Humans really are fond of their nicotine intake, as history shows, but it wasn’t until the late 1800’s that it became a trendy (sexy, even) habit in the form of cigarettes. Once the first pre-rolled cigarette was lit by the US Army back in the 1900’s its popularity spread like cancer. Literally. But what were the Swedes doing?
Swedes are, of course, also fans of nicotine and tobacco just like the rest of the world. But tobacco takes a rather unusual form there, namely as Snus. Today, snus is part of a cultural heritage that stretches even further back than that of cigarettes – all the way back to the 1600s when Christopher Columbus made his first encounter on a large ship heading back from the Atlantic. So, what is snus? Snus in its loose form is finely ground tobacco that can be baked into a small ball to be placed under the upper lip. In its portioned form the ground tobacco lies within sachets that you place under your lip. Both forms remain there until the nicotine and flavour release fades – then it is ready to come out! All was well, until one day (in the mid 1900’s) cigarettes were recognized for the dangerous “coffin nails” they certainly were and somewhere around that time it was also presumed that snus was equally dangerous. This resulted in the EU Snus ban which is still an active ban today. Many years later, in order to meet the huge demands from EU residents, snus manufacturers ingeniously came up with a cleaner way to snus, a legal way to snus and above all a tobacco free way to snus – namely, the Nicotine Pouch.
What are Nicotine Pouches and Why are Europeans crazy about them?
In short, nicotine pouches are a tobacco free smokeless alternative that exist in a huge variety of flavours and nicotine strengths. Most nicotine pouches consist of plant fibres and gum base (as in, chewing gum base) along with some type of flavouring agent such as melon, mint, liquorice or coffee among many others. It is easy to see their appeal, especially with the worldwide rise of cigarette restrictions that make it increasingly difficult for smokers to co-exist with non-smokers and ex-smokers. Popular nicotine pouch brands include Skruf, Lyft, Velo, On!, Nordic Spirit and White Fox; all which can be purchased online from online stores such as www.snusdirect.eu or, if you are lucky, at your local vape shop. Below are the top five reasons for Europeans’ obsession with nicotine pouches.
1.They are discreet
What is an every-day hassle if you are a smoker? To find somewhere to smoke, of course! Many years ago, cigarettes were consumed by a shocking number of Europeans, but that figure has decreased drastically with the implementation of smoking restrictions that made it increasingly difficult to find somewhere to light one up. The issue is quite similar for vapers; many workplaces forbid vaping and you are likely to receive disapproving stares anywhere in public locations.
Back in the days, before nicotine pouches, Swedish Snus would discolour your teeth and produce a brown discharge that is unfortunately visible to on-lookers. But the all-white tobacco free contents of a nicotine pouch will do neither and its small shape makes it invisible under the top lip. Its discreet nature draws many Europeans to switch from cigarettes or even vaping.
2. They are less harmful than tobacco products
Quitting nicotine is hard. In fact, it is one of the most difficult tasks to bring onto oneself. This is why e-cigarettes and vapes became hugely popular to begin with because people generally wish to quit smoking, but not their nicotine intake. The health hazards involved in smoking haven’t gone unnoticed by anybody and although a smokeless tobacco free alternative never is a healthy habit, it is arguably healthier than smoking a cigarette. Society is more health conscious than ever and with people’s increasing interest in eating better, exercising more and drinking less it is easy to understand the appeal of a tobacco free existence. Nicotine pouches offer Europeans a tobacco free nicotine experience that doesn’t bother or affect anybody else.
3. They Exist in a wide range of Flavours
In Sweden, where snus is not only culturally and socially accepted but also a source of pride, tobacco flavoured products are still the most popular ones. But when nicotine pouches became available for the EU market, the flavoured category practically exploded in Europe. The most common nicotine pouch flavours include: fruity flavours, liquorice flavours, coffee flavours and finally, the most popular one – mint flavours. The most common European practice is to mix it up and use certain flavours for certain occasions; the minty pouches are used as breath freshener and work well after teeth have been brushed, the fruity ones are popular as an after-dinner treat and so on.
4. They help Europeans quit smoking
So, imagine you’ve decided to quit smoking – now what? How would you go about doing that? It is hard for sure. But Europeans seem to have it all figured out! Here is how they do it:
- By using Strong Nicotine Pouches
A cigarette exudes a powerful and fast nicotine release that almost shocks your body only to fade rather quickly after the cigarette has been smoked. Strong nicotine pouches mimic the powerful nicotine effect but keep a steady release for over an hour rather than a few minutes. This way, Europeans don’t experience the typical nicotine craving when trying to quit smoking.
- By slowly turning to lower-strength pouches
In an attempt to lower the nicotine-intake Europeans will switch between strong nicotine pouches and low-strength ones to train the body to crave less nicotine.
The result is no smoking and less nicotine usage overall.
5. They can be used anytime, anywhere
One of the main reasons why nicotine pouches are becoming increasingly popular in Europe is their usability. They can be used on any occasion, anywhere – at the office, your wedding, at a party, in the cinema, without being detected. Tobacco is becoming yesterday’s news, but nicotine is as trendy as ever.
Have the Europeans cracked the code for reduced health issues relating to cigarettes and tobacco? Or are they simply nicotine addicts just like the rest of the world? Who knows. One thing we do know is that Sweden has the fewest number of smokers in all of Europe – a fact that’s hard to overlook.