Nicotine Pouches

Nicotine pouches are extremely popular right now, but are they healthy? Scroll down to read more out about the safety and potential side effects of nicotine pouches

Written byJenna Roberts



Nicotine Pouches
Nicotine Pouches

Nicotine is a chemical found in cigarettes and some other stuff like nicotine pouches. It's what makes smoking addictive. When you use nicotine, it goes to your brain and tells it to release chemicals that make you feel good. That's why people like using nicotine—they get a happy feeling.

As people realize the harms of smoking (and vaping electronic cigarettes), many are moving into alternative delivery methods for nicotine. Nowadays one of the most popular delivery methods for nicotine is nicotine pouches. They are small, tobacco-free pouches that you place under your upper lip. Sometimes they might be referred to as "snus", which is a similar Swedish product but contains tobacco.

Safety of nicotine pouches

Because nicotine pouches contain no tobacco or tar, they are a much safer alternative than smoking cigarettes or using traditional snus. They also don't damage your lungs, unlike smoking or vaping electronic cigarettes.

In general, using nicotine pouches with low doses of nicotine is relatively safe. While there can be negative side effects, they are not as nearly as harmful as smoking cigarettes.

If you are using nicotine pouches that have high doses of nicotine, you should be careful. These high-nicotine products can raise the blood nicotine levels even higher than smoking cigarettes, which can increase the potential side effects.

Also, underage people should not use nicotine pouches, as their brains are still developing. Using addictive substances during a period of immense brain plasticity can cause life-long problems with addictions and dopamine regulation.

Side effects of nicotine pouches

There can be some side effects when using nicotine pouches. Nicotine can make your heart beat faster and raise your blood pressure. Some people might feel dizzy or get headaches when they use nicotine pouches. They can also make your mouth dry.

Monitoring your blood pressure is important if you use nicotine pouches. Raised blood pressure is a risk to your cardiovascular health.

Nicotine also activates the reward system in the brain, releasing dopamine. Over time, nicotine can change how the brain functions. This means that you will get withdrawal symptoms when you stop using nicotine. As you might know already, nicotine is extremely addictive substance. It's important to be careful and not use too strong nicotine pouches, or use them too much.

Nicotine pouches & cancer

Studies are showing that nicotine itself is not carcinogenic, and does not cause cancer. It is all the other stuff in cigarettes that cause cancers associated with smoking. Therefore using nicotine pouches doesn't necessarily contribute to cancer like smoking does. But that is not to say that nicotine pouches wouldn't cause cancer.

In 2022 researchers examined 44 different nicotine pouch products. They found that 26 of the samples contained cancer-causing chemicals known as tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs). While not all nicotine pouches contain TSNAs, there can be some cancer causing products out in the market. What was unclear from the study, is that how much of these chemicals were in the pouches. It is possible that the amounts were so low that they wouldn't increase cancer risk significantly.

One study, conducted in 2023, found out that nicotine replacement therapy products like Nicorette and Nicotinell contain low levels of acetaldehyde, ammonia, cadmium, chromium, lead, nickel, uranium-235, and uranium-238. They compared these levels to ZYN nicotine pouches, and found out that they carry similar levels of these harmful chemicals. But on the other hand, there were no cancer causing nitrosamines in the examined ZYN pouches.

There are websites like NicoLeaks which test nicotine pouches for harmful chemicals. They publish all the reports on their website, so you can easily evaluate the safety of the products you are using. You can refer to their data when evaluating the potential cancer risk of nicotine pouches you are using.

NicoLeaks also lists the pH value of each nicotine pouch they examined. Higher the pH value in nicotine pouches, the more they will raise the blood nicotine levels. This means that if you want to be on the safe side, you should choose nicotine pouches with lower pH values.

Nicotine pouches as a nootropic

Some people think nicotine can help them think better and focus more. They use nicotine pouches like a brain booster. There are many anecdotes online about using nicotine to improve mental performance and focus. For example, Dr. Huberman has mentioned nicotine being a great nootropic.