Nicotine pouches do little to curb smokers’ nicotine cravings, according to a study by scientists at the Center for Tobacco Research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center—Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.
The researchers evaluated whether nicotine pouches with different levels of nicotine concentration were more or less appealing to smokers.
They found that current smokers had a much greater spike of nicotine in their blood levels and much sharper relief from craving symptoms when smoking than when using both the low-dose and higher dose nicotine pouches. That spike of nicotine measurable in the blood occurs about five minutes after smoking, explained lead author Brittney Keller-Hamilton.
With nicotine pouches, it typically takes 30 minutes to an hour to hit peak effectiveness. The same is true for the decline in nicotine levels; it is a much more gradual decline as well for oral pouches.
Because of this, says Keller-Hamilton, it is reasonable to see how the craving for instant gratification of cigarette smoking is more appealing than oral nicotine pouches for individuals who are already experiencing nicotine addiction.
“Our challenge is to approach regulation of nicotine pouches to limit their appeal among young people while making them more appealing to adult smokers who would see health benefits by switching from cigarettes—which have the most severe health impacts with long-term use—to nicotine pouches,” said Keller-Hamilton in a statement.