While nicotine pouches contain significantly fewer harmful chemicals than cigarettes and vapes, there are still reasonable concerns about their safety, especially for pregnant women. 

Pregnancy is a delicate time for both the mother and the developing baby. It’s essential to be extra mindful of what you put into your body during this time as it can directly affect your and your baby’s health and well-being. 

To understand why you should avoid consuming nicotine pouches while pregnant, we’ve put together this helpful guide that outlines potential risks and provides expert insights.

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Are Nicotine Pouches Safe During Pregnancy?

No—nicotine pouches are not safe for consumption during pregnancy. Although research on the impact of nicotine pouches during pregnancy is limited, nicopods still contain nicotine, a highly addictive and potentially harmful substance that can have detrimental effects on fetal development. 

Studies conducted on the use of snus (a smokeless tobacco product) and other nicotine-containing products (cigarettes) during pregnancy showed that nicotine can lead to adverse outcomes, including:

  • Stillbirth
  • Preterm delivery
  • Low birth weight
  • Small size for gestational age

Source: Swenico

When you consume nicopods, the nicotine is absorbed through your oral mucosa and into your bloodstream, where it then crosses the placenta and reaches your baby. Exposure to nicotine during pregnancy can heighten the risk of adverse neurodevelopmental alterations and neurobehavioral deficits in children, such as:

  • Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Nicotine exposure also alters an infant’s underlying brain circuitry, brain volume, and response to neurotransmitters and can cause long-term consequences on behavioral and cognitive functioning. 

It’s also worth noting that nicotine constricts blood vessels, which can lead to decreased blood flow and oxygen supply to the developing baby. As such, it’s best to avoid consuming nicotine pouches or other nicotine-containing products during pregnancy.

Can You Use Nicotine Pouches While Breastfeeding?

Source: Unsplash+

As with pregnancy, there is limited research on the safety of using nicotine pouches while breastfeeding. Still, it’s worth noting that nicotine can pass through breast milk, potentially exposing your baby to the substance

Nicotine can also decrease milk production by lowering serum prolactin, a hormone responsible for milk production. If your newborn doesn’t get enough breast milk, they may become more susceptible to:

  1. Respiratory infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis
  2. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  3. Allergies and asthma
  4. Ear infections that can lead to hearing loss and speech impairment

Overall, the safest option is to avoid all forms of nicotine, including nicotine pouches, during breastfeeding. Quitting nicotine before conception or during the early stages of pregnancy is the best way to ensure a healthy start for you and your baby.

How To Quit Nicotine Pouches During Pregnancy

If you are currently using nicotine pouches and are pregnant or planning to become pregnant—quit as soon as possible. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  • Talk to your healthcare provider—Your doctor can provide personalized advice and support for quitting nicotine pouches during pregnancy. They may also recommend other methods or resources to help you quit
  • Consider counseling or therapy—Nicotine addiction is psychological as well as physical, so a therapist or counselor can help you manage cravings and cope with the challenges of quitting
  • Join a support group—Connecting with others who are also trying to quit nicotine pouches can be motivating and provide a sense of togetherness during this journey. You can also let your loved ones know about your decision to quit and ask for their support
  • Find healthy distractions—When cravings strike, try engaging in activities you enjoy or find relaxing, such as exercise, reading, drinking water, or spending time with loved ones. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing and mindfulness can also help in managing cravings
  • Be prepared for side effects—Quitting nicotine causes withdrawal symptoms, such as cravings, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and anxiety. They are normal and will pass with time as your body adjusts to being nicotine-free

There are also hotlines and online resources available for additional support and guidance on quitting nicotine pouches during pregnancy. BeTobaccoFree.gov, Smokefree.gov, and the National Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) are excellent places to start.

Are Nicotine-Free Pouches Safer?

No—nicotine-free pouches are not safer during pregnancy. While these products don’t contain nicotine, they have other chemicals and additives, which could potentially be harmful to expectant mothers and their unborn children. 

The long-term effects of using nicotine-free pouches during pregnancy are still unknown and require further research. As such, it’s best to avoid these products during pregnancy.

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Beyond Nicotine—Other Potentially Harmful Chemicals in Nicopods

Besides nicotine, nicopods also contain other food-based ingredients such as sweeteners, flavorings, fillers, stabilizers, pH adjusters, and granulation agents. 

A study on harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) in nicotine pouches like ZYN revealed that no tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines (TSNAs) or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were detected in these products. TSNAs and PAHs are known carcinogens and can also cause congenital disabilities and other reproductive harm. 

