We are all aware of the current vaping and smoking craze amongst teens around the world. Unfortunately, now parents have a new product to worry about- nicotine pouches. The pouches are produced by different companies, but the one making its way through the TikTok community is Zyn. Nicotine pouches are marketed as tobacco-free alternatives. These almost odorless nicotine-filled products are placed between the lips and gums and come in fun flavors like cinnamon, citrus, coffee, and peppermint to draw in their clientele. Though these companies stress their products are for people over the age of 21 years, we all know how resourceful some teenagers can be, especially when they are being exposed to this on TikTok regularly.
These pouches contain no tobacco, so many think they are safe. However, they do contain nicotine. When nicotine is applied directly in the mouth it may cause irritation, burning sensations, nausea, and potentially other GI symptoms. Additionally, it can increase blood pressure and heart rate. Nicotine is physiologically addicting, and after chronic use, a person deprived of nicotine can be irritable, depressed, anxious, and have cognitive and attention issues.
While research for nicotine pouches and their long-term health impacts are limited, prolonged nicotine use can increase the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory disorders, as well as other health-related issues.
According to the CDC, around 1 in every 100 high school students last year reported using nicotine pouches in the past 30 days. We highly recommend that parents use this as an opportunity to speak with your teens about the possible health effects of nicotine pouches.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact your trusted Allied pediatrician for answers and/or guidance. We are here for you.