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Is ZYN Safe?

April 09, 2024

For those trying to kick their smoking habit, nicotine pouches like ZYN are becoming a popular alternative.

The biggest selling point? There’s no smoke or vapor to exhale, and no need to “spit” like with chewing tobacco, which makes it much more discreet.

But is ZYN really a safe option?

We asked Anthony Sampino, DO, primary care provider with Hartford HealthCare Medical Group to break it down.

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Nicotine pouches don’t contain tobacco.

Nicotine pouches have one important edge over other forms of nicotine — there’s no tobacco involved.

Tobacco contains a number of carcinogens, which are absorbed into your blood stream through your lungs or mouth, and can cause cancer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of cancer and cancer deaths.

Is ZYN really safe? Here's how it measures up.


But are nicotine pouches safer than vaping?

Nicotine pouches aren’t the only tobacco-free option on the market — vaping has become popular for the many of the same reasons

But both vape products and nicotine pouches have potentially harmful chemicals and additives that aren’t fully understood and could pose a long-term health risk.

“Some studies even suggest nicotine products could pose risks similar to smoking cigarettes,” says Dr. Sampino.

> Related: Is Vaping Worse Than Smoking?

Any nicotine use comes with health risks.

The key takeaway is that any form of nicotine — whether it has tobacco or doesn’t — comes with health risks.

According to the American Heart Association, nicotine use can potentially cause an increase in:

  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate
  • Flow of blood to the heart
  • Narrowing of the arteries, or vessels that carry blood

On top of that, nicotine use can cause the hardening of the arterial walls, which in turn, may lead to a heart attack.

“Those with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions may face heightened risks from using ZYN or similar products,” says Dr. Sampino.

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Nicotine pouches could help you stop smoking.

Although the risks of using nicotine pouches is unknown, it could be a tool to help you stop smoking. The pouches even come with different levels of nicotine, which could help with tapering.

But make sure you have the right end goal in mind.

“ZYN could be as effective as other methods for smoking cessation, but it’s essential to aim for long-term cessation,” explains Dr. Sampino.

When in doubt, talk to your doctor.

If you’re trying to quit smoking, your doctor can help.

“Continue to follow up with your doctor for evaluations,” advises Dr. Sampino. “They will monitor you for any complications and provide guidance and support to help you stay on track with your quitting journey.”