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Are Nicotine Pouches The New Vapes?

Nicotine pouches are being advertised on TikTok as an alternative to vaping. 

But are they really a healthier alternative to vaping? And should we consider regulating it? 

On today’s The Briefing, we speak to Associate Professor Becky Freeman from the School of Public Health at Sydney University, to learn more about nicotine pouches and their growing popularity in Australia.

Click and listen the full episode below:

Nicotine pouches resemble snus, which is an oral tobacco product popular in Scandinavia.

However, this type of oral tobacco has been banned in Australia since 1992. Now, these pouches are being advertised as “tobacco-free” as they use nicotine extracted from tobacco or synthetic nicotine.

“Well, pouches are relatively new here in Australia. They’ve been around for a few years in the US,” Ms Freeman said

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We’ve seen them sort of creeping up in popularity there, but we really first noticed them through our generation vape study in early 2024,” she added.

She underscored that these products are effectively illegal in Australia, as they can only be imported with a prescription and lack approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

“We have very clear laws about how nicotine is regulated in this country. So nicotine is considered a poison, and that means you can’t just go around putting nicotine into any product you like and selling it on the shelf.”

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