Richard Crosby 5 July 2023


After meeting Tomas Hammargren – CEO of ‘Amplicon’ at the Global Forum on Nicotine (GFN23) in June 2023 – I was able to grab a couple of cans of their ‘Småå’ nicotine pouches for review. 

You can read our interview with Tomas and Jesper here.

Designed and produced in Sweden – these nicotine pouches feature Amplicure’s unique bioceramic material technology – ‘Amplicon’.

Bioceramic materials are a type of ceramic material that has been specifically designed and engineered for use in medical and healthcare applications.

Traditionally, bioceramic materials have been used in the field of dentistry, particularly for dental implants and prosthetics. Orthopaedic implants, like hip replacements, often utilise bioceramics due to their capability to seamlessly integrate with the surrounding tissues. 

In recent years, the applications of bioceramic materials have expanded beyond dentistry and orthopaedics. Bioceramics can be found in drug delivery systems, where they provide controlled release mechanisms to ensure optimal drug dosage over extended periods.

A bit lost? So was I – but thankfully Tomas and company CTO Jesper Lööf were kind enough to share some of their time and talk to me in more detail over a video call about their products and the technology used.

Product Review

For this review, I’m going to be trying the ‘Citrum’ flavour nicotine pouches from Smää. These are 6mg pouches in a very slim format – with bioceramic materials in place of traditional cellulose and binding agents.

The ‘Småå’ pouches currently come in your typical round can with a waste disposal compartment at the top. They can include production and best-before dates, strength, ingredients and contact information. Speaking with the team behind the product – they’ve made efforts to ensure the relevant age restriction and required warning messages are included too.

The first thing that stands out when you open a can of the ‘Citrum’ pouches is the sweet and strong citrus aroma. The pouches themselves are extremely thin and lightweight compared to the cellulose pouches I’m used to. They fit very discreetly between the lip and gum – and are perfect for people who aren’t a fan of a big bulge in their lip.

Now as someone use to a more ‘traditional’ format pouch – these are a change. You don’t quite expect such a kick from a small pouch – but the nicotine release is almost instant. The fact that traditional pouches release around 50% of their nicotine contents quickly becomes apparent when you compare it to the Smää experience.

I’m not 100% the thin format is for me – as I do quite enjoy a ‘fluffier’ pouch – but this may be purely down to habit. I can certainly see the appearance a much smaller and even more discreet product would have to new nicotine pouch users. If you are used to snus pouches – it is a very different experience.

One question/criticism I had after initially trying the pouches was that there were loose contents in the can itself. I initially thought this was a result of the pouches leaking. I raised this issue with Tomas and Jesper – who explained this is a result of the production process – and that the material loose in the can wasn’t from the pouches themselves – but rather a result of loose material from the filling process. This is something Smää will be addressing in later production runs.

Other than the above – I certainly had no complaints with the product. The flavour is aroma is certainly appealing – and importantly, long-lasting. The nicotine hit is sufficient – and stronger than you may be used to with similar-strength pouches. I typically use 6mg cellulose-based pouches – but the Smää pouches provide both a bigger initial hit combined with a longer-lasting effect. Testament it would seem to the choice of using bioceramic materials – in fact probably enough that I might be inclined to switch to a lower strength product.

In conclusion – it’s refreshing to see innovation in a market that is still so new. Research around pouch contents, nicotine strengths, pH levels and more is still ongoing – but it’s refreshing to see a company take a different approach to the mainstream players. 

Bioceramic materials offer an interesting new approach to oral nicotine delivery – and from what I’ve learnt and experienced – can lead to people requiring weaker strength pouches due to improved product efficacy.

I look forward to seeing the expansion of Smää across the international marketplace – and hope we see some new flavours and strengths in the future too.

Thanks to Tomas Hammargren and Jesper Lööf from emplicure for their time – and when you get an opportunity – I recommend trying their products!

For our readers based in Sweden – you can find a retailer or buy online here – https://www.småå.com/.