Nicotine pouches ineffective for smoker cravings, trending among youth audience

A new study done by Ohio State University found that nicotine pouches are not as effective as people may think at combatting the cravings of current smokers.

The study focused on 30 adult smokers living in Appalachia.

“Participants came into our lab for three visits where they either used a nicotine pouch with different nicotine concentrations or they smoked a cigarette. We compared their nicotine delivery, how appealing they were, and how well they satisfied feelings of craving,” lead author Brittney Keller-Hamilton, Ph.D, said. “Over the course of time, we would do several blood drives, do some questionnaires to ask participants how they were feeling with their withdrawal symptoms, and how much they liked the products they were using at the visit.”

Nicotine pouches are filled with nicotine powder and other chemicals for taste and are branded as a better alternative to smoking with fewer carcinogens and toxins.

However, researchers say that the spike of nicotine levels in the blood after using a nicotine pouch is far lower than what it would be if the same person smoked a cigarette.

This presents a problem for researchers and regulators, who fear that pouches are not appealing to people who are already addicted to nicotine.

Instead, pouches appeal more to young people and others who are not already addicted.

“Most nicotine patches are made by companies that also sell cigarettes. So often, you’ll see advertisements that put nicotine patches right alongside cigarettes as a kind of alternative when you can’t smoke or an alternative to smokeless tobacco products when you can’t spit,” Keller-Hamilton said.

Researchers say more work needs to be done to make pouches more attractive to people who are already addicted to other tobacco products while making them less attractive to people who don’t already have an addiction.

If you are trying to quit using nicotine, talk to your doctor or contact the West Virginia Quit Line at 1-877-966-8784.

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