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Tobacco-free nicotine pouches are a new class of smokeless tobacco products that experienced precipitous sales1 increases since their national US market entry in 2016.2 Between 2016 and 2019, annual unit sales of nicotine pouches increased from approximately 100 000 to over 46 million. The pouches contain a powdered mix of nicotine, flavouring, sweeteners and binders; are used in a manner similar to snus (ie, placed between the lip and gum) and are sold in a variety of nicotine strengths and flavours. These products are marketed as containing ‘tobacco-derived’ or ‘tobacco-free’ nicotine and nicotine salts and are described in product marketing as ‘spitless’, ‘smokeless’ and ‘tobacco leaf free’.3 The most prominent brands in today’s marketplace are owned by leading tobacco companies:4 Swedish Match owns Zyn, British American Tobacco sells Lyft and VELO5 (soon to be consolidated under the single branding VELO) and Rogue is owned by Swisher International. In 2019, Altria acquired and began international marketing of the brand on!6
Recently, crossover advertising of nicotine pouch products was observed among leading brands of combustible cigarettes. For example, on 4 November 2020, routine …
Contributors DPG and OG conceptualised the idea. EMT wrote the first draft and DPG, RG, MH and OG provided input on subsequent drafts. All authors contributed equally and have approved the final manuscript.
Funding This work was supported in part by National Cancer Institute and Food and Drug Administration Centre for Tobacco Products under grant U54CA229973. OG was supported by the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey under grant P30CA07270. DPG was supported by a grant from the NIH Office of the Director (award number DP5OD023064).
Disclaimer The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIH or FDA.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.