This month, Phillip Morris International introduced ZYN, a nicotine pouch produced by Swedish Match, to the US market. This product is a small, occasionally flavored, pouch that is placed behind the lip to release nicotine to the user. Unfortunately, the product is being promoted to young American audiences through targeted social media campaigns, exposing yet another cohort of young people to the addictiveness of nicotine.
Nicotine is an addictive chemical found in e-cigs, cigarettes, and cigars. Research from the National Institutes of Health found that the health risks of using nicotine include everything from increased blood pressure to increased heart attack risk or even acute nicotine toxicity. According to the CDC, nicotine exposure in adolescence can hinder brain development.
ZYNs are “a pouch packed with problems [and] high levels of nicotine, said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in a statement on January 21, 2024. Sen. Schumer delivered “a warning to parents, because these nicotine pouches seem to lock their sights on young kids – teenagers, and even lower – and then use the social media to hook ’em.”
Respiratory Health Association supports tighter regulation by the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration of all nicotine products.
“The best way for a smoker to break their addiction to nicotine is to follow a proven successful quit smoking program,” said RHA President and CEO, Joel Africk. “Unfortunately, switching to other forms of nicotine just continues the addiction and makes it easier for someone to start smoking.”
For help quitting smoking, visit RespHealth.org/CourageToQuit. Courage to Quit® is an evidence-based group or individual tobacco treatment program for adults. It is the cessation component of RHA’s integrated tobacco intervention program. Courage to Quit’s effectiveness has been documented in the American Journal of Public Health and is based on the work of Andrea King, PhD, a faculty member at the University of Chicago and licensed psychologist with a research background in tobacco and other addictions.
About Respiratory Health Association
RHA has been a local public health leader in Chicago since 1906. RHA works to prevent lung disease, promote clean air, and help people live better through education, research, and policy change. To learn more, visit www.RespHealth.org.