in the citrus, mint, coffee, and cinnamon spectrum from brands like ZYN, On!, Rogue, and VELO. High-strength options like ZEO Wintergreen Ice feature a powerful punch of 12mg nicotine coupled with a cool blast of flavor. Meanwhile, those who prefer a lower strength and like the taste of menthol but find regular peppermint or cool mint products too strong may opt for ZYN Spearmint 6mg. Nicotine pouches may better meet the needs of discerning consumers who want a customized nicotine consumption experience.

Social influence factors

Smoking cigarettes used to be a socially motivated activity associated with an elusive kind of “cool,” but this has faded in recent years. Research from The Lancet found that, over time, smokers become lonelier and less socially engaged than non-smokers. In addition, the participants of a 2022 study by the journal  viewed oral nicotine products, such as pouches, to be “cleaner” and more “socially acceptable” than cigarettes and even smokeless tobacco. This also translates to romantic prospects: a Dua study found that smokers receive 52.7% fewer matches than non-smokers. Similarly, a Pfizer study showed that, for 78% of respondents, fresh breath is the top attribute for a good kisser. Unlike cigarettes, nicotine pouches do not leave foul odors that could deter intimate connections; in fact, many pouches feature refreshing flavors. Social behaviors are also highly influenced by one’s environment and the limitations therein; with rising smoking restrictions and tobacco taxes around the world, cigarettes have become significantly less accessible.

Discretion and convenience

The reduced accessibility of cigarettes is paving the way for nicotine pouches, especially in terms of unobtrusive use. In the early days of e-cigarettes, users would turn to these options as loopholes for cigarette bans in certain areas, such as offices or indoor spaces. Today, however, anti-smoking rules largely include both traditional and electronic cigarettes. According to a 2023 WHO report, 33 countries have banned the sale of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). As nicotine pouches do not pose a fire hazard, they can typically be used where smoking or vaping is restricted. For example, the nicotine pouches from COCO use highly porous coconut coir fibers for safe and easy disposal, as well as smoother, longer-lasting release of nicotine and flavors. These pouches come in vibrant Natural Mint, Tropical Mango, Clean Peach, and Blue Razz flavors but still provide a discreet experience. With pouches, individuals can consume nicotine conveniently without drawing attention to themselves by taking smoke breaks.

Various motivators drive the increased hype around nicotine pouches, changing the way people view traditional cigarettes and nicotine consumption in general. With more nicotine pouch options on the market, people can choose whether or not to ride the wave.

Visit the lifestyle platform Style Motivation for more on the latest trends.