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Surprisingly low pouch consumption among adults: Study – Tobacco Reporter

Surprisingly low pouch consumption among adults: Study – Tobacco Reporter
Surprisingly low pouch consumption among adults: Study – Tobacco Reporter

Despite a 641 percent increase in nicotine pouch sales between 2019 and 2022, few adults in the United States use modern oral products, according to a nationally representative study by the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

“The low prevalence of nicotine pouches among adults surprised us given the rapid increase in sales,” study co-author Adam Matthew Leventhal, a professor in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences at the Keck School of Medicine and executive director of the USC Institute for Addiction Science, said in a statement. “But it’s also possible that sales are being diverted to youth, who were not represented in this survey.”

Researchers examined the use of nicotine pouches in a nationally representative sample of 39,557 U.S. adults. They found that 2.9 percent of adults had ever used nicotine pouches and 0.4 percent reported currently using them. The majority of adults who currently use pouches also currently smoke cigarettes. In addition, 5.2 percent of those who had tried to quit smoking in the past year and had returned to smoking reported using pouches to aid in their smoking cessation efforts.

One question raised by the findings, Leventhal said, is whether adults who use nicotine pouches may be using them to meet their nicotine needs in situations where they cannot smoke or use other tobacco products, rather than to quit smoking.

Based on the study results, Leventhal estimates that of all U.S. adults who used nicotine pouches in 2022, about 35 percent had previously smoked cigarettes and 25 percent currently smoked cigarettes. The remaining 40 percent of adult pouch users had never smoked cigarettes regularly and may be at risk of developing nicotine dependence.

“In summary, we have not seen large numbers of adults using nicotine pouches, and there appear to be fewer adults using them in ways that would potentially reduce the harms of cigarette smoking for them,” Leventhal said.

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