When quitting smoking, motivated people have the most difficulty dealing with their withdrawals and cravings for nicotine, the addictive chemical in tobacco.
In most cessation programs, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products can ease these withdrawals, but many ex-smokers have also found nicotine pouches effective in addressing cravings.
You’ve probably heard of nicotine pouches and Snus and asked “Do they really work?”. In today’s post, you’ll learn more about these products and if they can work to help you quit smoking for good.
How Do Nicotine Pouches Work?
A nicotine pouch contains nicotine salts, plant-based fibres, and sweeteners to mask the raw taste of nicotine. They’re often tobacco-free and don’t need combustion, reducing the harms of nicotine consumption as opposed to smoking combustible cigarettes.
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To use nicotine pouches, you just have to put them between your cheek and gum. Their soft membrane makes it easy for the product to provide nicotine to the body in small amounts.
Nicotine pouches were likely inspired by Snus, a product popular in 18th-century Sweden, which contained raw tobacco leaves and plant fibres. In contrast, nicotine pouches use nicotine salts with sweeteners to mask the strong taste of nicotine.
Many successful quitters stand by the efficacy of nicotine pouches and Snus in helping them get through the toughest of their withdrawals. But, will most motivated smokers get the same result if they attempt to use it?
Are Nicotine Pouches Effective?
NRT gums and lozenges (also likely inspired by nicotine pouches and Snus) are far more effective in helping smokers during withdrawal periods. While the pouches can alleviate cravings as it introduces nicotine into the system, they might not have the controlled amount of nicotine designed to help quit smoking found in NRT products.
There is also a lack of evidence that nicotine pouches can be substitutes for NRT products. Some studies may have shown it contains the same levels of nicotine as NRTs, but without further data, it’s best to use data-backed and proven tools to address withdrawals
In case you also find NRT products failing to help you quit, instead of Snus and nicotine pouches, a GP can prescribe nicotine vaping products (NVPs) from pharmacies as a second-line tool to help you quit.
What Can I Use Rather Than Nicotine Pouches?
NRT products have worked well for many ex-smokers, but they don’t always work for everyone. After assessing your programme’s progress, your GP may prescribe medical NVPs sold in pharmacies so you can succeed in your quit journey.
NVPs imitate various aspects of a typical cigarette, such as the hand-to-mouth gesture, inhale/exhale, and throat hit. The small size of NVPs fits most pockets, making them easily accessible as substitutes for cigarettes when having your morning coffee or enjoying your night with friends.
According to the latest Cochrane Review, there is now high-certainty evidence that NVPs are more effective than NRTs in helping smokers quit. So, instead of nicotine pouches, NVPs may be the key for you to kick the habit.
Do Nicotine Pouches Cause Cancer?
The carcinogenic chemicals found in cigarette smoke cause cancer, not its nicotine content. This means non-combustible products like nicotine pouches, NRT products, and NVPs do not contain these carcinogenic chemicals.
With every puff of a cigarette, you’re inhaling poisonous carbon monoxide and carcinogenic tar, which stays in your lungs.
Cigarette smoke also contains benzene, which causes leukemia, and formaldehyde, a chemical with a wide range of industrial uses, but certainly not for human consumption.
Cigarette smoke also contains traces of cadmium, a heavy metal found in batteries.
Nicotine pouches do well to keep you off cigarette smoke. However, the lack of data and regulations on these products should be considered before using them.
It is strongly recommended to continue with NRT products, NVPs and a smoking cessation programme to help you kick smoking out of your life for good.
You’re reading this post because you want to know more about nicotine pouches and if they can work for you. We hope you found the information here helpful.
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