The U.S. Patent Office has granted Sting Free AB a patent (US 15/255,163) for a technology that makes snus and other nicotine pouch products more accessible to adult consumers by eliminating the stinging sensation associated with their use.
The European Patent Organization too intends to grant a patent covering 39 nations for the technology. Sting Free AB already holds the Swedish patent rights to this invention.
The new technology, which was first covered by Tobacco Reporter in July 2017, comprises a pouch of which one side is impermeable to liquids. In addition to eliminating the stinging sensation commonly associated with many pouch products, the technology also allows manufacturers to enhance flavors, pH levels and nicotine release profiles. Products that can benefit from its technology include snus, moist snuff, tobacco-free nicotine pouches and CBD, according to Sting Free AB.
Snus is considered less risky to health than smoking, and many tobacco users, particularly in Sweden, have used the product to reduce or eliminate their exposure to the harmful byproducts of combustion.
Grand View Research expects smokeless tobacco products to generate $5.6 billion globally in 2020 and $22.2 billion by 2025. Because the stinging sensation is often cited as the No. 1 deterrent for new users of oral nicotine products, Sting Free AB believes its new technology could expand the addressable market of adult consumers considerably.
“We foresee that the already impressive market growth for pouched products containing nicotine will increase substantially when more manufacturers and brands adopt our sting free technology,” says Sting Free AB CEO Bengt Wiberg.
The sting-free technology has already been successfully produced in a prototype series using unmodified industrial snus packaging machines. In 2017, the innovation received a Golden Leaf Award in the “Most exciting newcomer to the industry” category at the GTNF in New York City.
Sting Free AB has a nonexclusive licensing agreement with Swedish Match, the world’s largest Swedish snus manufacturer and producer of the successful Zyn nicotine pouch. It has also signed pre-licensing agreements with several other manufacturers of snus and nicotine pouch products.