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The origin of nicotine pouches and the Swedish Experience

Zyn nicotine pouches

Did you know that fewer people die in Sweden, from causes attributed to tobacco use, than in any other European country? Yet, the overall tobacco use is about the general average (slightly higher than the UK).

This paradox is referred to by researchers as the Swedish Experience, and the likely explanation is the widespread use of snus instead of cigarettes.

This phenomenon is also key to the evolution of innovative smoke-free alternatives such as nicotine pouches. Therefore, we must look at the story behind snus to understand the popularity of these new nicotine products.

How old-fashioned Scandinavian working-class tobacco surpassed cigarettes

The smoke-free, moist, pasteurized tobacco product known as snus has been used in Scandinavia for hundreds of years. But it almost vanished in the mid-1900s, as cigarettes became the symbol of modernism. Hollywood stars and celebrities didn’t use snus – they smoked cigarettes. As did the public.

Many wondered if snus had any future whatsoever. Although, consumption persisted to an extent, being the tobacco of the working-class. But starting in the 60s and 70s the trend shifted, and the snus evolution begun.

Key drivers to the Swedish snus evolution

• A 1964-report on smoking and public health requested by the American president John F. Kennedy, established elevated risk of cigarette use. From this point, public discourse and actions in response to health issues related to smoking caught on.

• The iconic round snus-can was introduced in 1967 and became a massive success. It also had the unintended advantage of keeping the product fresh for longer periods compared to the former packaging.

• The introduction of portion snus in the early 70s, as an alternative to traditional loose form snus. This rejuvenated the category and presented a product able to compete with cigarettes.
In the following decades the tables turned, with cigarette sales decreasing and snus on the rise. Original portion snus kept evolving into new forms such as white portion, slim portion, superslim and all white pouches.

The double-edged nature of nicotine

The success of snus in attracting smokers along with the Swedish Experience paradox have challenged the idea that nicotine is exclusively bad.

“The general medical position is that nicotine itself poses few health risks, except among certain vulnerable groups.”

Cancer Research UK

While it’s certainly viewed as the main driver of tobacco dependency, it can on solid grounds be questioned why nicotine without inhalation wouldn’t be a perfect alternative to the without doubt much harmful cigarettes. A realisation that has contributed to innovation into smoke-free alternatives, and one of the fastest growing products is the nicotine pouches. They are equipped with the main characteristics of the snus success story. The round can, the pouch that you pop under your upper lip and the nicotine, but without the need for inhalation and without the tobacco and with that no detected harmful constituents.

ZYN premiered on the US market in 2014, and the growth is impressive, with 60 million cans sold in 2019, up from 13 million in 2018. Besides the US, followed by Scandinavia, ZYN nicotine pouches have since become available in several markets including the UK in a range of flavours and strengths. A new nicotine experience for a smoke-free tomorrow. Fresh, modern and easy to use.

New flavours from ZYN

Following the success of the ZYN nicotine pouches range, they have added two new flavours to offer their customers a wider range of alternative nicotine solutions, these new additions also include a new lower nicotine strength.

The new Spearmint flavour is a fresh and sweet option in a lighter nicotine strength, available in a 1 out of 4, which is a 1.5mg nicotine strength. They have also added the Esspressino flavour, which has been widely popular in Sweden, with a rich coffee taste with notes of chocolate, vanilla and nougat, available in a 2 out of 4, 3mg nicotine strength.

If you would like to learn more about the ZYN nicotine pouches, check out our previous blog ‘Zyn nicotine pouches‘.