Richard Crosby 27 October 2023


The Command Paper and Open Consultation

The UK government’s Department for Health and Social Care recently published a document titled “Stopping the start: our new plan to create a smokefree generation,” outlining plans and potential legislation to curb smoking and the issue of youth vaping that includes changes to smoking age, measures to address youth vaping, and enforcement of legislation. Intriguingly, this paper also hints at exploring restrictions on nicotine pouches—non-combustible tobacco products.

Recognising the implications of such potential changes, the government has invited the public to participate in a consultation named “Creating a smokefree generation and tackling youth vaping: your views.” It’s an opportune time for nicotine pouch users, advocacy groups, or anyone impacted by the proposed changes—essentially, YOU—to voice your views and concerns.

Consumer advocacy group Considerate Pouchers (of which I am UK director) have a great page detailing the open consultation here. Click the image below to be taken directly to the survey –

nicotine pouches consultation, UK Government Open for Consultation on Nicotine Pouches – Here’s What You Need To Know, The Daily Pouch

Considerate Pouchers have highlighted four key points based on their analysis of the situation and suggests four primary areas that require our collective attention and response:

1. Age Restriction: Currently, there is no legal age limit for purchasing nicotine pouches—this is a loophole that requires immediate addressal. We believe that sales should be restricted to those over 18, acknowledging that these products are for adult consumption.

2. Limit on Nicotine Strength: High concentrations of nicotine per pouch can be dangerous due to the lack of existing legislation. We suggest introducing a reasonable limit on nicotine concentration per pouch.

3. Ingredient Standards: As tobacco alternative products aimed at harm reduction, the safety of nicotine pouch users is paramount. Hence, legislation enforcing the use of food-grade ingredients and pharmaceutical-grade nicotine in these products is necessary.

4. Packaging: It is crucial that the packaging of these nicotine pouches reflects their intended use—primarily for adults and former smokers. Creating limitations on packaging design factors such as cartoon characters that appeal to a younger audience can help prevent misuse.

This consultation period is our chance to influence policy around nicotine pouches. For users, this signifies an opportunity to ensure these alternatives to smoking are treated appropriately in legislation, maintaining availability while protecting young and vulnerable individuals. Your voice matters—participate in the consultation and contribute to this critical narrative shaping the future of nicotine pouches in the UK!