The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

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The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

Are Zyn pouches actually good for you?

GC Student’s Zyn Graveyard

A new craze has gained momentum with nicotine lovers everywhere. In the last few years, Big Tobacco has developed a new innovative nicotine delivery device to attract consumers, the nicotine lozenge. 

Habitual nicotine users no longer have to face the profoundly negative social stigma and surefire case of lung cancer that comes with smoking cigarettes or inhaling the berry-flavored air of a vape. Now, the nicotine they crave is easily accessible, discreet and available in a variety of flavors and doses. 

The remarkably wide range of flavors these pouches come in no doubt adds to their appeal, especially to younger users. In a medically reviewed article for Renaissance Recovery, writer Joe Gilmore speaks of how these products intentionally release flavors they know younger people will like to build lifelong consumers.

“The use of flavorings in tobacco products is proven to appeal to young people, with data also suggesting that nicotine pouch dollar sales increased by 470% over the first half of 2020, making this the quickest-growing sub-category of tobacco products,” Gilmore said. 

The impact this marketing effort has had can be seen right here at GC. Students are now using Zyns in class and at the gym to achieve the calm and focused feeling that a nicotine buzz offers.

One subcommunity of Zyn users at GC has taken it upon themselves to litter the rims of the trash cans at the Wellness and Recreation Center with their semi-masticated pouches in one of the most sickening displays of disregard for other people and sanitation I have ever laid eyes on. 

These nicotine pouches, commonly sold under the brand names Zyn, Rogue and Fre, also command a tremendous advantage over their close relative, chewing tobacco. Chewing tobacco has an extremely unpleasant taste, requires one to carry a bottle around so they can spit it out and is known to cause mouth cancer.

Nicotine pouches are seen as the modern solution for 21st-century nicotine users, as they offer the opportunity for users to save their lungs while avoiding the unpleasant aesthetic and health consequences of chewing tobacco. 

However, these pouches are underresearched, and the consequences of their long-term use remain unclear. Are they actually a safe alternative to cigarettes and chewing tobacco?

Nicotine pouches are superior to tobacco in some ways, at least. They are comprised of nicotine salts, water, flavorings, sweeteners and plant-based fibers. They do not contain any of the tobacco leaf in them, which is known to contribute to the emergence of gum disease, cavities, a higher risk of cancer and stroke and cancers of the throat, mouth and pancreas.

Many smokers look to nicotine pouches in an attempt to wean off of nicotine so that they one day may escape dependence. However, this appears to be unwise, as the Food and Drug Administration has not approved these pouches as  for smoking cessation due to the high concentration of nicotine found in them. 

The Nebraska University Health Center has found no data that show nicotine pouches are a safe or effective way to quit nicotine. Nebraska Medicine certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist Jill Selzle does not recommend them.

The hesitancy of the medical community to endorse nicotine pouches as a safe alternative to smoking comes as the result of the negative short and long-term health consequences of using them. 

According to Grinds Coffee Pouches’s website, when someone first puts a Zyn in, their heart rate and blood pressure immediately increase. Repeatedly doing this can cause irregular heartbeat and put one’s cardiovascular health at serious risk. 

Prolonged usage of these pouches can also lead to potential long-term problems, like hypertension, heart disease and stroke. Nicotine’s appetite-suppressing quality can also seriously disrupt the body’s metabolic system.

Grinds Coffee Pouches encourages individuals trying to quit Zyns on their website.

“Each Zyn pouch you avoid or quit is a step toward taking back control of your health and life,” Grinds Coffee Pouches said. “It’s a choice that sends a powerful message to yourself and others: that you value your health, your well-being, and your future more than a fleeting sensation.”

Despite their cool, sleek and modern appeal, the overall impacts of the use of these pouches on one’s overall health seems to lean negatively, and it is definitely not clear that they are a good alternative to other forms of nicotine consumption. My recommendation would be to leave the Zynucchini Alfredos, Tucker Carlzyns, Monica Lezynskys, and Zynbabwes behind and not endore them as the nicotine delivery device of the future. 


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