As the popularity of nicotine pouches continues to rise, so does the demand for information about their safety and potential side effects. Nicopods are marketed as a safer alternative to traditional tobacco products as there is no combustion involved, eliminating harmful chemicals present in cigarettes and vapes. 

Still, as with other products that contain nicotine, there are potential side effects to be aware of. In this detailed walkthrough, we will discuss the most common nicotine pouches side effects you may experience and the steps to take to avoid them for a more satisfying buzz.

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    Jäger Mint Nicotine Pouches

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What Are Nicotine Pouches and How Do They Work?

Nicotine pouches are small, white, pre-portioned pouches that contain medical-grade nicotine salt and other food-grade ingredients, such as flavorings, sweeteners, and plant fibers. They are discreet, smokeless, and easy to use, making them a convenient and less intrusive way to get a potent nicotine hit

Their mechanism of action is simple—after placing a pouch between the upper lip and gum, the nicotine is absorbed through the oral mucosa into the bloodstream, providing a long-lasting buzz without the need to spit or swallow. The effects are felt within minutes and can last up to an hour, depending on the strength of the pouch and your nicotine tolerance.

Why Do People Use Nicotine Pouches?

People typically use nicopods to:

  • Reduce the risks associated with smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Get a quick nicotine hit in situations where smoking or vaping is not allowed or socially acceptable
  • Enjoy a more discreet and less messy way of consuming nicotine compared to other smokeless tobacco products like snus or chewing tobacco
  • Experience different flavors and strengths of nicotine without the need for special equipment or skills
  • Alleviate the withdrawal symptoms when cutting down on smoking or vaping

Nicotine has been shown to have cognitive benefits, increasing alertness, focus, and productivity while providing a sense of calm and pleasure. Still, these stimulating effects contribute to its addictive properties, so nicotine should be used in moderation regardless of the delivery method. 

Side Effects of Nicotine Pouches—The Immediate Ramifications

Side effects of nicopods are usually mild, temporary, and manageable. They tend to vary from person to person and depend on the product’s strength, consumption frequency, and duration of use. The most common ones include:

  1. A tingling sensation in the mouth
  2. Nausea and vomiting
  3. Heartburn
  4. Headaches and dizziness
  5. Hiccups
  6. Elevated blood pressure and heart rate
  7. Dry mouth
  8. Gum irritation

Tingling Sensation

Although not necessarily considered a side effect, many users report feeling a tingling sensation in their mouth after placing a nicotine pouch between their upper lip and gum. If you feel the sensation, it shouldn’t last long and is usually a sign that the pouch is releasing nicotine into your system. You may even find it pleasant and enjoy it as part of your nicotine experience.

Nausea and Vomiting

If you are new to nicopods or use a pouch with a higher strength than what your body is used to, you may experience nausea and vomiting. Nicotine stimulates the production of stomach acid, potentially leading to stomach aches and cramps and inducing nausea. If you feel nauseous, remove the pouch from your mouth and drink some water to neutralize the acid. 

Heartburn

The increase in stomach acid caused by nicotine can also lead to heartburn—a burning sensation in the chest that occurs when stomach acid flows back into your esophagus. If you have a history of acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), you may be more prone to heartburn when using nicotine pouches.

Headaches and Dizziness

Nicotine is a potent vasoconstrictor, so it can narrow your blood vessels, reducing blood flow to certain parts of your body, which may, in turn, cause headaches. You may also feel lightheaded or dizzy due to the potential changes in blood pressure and heart rate caused by nicotine. When these symptoms occur, take a break from nicotine use, drink some water, and lie down in a comfortable position until they subside.

Source: Nathan Cowley

Hiccups

Hiccups occur when the diaphragm contracts involuntarily, causing a sudden closure of your vocal cords and producing the characteristic “hic” sound. While hiccups are harmless, they can be annoying and disruptive, especially if they happen often. The vagus nerve, which regulates the pharynx and larynx muscles responsible for hiccups, can be triggered by nicotine, leading to this side effect. To stop the hiccups, take deep breaths, hold them for a few seconds, and slowly exhale to relax your diaphragm.

High Blood Pressure and Heart Rate

When using nicotine, your body releases adrenaline, a hormone that causes the heart to beat faster and pump more blood through your blood vessels, increasing blood pressure and heart rate. While this is a natural response to nicotine’s stimulating effects, it can be dangerous for people with pre-existing high blood pressure or heart problems. If you have underlying cardiovascular conditions, it’s best to consult your doctor before using nicotine pouches.

