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Marketing ZYN: examining branded and unbranded content
  1. Ollie Ganz1,2,
  2. Patrick V Barnwell1,
  3. Mary Hrywna1,2,
  4. Scott I Donaldson3,
  5. Jon-Patrick Allem1,2,
  6. Cristine D Delnevo1,2
  1. 1Rutgers Institute for Nicotine and Tobacco Studies, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
  2. 2Department of Health Behavior, Society and Policy, Rutgers School of Public Health, Piscataway, New Jersey, USA
  3. 3Population and Public Health Sciences, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ollie Ganz, Rutgers Institute for Nicotine and Tobacco Studies, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA; og96{at}

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In January 2024, United States (US) Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called for federal action to ‘crackdown’ on ZYN, a new nicotine pouch product that is tobacco-free yet contains nicotine. Schumer argued the brand has ‘their sights on young kids—teenagers, and even lower and then use[s] … social media to hook 'em.1' ZYN sales have grown recently2 3; Nielsen market-level retail scanner data show that from October 2023 to December 2023, 86.3 million units of ZYN were sold in convenience stores and exceeded sales of Copenhagen, the historic smokeless tobacco market leader. At the end of 2023, ZYN was the number one selling oral smokeless tobacco or nicotine product in the USA. ZYN’s growth in sales may reflect its increased digital marketing, though digital promotions may be both branded (originating from ZYN) and unbranded. We describe these different promotions and discuss their implications for the tobacco control community.

Branded content includes advertising activities originating from the commercial entity itself, such as ZYN’s branded, official Facebook (figure 1) and Instagram pages. As of June 10, 2024, ZYN’s Facebook and …

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  • Contributors CDD conceptualized the idea. All authors contributed to the data collection and synthesis. OG wrote the first draft of the paper. All authors contributed to subsequent drafts.

  • Funding This work was supported by a grant U01CA278695 from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products. This content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NCI or FDA.

  • Competing interests J-PA has received fees for consulting services in court cases pertaining to the content on social media platforms. No other financial disclosures were reported. The authors have no competing interests to disclose.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.