Whether you’re trying to quit smoking or looking for another way to enjoy nicotine, chances are you may be considering nicotine pouches or nicotine gum. Both are portable and discreet methods of getting a good nicotine buzz, but they’re also very different in how you consume them.
In this article, we’ll help you get more familiar with how each of these products works before you buy your next pack of gum or container of pouches.
What is a nicotine pouch?
A nicotine pouch is a small pocket filled with nicotine and filler made up of plant fibers. It may also include flavoring if you prefer to use a flavored pouch. You use the pouch by placing it under the lip against the gum.
By holding it against the mucous membranes of the mouth, the pouch releases nicotine into the bloodstream. You don’t have to chew or spit to enjoy the product, and after the pouch loses its effect, you can easily toss it into the trash or place it inside the can lid.
Nicotine pouches come in a variety of strengths and flavors, so you can find the right one for you and mix up your use throughout the day.
What is nicotine gum?
Nicotine gum looks and feels like regular chewing gum, but it contains nicotine. It’s common for adults to use it as a replacement for tobacco products, especially when trying to stop smoking cigarettes, because it doesn’t contain any tobacco. Chewing the gum releases the nicotine, giving the user a 10 to 15-minute period of time where they get a nicotine buzz.
Designed as a way to help smokers and tobacco users break free from their habit, nicotine gum is sold at retailers everywhere and doesn’t require a prescription. Similar to pouches, nicotine gum comes in a variety of strengths and flavors.
Nicotine pouches and nicotine gum: the similarities
Both nicotine pouches and nicotine gums contain nicotine and offer a wide range of flavors. You can also use them as a way to help reduce your dependency on other nicotine products, such as those that contain tobacco. You don’t have to light them (and deal with smoke), and they don’t create the staining and yellowing that tobacco products may cause.
Both options are convenient to use, and you can easily toss them into the trash wherever you go. They aren't prohibited by "tobacco-free zone" rules, either. You don't need any accessories to use them, and you also don’t have to spit at all after putting them in your mouth (unlike some tobacco products like chew).
Variety of flavors and strengths
Nicotine pouches and gum come in many strengths and flavors, so you can mix them up based on your needs during the day. If you like mint after dinner, you can find a nicotine gum or nicotine pouch to do the trick. And as you need less nicotine, you can adjust your product usage by strength and frequency to keep yourself satisfied.
How are nicotine pouches and nicotine gum different?
For as many similarities as these two products have, there are almost as many differences.
Gum is more obvious (you need to chew it!)
Nicotine gum is still gum. You have to chew it to get it to work, and chewing gum isn’t always practical or allowed. If you’re in a professional setting and don’t want to be chewing obviously in front of coworkers, you should stick to nicotine pouches. Pouches require no obvious motion or activity. Just tuck one under your upper lip and go about your business.
Disposing of the products differs, too. You can throw your pouches into any trashcan or put them into the catch lid of your product tin for later disposal. As you may already know, gum can be tricky to toss. It can get sticky and cling to the inside of trash cans, not to mention get hot and gooey if left inside a napkin in your car. Gum also takes more time to break down, so it may not be the most environmentally friendly option.
How long does each last? It depends, but as soon as a gum loses its flavor, the nicotine is gone, too. For most people, that can be just 5-10 minutes of enjoyment. Nicotine pouches give you almost three times that, with close to 30 or even 40 minutes of satisfaction in every use.
The type of nicotine
It helps to know where the nicotine comes from in products. Almost all nicotine pouches contain synthetic nicotine, which is created in a lab and contains no relation to the tobacco plant. Can you say the same about your nicotine gum? Unless your gum contains synthetic nicotine, there's a slight chance it contains trace levels of tobacco. For those hoping to have nothing more to do with the tobacco plant, a synthetic option (like nicotine pouches) may be the best way to go.
The choice is, of course, yours
Now that you know the differences between these two tobacco-free options—as well as their similarities—it’s entirely up to you to choose one or the other. For those looking for the most convenient, long-lasting, and versatile choice, however, it’s easy to see that the nicotine pouch is the best option.