Dry Mouth

Nicotine, whether from cigarettes, vapes, or pouches, can cause dry mouth, also known as xerostomia. Dry mouth occurs when there is a decrease in saliva production, leading to a dry and uncomfortable feeling in the mouth. This can be relieved by drinking water or chewing sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production. Chronic dry mouth caused by long-term nicotine use may increase the risk of dental problems and should be discussed with your dentist.

Gum Irritation

Nicotine pouches can cause irritation and redness of the gums, especially if you leave them in for too long or use a strong pouch. Since nicotine is acidic, it can irritate delicate gum tissue. If you experience this unwanted reaction, try placing a pouch at a different spot in your mouth each time and be mindful of the duration of use.

Severe Reactions to Nicotine

Over-consumption of nicotine can cause nicotine poisoning, characterized by symptoms such as:

  • Confusion and anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Shallow breathing
  • Slower heartbeat and blood pressure
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Slow reflexes or inability to control muscles
  • Pale skin
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory failure
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Coma

If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms while using nicotine pouches, seek immediate medical attention.

Source: Swenico

Long-Term Effects of Nicotine Pouches—What We Know

It’s not yet clear what the long-term effects of using nicotine pouches are as they are a relatively new product, and there is limited research on how they affect your health in the long run. It’s crucial to understand that nicopods contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance that can lead to dependence. 

Regular use of nicotine can also affect brain development in adolescents and young adults, leading to cognitive and behavioral changes. Keep in mind that you can only use nicotine pouches if you are over 21 years old. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid them altogether, and people with high blood pressure or heart problems should consult their doctor before using them. 

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Use Nicotine Pouches Responsibly To Avoid Side Effects

The good thing is that you can avoid the potential side effects of nicotine pouches by using them responsibly:

  1. Start with a lower nicotine strength and work your way up until you find the right potency
  2. Don’t use more than one pouch at a time. If the product is too mild, switch to a more potent pouch
  3. Wait 1–2 hours before using another pouch to give your body enough time to process nicotine
  4. Drink plenty of water when using nicopods to stay hydrated
  5. Listen to your body. If you experience side effects, such as nausea or dizziness, discontinue use and consult your doctor

Side effects are also more likely to occur when using subpar nicopods, which is why you should stick to high-quality products from brands that follow strict manufacturing and safety standards.

Where To Get Premium Nicotine Pouches in the U.S.

If you want top-quality nicotine pouches in the U.S., look no further than SnusBoss. The online shop offers a huge selection of EU-made nicotine pouches carefully selected by industry experts. Here are the brands in the lineup:

  1. ZYN
  2. Velo
  3. White Fox
  4. Hit
  5. Dope
  6. Killa
  7. Kozmo
  8. Kurwa
  9. Pablo
  10. Klint
  11. Skruf
  12. Snatch
  13. Thunder

EU-made nicotine pouches are of superior quality, give you a stronger kick, and provide a longer-lasting flavor than U.S. brands. The EU has more progressive laws on smokeless nicotine products, allowing manufacturers to refine their recipes and create high-quality nicopods. Make your order today and get your favorite pouches within 2–3 days with express shipping. You can also earn rewards and enjoy free shipping on bulk orders.

Are Nicotine Pouches Bad for Your Gums?

While there is not enough research to make a definitive conclusion, studies have shown that long-term use of nicotine pouches may lead to lesions, periodontal disease, and gum recession. Nicotine interacts with the host cells and alters the user’s inflammatory response to microbes in the oral cavity, which may contribute to gum problems. To prevent such issues, you should maintain good oral hygiene, as outlined in the table below:

Brush your teeth twice a dayUse a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to gently brush your teeth for two minutes each time. Make sure to brush along the gumline to remove plaque and bacteria that may cause gum problems
Floss everydayUse dental floss or interdental brushes to clean between your teeth, removing food particles and plaque that may lead to gum disease
Use mouthwashRinsing with an alcohol-free mouthwash can help reduce bacteria in the mouth and freshen your breath. Note that this is not a substitute for brushing and flossing
Regular dental checkupsVisit your dentist at least twice a year for routine cleanings and checks to ensure your gums and teeth are healthy

Source: Enis Yavuz

Are Nicotine Pouches Bad for Your Teeth?

Tobacco-containing products, such as cigarettes, cause tooth decay, staining, and tooth loss. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), over 40% of adults aged between 20 and 64 who smoke cigarettes have untreated tooth decay, and 43% of current smokers aged 65 and over have lost all their teeth. 

