New to Nicotine Pouches? Start with This Beginner’s Guide

New to Nicotine Pouches? Start with This Beginner's Guide
Credit: Jakubdrastich2 under CC BY-SA 4.0 

Though a relatively new product, nicotine pouches are skyrocketing in popularity. They’re a smoke- and tobacco-free way to consume nicotine, adding a unique and innovative option for people who no longer want to use cigarettes. That’s why researchers believe the market for these pouches will expand 35.8% a year throughout this decade—hitting a value of $17.35 billion by 2029.

So whether you want to use them amid workplace no-smoking policies or to quit cigarette use altogether, nicotine pouches are definitely a good option to try. New to using them? Here’s a quick beginner’s guide to get you started.

What are nicotine pouches?

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln explains these tiny packets encase nicotine, flavorings, and pH adjusters in pouches made of plant-based fibers. They’re oral products: you tuck them in the mouth to release nicotine into the bloodstream. That means you can discreetly use nicotine pouches in public, even in no-smoking or vaping areas, to curb smoking withdrawal symptoms. You can also swallow your saliva when using them—you don’t need to spit it out unhygienically as you would with chewing tobacco or snus. Various brands, ranging from ZYN and Lucy to Juice Head and VELO, offer nicotine pouches in multiple flavors, strengths, and formats to suit various preferences. That begs the question:

How do you choose a nicotine pouch?

Flavors

The quickest thing to decide is what flavor you want to try. Of course, this will depend on your personal preferences—and, fortunately, you won’t be disappointed by your options. You’ll find nicotine pouches come in flavors ranging from mint to coffee. And if you want something fruity, brands like Juice Head offer pouches in even more unique flavors like blueberry lemon and peach pineapple.

Strengths

In , we note that experimenting with nicotine strength is crucial if you want to quit smoking: you need to lower your nicotine consumption instead of maintaining it. That same tip applies to nicotine pouches. In fact, these products make things easier—you can get something as light as ZYN’s 3mg pouches to White Fox’s extra-strong 30mg ones, so it should be easy to find a strength right below your current consumption and work from there.

Formats

Pouches typically come in two formats: dry and moist. Moist pouches, which have a little extra liquid in them, may release nicotine faster. In contrast, dry pouches that only moisten in the mouth give a harsher flavor experience you might enjoy. It’s ultimately a matter of personal preference, so you may want to try VELO’s nicotine pouches and try each format for yourself. If you buy a round VELO tin, you’ll get its “Mini Dry” pouches in strengths of up to 7mg. Meanwhile, its oblong cans hold its slim moist pouches, which come in 2mg and 4mg variants.

Tobacco-derived VS synthetic nicotine

Though all pouches are tobacco-free, they can differ in where they source their nicotine. It’ll either be tobacco-derived or synthetic—developed in a lab. Again, what kind you choose is up to you. However, if you’re worried about any possible tobacco compounds making their way into your pouches, you can opt for the synthetic type. LUCY’s nicotine pouches are a good option. Dedicated to offering sustainable products, this brand makes its synthetic nicotine using green chemistry principles and a low-waste production method—all while delivering the same effects as its tobacco-derived counterpart.

How do you use nicotine pouches?

Now that you’ve chosen a nicotine pouch, you need to know how to use it. The process is pretty simple: take one out of the can, tuck it between your gum and upper lip, and keep it there for up to an hour. Disposal is easy, too—most cans come with a catch lid. You can keep your used pouches there until you reach the nearest trash can, which can be especially useful if you’re in places like planes, restaurants, or parks.

What nicotine pouch mistakes should you avoid?

There are a few things you should keep in mind if you’re new to nicotine pouches. They mostly have to do with “nic sick,” which Medical News Today defines as absorbing too much nicotine. It can burn your mouth and cause heart palpitations, so you’ll want to avoid chewing your pouches and causing them to burst open. Choosing the right strength can also ensure you don’t consume too much nicotine—so if you feel dizzy while using a pouch, switch to a lighter variant. One final mistake you don’t want to make is always putting pouches in the same place in the mouth. That can cause irritation, so always tuck your pouch in a different area between the gum and lip.