General Health

Parents Warned Nicotine Pouches are the NEW Invisible Threat Hooking Aussie Kids

A new player has emerged in the world of nicotine products, popping up in our Australian classrooms, and fast becoming a worrying trend amongst our school-aged children. Nicotine pouches, known as Zyns, snus, or little lip pillows – are the new craze on social media and are slowly taking over from the newly banned vapes in Australian schools.

Zyn Nicotine Pouches were traditionally pitched as a product to aid in the weaning off tobacco products, but are far from it. Marketed as a trendy alternative to traditional cigarettes and vaping, these products are making strong waves among young adults who are seeking a “safer” way to satisfy their nicotine cravings and ‘get a rush’.

Containing no tobacco, but full of nicotine! Source: Adobe Stock

One of the most troubling aspects of nicotine pouches is their appeal to young adults and non-smokers.  With trendy branding and enticing flavours such as mint, coffee, and citrus, they’re marketed as a lifestyle product. This deliberate targeting of impressionable demographics is normalising nicotine use and also setting the stage for a new generation of addiction.

But behind the sleek packaging and flashy marketing lies a disturbing reality: Zyn Nicotine Pouches are far from harmless.

Zyn looks like a little teabag, it’s a tiny little white pouch that tucks inside the cheek, and inside there’s no tobacco leaf. There is cellulose, or wood pulp, along with some artificial sweeteners, and flavourings, and nicotine.  Wall Street Journal

Zyn Nicotine Pouches – the new invisible threat. Source: A Current Affair

Zyn Nicotine Pouches: Are they the new silent assassin?

At first glance, Zyn Nicotine Pouches may appear harmless. However, in reality, they’re far from it. The absence of smoke or vapour means that they can be taken completely undetected at school, even during lessons, or at home. Plus, being placed directly onto the cheek, the nicotine is absorbed directly into the bloodstream for a quick and easy ‘rush’.

Source: YouTube

A Current Affair weighs in on the rise of Zyn Nicotine Pouches

While they may not contain tobacco, such a high concentration of nicotine in one little ‘pillow’ increases the risk of addiction and exacerbates the potential for adverse health effects, including cardiovascular issues, respiratory problems, and cognitive impairment.

These tiny pouches can be up to 20 times the strength of a cigarette.

mum central

YouTube video

Channel Nine’s A Current Affair checked out a number of tobacconists who, along with still selling vapes, also had nicotine pouches. They said sales were booming.

“It’s mostly online so anyone can sort of get it online but we brought it into stores because a lot of people are asking,” one worker said.

ACA interviewed Matilda, 18, and Jacob, 20, who have both tried nicotine pouches.
“In high school, a lot of people were doing it, and that’s where I initially tried them,” Matilda said.
“[You] pull it out, just like gum,” Jacob said.
“People don’t really blink an eye at it, rather than seeing puffs of cloud coming out.
“A lot of my mates, especially at uni, they’re doing it a fair bit.

Are nicotine pouches banned in Australia?

You bet they are. That said, for a banned product, nicotine pouch sales are rising rapidly in Australia. Last year, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) seized 3.5 million units, and so far this year, there are over 5 million units under assessment for seizure.

So little is known about the long-term harm from these pouches that there is about to be a study launched to investigate how toxic they are. Led by University of Wollongong chemical toxicologist Dr Jody Morgan.

The Wall Street Journal lifts the lid on nicotine pouches.

The Wall Street Journal’s investigative report on the rise of nicotine pouches offers an in-depth look at this growing trend and its implications. The sharp increase in popularity of these discreet, tobacco-free products, particularly among younger demographics, is evident by the regulatory challenges and cultural shifts associated with the widespread adoption of these pouches. Definitely worth a watch!

YouTube video

Tobacco manufacturer Philip Morris, the maker of Zyns, is now facing a lawsuit in the US over claims the product is addictive and harmful to young people. They even had their brand, Velo, sponsor the McLaren Formula One team.

Source: YouTube

The TGA is working in partnership with the Australian Border Force and state and territory agencies to target illicit activities associated with the importation and supply of unregulated therapeutic goods, including nicotine vapes and pouches.

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Avatar of Belinda Jennings

Belinda's a passionate advocate for community and connection. As the founder of the Mum Central Network she’s committed to celebrating the journey that is Australian parenthood. Mum to two cheeky boys, and wife to her superstar husband, they live a busy but crazy lifestyle in Adelaide. Great conversation, close friends and good chocolate are her chosen weapons for daily survival. Oh, and bubbles. Champagne is key.

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