Nicotine Pouches vs. Nicotine Lozenges for Smoking Cessation

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products come in many different forms to aid the smoking cessation process. One of the first products was the nicotine lozenge, which was launched under Nicorette in 1978 and remains a popular option today.

NielsenIQ Retail Measurement Service data, as measured by a 2023 study published on the NCBI, shows that there was an increase in sales of lozenges between 2017 and 2020, whereas the sales of other established formats like gum and patches decreased.

Other alternatives have also emerged. This includes the nicotine pouch, which was only registered as a medicinal nicotine replacement product under Zonnic in 2008. Since then, however, the pouch has climbed in popularity.

The weekly NielsenIQ Retail Scanner point-of-purchase sales reveal a significant increase from 126.06 million units in 2019 to 808.14 million units in 2022, with users citing pouches’ flavors and convenience as the primary reason for their popularity.

Both lozenges and pouches have different points of appeal and varying degrees of success in smoking cessation. If you’re still unsure of what product is right for you, keep reading for a closer look.

Nicotine lozenges

Nicotine lozenges come in the form of small, candy-like tablets. These dissolve in your mouth over the course of 20 to 30 minutes, which allows you to use them for quick relief. Lozenges’ nicotine absorption rate is noted by CDC experts to be faster than other forms like nicotine patches or quit-smoking pills.

Lozenges are commonly taken on an as-needed basis, and according to the National Library of Medicine, this appeals to many people who prefer having control over timing and dosage. The 2020 Surgeon General report on smoking cessation further claims that users enjoy lozenges’ oral format, as they can work as physical substitutes for cigarettes.

However, experts caution that lozenges’ similarity to candy increases the potential of many to misuse this quit aid. This runs the risk of a nicotine overdose, and also contributes to the severity of reported side effects from heartburn to indigestion.

Nicotine pouches

This modern NRT product takes the form of a small pouch filled with nicotine, flavorings, and food-grade fillers. Given that they are smoke-free and spit-free, nicotine pouches are commonly marketed as a clean, fresh, and odorless alternative to chewing tobacco or regular snus.

When compared with nicotine lozenges, nicotine pouches were found by a 2022 study from Scientific Reports to demonstrate greater product satisfaction. The BAT nicotine pouches from the study had an incidence of product-related adverse events (AE) of 12.1%, whereas the lozenges from Nicorette had a higher incidence of 30.3%.

This means that only six participants out of 33 reported minor adverse events like dizziness or headaches when using the pouches. All of these reports were cited as resolving quickly.

This lower incidence can be attributed to the pouch’s material and quality. The nicotine pouches listed on have a careful nicotine extraction process, where the nicotine derived directly from the tobacco plant is purified using a high-tech distillation procedure.

This ensures that the pouch is more efficacious at delivering nicotine of the purest quality so that users do not need to consume any more nicotine than necessary to successfully wean themselves.

Choosing between the two

Both products will effectively allow you to veer away from the chemicals found in cigarettes, some of which we previously listed in our post Black & Mild vs. Cigarettes. Choosing between lozenges and pouches will boil down to personal preference and your history of smoking addiction.

While pouches are certainly one of the most modern ways to enjoy nicotine while quitting, lozenges manufacturers are not falling behind. One of Nicorette’s latest products, if not its first major product innovation in 10 years, is the coated ice mint lozenge in 2019. This has a smoother texture and a more refreshing taste to effectively woo customers away from e-cigarettes.

Smokers who hope to quit can thus look forward to the growth of the NRT market. Otherwise, conducting your own thorough research and consulting your healthcare provider will be key to finalizing your decision.

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