Unlike cigarettes, nicotine pouches do not produce tar and other harmful combustion products, which are the main causes of tooth decay. You don’t have to worry about teeth staining either, as nicotine pouches do not contain the brown color-producing compounds found in tobacco.

Do Nicotine Pouches Cause Cancer?

Nicotine is non-carcinogenic. People associate nicotine products with cancer because cigarettes are by far the most common form of tobacco, and they contain 60+ cancer-causing chemicals produced primarily when the tobacco is burned. They include:

  1. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  2. Volatile organic hydrocarbons
  3. N-nitrosamines
  4. Aldehydes
  5. Aromatic amines

Nicotine pouches don’t contain these harmful chemicals, so they don’t cause cancer. Some experts have argued that nicopods can lead to oral submucous fibrosis, a precancerous condition, but these claims are based on the fact that nicotine pouches may contain other cancer-causing chemicals. 

A 2022 study published in BMJ Journals found that out of 44 analyzed nicotine pouch products, 26 had tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), which are carcinogenic. That’s why it’s essential to buy high-quality products from trusted vendors like SnusBoss because they have undergone rigorous testing to confirm their purity and safety. 

Can Nicotine Pouches Cause Mouth Cancer?

Oral cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that can affect the lips, mouth, tongue, cheeks, sinuses, throat, or other parts of the oral cavity. There is no evidence or indication that nicopods can be responsible for any type of mouth cancer.  

If you notice lesions or sores in your mouth after using nicotine pouches, it’s likely leukoplakia, which causes thick, white patches on the gums, tongue, or cheeks. Leukoplakia is benign and should resolve on its own, but if it persists, you should consult your doctor or dentist for further evaluation. It’s also best to discontinue the use of nicotine pouches until the issue is resolved.

Are Nicotine Pouches Bad for Your Heart?

Nicotine is a powerful stimulant and can affect your cardiovascular system. Exposure to nicotine can have the following effects on your cardiovascular health:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Constricted arteries and veins
  • Heart palpitations

You should avoid nicotine pouches if you have a history or are at risk of developing heart disease. Nicotine may exacerbate existing heart conditions and put you at risk of a heart attack or stroke. If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or palpitations after using nicotine pouches, seek medical attention immediately. Even if you don’t belong to this risk group, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use nicopods in moderation. 

Source: Pexels

Do Nicotine Pouches Affect the Liver?

Research has shown that nicotine does not significantly affect liver function or contribute to liver disease. Tobacco-related liver disease has been linked to cigarette smoke and nicotine aerosol inhalation from vaping devices, not oral consumption. 

Nevertheless, it’s important to stay away from all nicotine products if you have a history of liver disease or are at risk of developing it. The liver plays a vital role in detoxifying your body from harmful substances, and nicotine can interfere with its normal function and potentially worsen pre-existing liver conditions.

Do Nicotine Pouches Affect Lungs?

As a non-inhalable, tobacco-free product, nicotine pouches do not affect your lungs directly. The most significant concern regarding lung health when using nicopods is inflammation. When nicotine and other ingredients enter your bloodstream, they may interact with the microvascular structures of your lungs and cause inflammation in the lung tissue. 

You might also accidentally swallow a pouch, which can get stuck in your throat and cause air blockage. To prevent this, don’t chew or suck on nicotine pouches. Park a pouch between your upper lip and gum and leave it there for 5–30 minutes, depending on your nicotine tolerance.

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Do Nicotine Pouches Help Quit Smoking?

Source: Irina Iriser

While nicotine pouches help you avoid the many health risks associated with smoking, they are not FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Nicopods can help you manage nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms while you work towards quitting smoking. Refer to the table below for FDA-approved NRTs you can use to quit smoking:

Form of NRTDescription
Chewing gumA nicotine gum that you chew to release nicotine, which is then absorbed into your bloodstream through the lining of your mouth
Transdermal nicotine patchesA patch that you place on your skin (like an adhesive bandage) to deliver nicotine into your body for over 24 hours
Nicotine lozengeA nicotine-containing tablet that you dissolve in your mouth. The product comes in different strengths and flavors
Inhalers and spraysThey come in the form of a plastic tube with a mouthpiece or a spray bottle that delivers nicotine mist into your mouth

Other FDA-approved medications for smoking cessation include varenicline tartrate and bupropion hydrochloride. Consult your healthcare provider for a personalized smoking cessation plan that may include NRTs and other support services. If you want to go completely nicotine-free, visit BeTobaccoFree.gov for resources and support to help you quit smoking.

Featured image source: Velo