The study also noted that some pouches contained low levels of other HPHCs, such as formaldehyde, nickel, ammonia, and chromium.

The table below gives a brief overview of these HPHCs and their potential effects on pregnant women in high amounts:

HPHCPotential Effects During Pregnancy 
FormaldehydeIncreased risk of miscarriage, congenital malformations, and premature birth
NickelDecrease in placental vitality, potential embryotoxicity, and fetal IUGR (intrauterine growth retardation)
AmmoniaNausea, vomiting, and dizziness
ChromiumPotential reproductive toxicity and teratogenicity

As trace amounts of HPHCs are present in nicopods, it’s best to refrain from using them during pregnancy for proper fetal development.

Source: Velo

Can You Use FDA-Approved Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) During Pregnancy?

Generally, NRT methods like gums, patches, lozenges, inhalers, and nasal sprays should be safe during pregnancy if used temporarily and as instructed by a healthcare provider. 

A study published on the National Library of Medicine website revealed that women who used nicotine gum therapy during pregnancy were at a lower risk of preterm birth and higher neonatal birth weight than those enjoying other nicotine products. 

While there was no difference between NRT and control groups in rates of miscarriage, preterm birth, stillbirth, low birth weight, or neonatal death, babies born to women in the NRT group had higher rates of survival without developmental impairment at two years compared with the placebo group.

Still, additional research is needed to fully understand the effects of NRTs on pregnant women and their offspring. While positive, we mustn’t interpret these findings as “NRT methods are good for pregnant women” because all of them contain nicotine.

You can skim the table below for more information about NRT methods and their typical use:

NRTDelivery MethodTypical Use
Nicotine gumChewed and placed between cheek and gumReduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms
Transdermal patchPlaced on the skin (usually upper body or arm)Long-term maintenance of nicotine levels in the body
LozengeDissolves slowly in the mouthAlleviates cravings and withdrawal symptoms
Nasal sprayPumped into the nostrilsFast-acting relief of cravings and withdrawal symptoms
InhalerInhaled through mouthpiece or cartridgeMimics hand-to-mouth action and delivers nicotine to the lungs for a quick nicotine hit

How To Resume Using Nicopods After Pregnancy

If you’re not breastfeeding (or after you’re done with it), you may resume using nicotine pouches. Still, it’s crucial to follow the recommended nicopod usage guidelines for a safe and pleasant experience

Overconsumption or misuse of nicopods can lead to side effects such as nausea, hiccups, heartburn, headache, and dizziness. The following tips can help you use nicotine pouches after pregnancy:

  1. Start with a light nicopod—As your body may have become less tolerant to nicotine during pregnancy and breastfeeding, it’s best to start with mild products to build up your tolerance gradually
  2. Use in moderationUsing nicopods excessively can increase the risk of adverse effects and may lead to nicotine poisoning. Take a 1–2 hour break between each session to allow your body to metabolize the nicotine
  3. Stay hydrated—Nicotine can cause dehydration, so it’s important to drink plenty of water while using pouches to prevent headaches and dizziness
  4. Store nicotine pouches properlyKeep your nicopods in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. This helps maintain their freshness and reduces the risk of bacterial growth
  5. Use high-quality products—Low-quality nicopods may contain harmful substances or have inconsistent nicotine levels, resulting in a risky and unpleasant experience. Be sure to purchase from reputable brands and retailers
  6. Properly dispose of used pouches—Always dispose of used nic pouches safely and responsibly. Do not leave them lying around where children or pets can access them

Source: SnusBoss

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Get Top-Shelf Nic Pouches in the U.S.

Founded by industry experts committed to excellence, SnusBoss is the place for U.S. customers looking to buy top-of-the-line nicotine pouches from the EU. 

EU-manufactured nicopods offer better quality than U.S. pouches due to the progressive rules and regulations governing their manufacturing process. 

In 2016, the FDA disincentivized further development of nicopod recipes by categorizing them as tobacco products and imposing limitations on their marketing and sale. Free of such restrictions, EU pouches have higher moisture levels, better ingredients, and numerous flavors, offering a more potent nicotine hit than their U.S. counterparts.

You can explore famous brands or venture into trying exciting new manufacturers like:

ZYNVeloDopeKurwaKlint
PabloKillaHitWhite FoxKozmo
SnatchSkrufThunderRogerPaz
ThorChapoGOATJägerOryx
PikDenssiGlitchKickSiberia

Browse SnusBoss’s selection today and get your hands on the best nicopods on the market. You’ll receive your order within 2–3 days if you opt for express shipping. You can also benefit from free delivery for orders over $249.

Featured image source: Camylla Battani

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