Joseph Hart 29 April 2023


The global market for nicotine pouches continues to grow. A recent report by Market Reports World suggests the industry was worth $1984.66 million in 2022. However, they estimate that by 2028, the nicotine pouch industry will be valued at a staggering $11271.92, suggesting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 30%. 

This data shows a clear appetite and growth potential for tobacco-free nicotine products. However, ensuring these nicotine pouches can help UK smokers in the future requires increasing awareness of this harm-reduction product.

What are nicotine pouches?

Nicotine pouches are a harm-reduction alternative to tobacco. Users can place these tobacco-free products between their lips and gums to release nicotine. From there, they deliver nicotine quickly and efficiently into the bloodstream.

These small pouches, often described as a tobacco-free version of snus, contain nicotine and other ingredients like flavourings. 

The rise of nicotine pouches in the UK

Nicotine pouches were first introduced to the UK in 2019. While products like snus had been used in countries like Sweden for years, they were unavailable in the UK and some EU markets due to a ban on oral tobacco.

However, manufacturers adapted the products to contain a nicotine extract without the presence of tobacco. Now, most major tobacco companies have a version of the product.

Currently, under 1% of British adults use nicotine pouches, with surveys suggesting that almost 50% of people aren’t aware they even exist. To put these figures in context, 13.3% of the UK’s adult population smokes tobacco. 

However, since 2020, nicotine pouches are growing in popularity. Research suggests that in November 2020, only 0.26% of the country used pouches. By October 2021, those numbers doubled. Since then, according to a report by ASH, nicotine pouch adoption has risen by around 50% in a year.

This clear upward trend shows that support for the product is growing. The government has stated its desire to reduce tobacco smoking by 2030. Nicotine pouches have a vital role to play in reaching these ambitious targets. However, it remains to be seen if the government will fully support their use.

Benefits of nicotine pouches

Tobacco-free oral nicotine pouches are growing in popularity. These products are similar to snus in Sweden, which some experts credit as a significant factor in the country’s low smoking rate of 5.6%. However, as we mentioned above, they are made from nicotine extract and feature no tobacco. 

The comparison with snus is important. As data from Nordic countries shows, the product is robust, popular, and effective at fighting smoking prevalence. The presence of a tobacco-free version could be helpful to UK policymakers.

Here are some of the key benefits of nicotine pouches.

#1. They’re undoubtably healthier than cigarettes

Because the use of nicotine pouches doesn’t involve the burning of nicotine in order to acquire the nicotine it removes all the harm done by the smoke, the tar and the thousands of chemicals that cause illness to the human body. It just leaves the nicotine which is not too dissimilar to nicotine patches that go on your arm. The difference being that the nicotine enters the body through the mucus membrane rather than the skin.

#2. They are discreet

Unlike vaping and heat not burn which are both vastly safer than smoking you can use them anywhere you like. Whether it is on a plane, a train or out at the cinema, no one will even know they are being used and there are no legal restrictions from when you can use them.

#3. No Secondhand smoke

Passive smoking affects people who don’t smoke. While smoking has been banned from public spaces, tobacco smoke can still affect people in homes, including children. Switching to nicotine pouches mitigates this risk.

Final thoughts

Nicotine pouches are increasing in popularity in the UK and across the globe. They offer a harm-reduction alternative to smoking cigarettes, which is essential in the battle to reduce smoking rates.

Aside from the health benefits, they are cost-effective, discreet, portable, and easy to use. Other harm-reduction products like vaping have a learning curve that can slow adoption. In that regard, pouches offer a credible alternative anyone can pick up and use.

What can the Government do to help the rise of nicotine pouch’s replace smoking? Well for a start they can make sure they don’t place heavy restrictions on these products which will prevent them being taken up by those that might otherwise smoke. Over the coming months The Daily Pouch looks forward to asking harm reduction advocates across the globe what they think can be done to help increase pouch uptake and reduce smoking rates, make sure to bookmark our website and sign up to our mailing list at the bottom of our pages so you don’t miss out.