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How to Interpret Nicotine Strength for tobacco free pouches

How do you know if nicotine pouches will be strong or not without trying it first? These questions are common, and we understand why! Some brands in the US like ZYN, VELO and Rogue are marked with dots, others with numbers and some are marked merely as strong or regular – but what do these levels really mean? And what other factors can affect pouch strength? Finding a nicotine pouch that suits your tolerance is imperative for a pleasant experience - a kick that is too powerful will only cause discomforts such as nausea, dizziness, and headaches. Read through our guide below and find out what each nicotine level means, and which is right for you!

What does the nicotine level mean on US pouches?

This is one of the most recurring questions we receive at Prilla, and the answer is not entirely straight forward. But below you’ll find some useful check points that can help you determine nicotine strength!

How is the pouch can labelled?

  • Does it have two or more dots on the strength scale at front? Regular strength nicotine pouches will usually lie around two dots or less!
  • Is the nicotine content above or below 4 mg? Sometimes nicotine pouches are rated from 1-8 or more mg (milligrams) rather than by using dots. Anything above 4 mg is considered strong or extra strong. American nicotine pouches are most typically labelled with a simple 2,4,6, or 8 mg which stands for mg per pouch.
  • Some brands include a label such as “strong”, “extra strong” or “super strong” that usually take the whole experience into account. Not just the nicotine content, but also how quickly the nicotine releases, which flavors are being used, and so on, but without giving an actual indication of how much nicotine has been involved.

Which pouch flavors have been used?

Is mint involved in any form? Mint tends to intensify the feeling of strength, by a lot, meaning that even nicotine pouches that contain 2mg (or 1-2 dots) might appear strong thanks to the mint’s refreshing qualities. This is especially true when it comes to menthol, which can double the feeling of strength! Our page for mint pouches contain our full list of mint products and which mint type they contain. 

Pouch Moisture – dry or moist?

Are the pouches moist or dry? American nicotine pouches are usually of the dry variety, this is simply because there is a high demand in the US for discreet, dry, nicotine pouches that are mini in shape and crystal white on the inside. For the user who looks for a gentle nicotine release, the dry exterior of an American nicotine pouch is a good thing for it hinders the release to become too overwhelming and powerful. Dry pouches will, instead, provide a more prolonged and satisfying nicotine experience such as the ZYN Peppermint 6.

Confusing? Yes, it can be. But keep reading!

How do flavors affect the feeling of strength?

As mentioned above, some nicotine pouch flavors will intensify the feeling of strength, while others might contribute to a soothing sensation despite the high nicotine content. Regardless of which brand you are using, there is a very clear difference in how the mint is perceived vs the citrus flavor which appears more soothing. So, if you are a nicotine beginner looking for a gentle experience – which pouch flavors are more likely to suit you?

These three flavors are often appreciated by American pouch users for their gentle nature that usually works well for “evening usage”. These can, of course, feel strong when coupled with 8 mg per pouch of nicotine, but not in the same powerful and energizing sense as a mint pouch.

Which flavors are more commonly associated with a strong sensation and might require more experience before usage?

  • All types of mint (wintergreen, spearmint, peppermint, eucalyptus, menthol and so on)
  • Coffee
  • Citrus

Mint provides a rejuvenating sensation, like a breath of ice cool winter air, and coffee will with its richness give a depth that will make the nicotine sensation feel greater. Finally, citrus is typically joined by a tartness and sting that couples well with a high nicotine content to give more intensity.

What is the difference between nicotine in mg/gram and mg/pouch?

In the US, the most common labelling of nicotine strength will be written in milligrams per pouch at the front of each can, such as for the On! Wintergreen 4 mg, which basically tells you how much nicotine is packed into each nicotine pouch. But some products are labelled with an mg/gram, which instead tells you how much nicotine can be found per gram of content. Below is an example:

On! Mint 2 mg – This nicotine pouch has been labelled with 2 mg/pouch of nicotine, which simply means that each portion in the can contains 2 mg of nicotine. If we wish to look at this product in mg/g which was really the original way to look at nicotine strength in original tobacco products, the strength would instead have been around 8 mg/g. For traditional Swedish snus products, 8 mg/g is considered normal strength. The total amount of nicotine per can is calculated like this:

8 (nicotine in mg/g) x 5.3 (the total net weight) = 42 grams of nicotine.