What are Zyn Pouches and Are They as Damaging as E-cigs?

Bruce's Corner, Education, News

I was honored to officiate at a dear friend’s wedding this past Saturday. At the reception, I was seated at a table with a successful high school football coach and a recent graduate of a major university who was a three-year varsity softball player. My reputation preceded me and within minutes, guess what they wanted to talk about? That’s right, nicotine products and Zyn specifically. The coach had an outstanding player suspended for use. The university athlete said using Zyn and products like it are everywhere on the college campus.

The Zyn pouch is made of synthetic nicotine, which is advertised as “tobacco-free”. The Zyn pouch has risen in popularity this past year. It is made by Phillip Morris, one of the largest tobacco manufacturers in the United States. They shipped about 350 million Zyn cans in 2023, a 62% increase compared to 2022.

Most youth hear this information and instantly believe it must be safer than a tobacco product, but that is not necessarily true. They are also marketed as a product to help smokers quit, but in reality, they can encourage young people to start using a nicotine product, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.
What are the health risks associated with using Zyn? The product is likely to be safer than smoking tobacco, but that is a low bar, isn’t it? Especially if you don’t already smoke or vape.

Some research implicates a risk of cardiovascular disease in people who use a product like Zyn and do not already use a nicotine product. I do remember coming across one conclusion in a research study that certainly concerned me. I won’t remember the specific numbers, but they made a statement at the end of their study. They found that an overwhelming number of youth who used a product like Zyn at the beginning of the study were still using it at the end of the study. They hadn’t been able to quit. What can we conclude from this?

These products are very addictive.

Now here is the rest of the story. The coach told me that his school had Soter Technologies’ FlySense Vape Detectors in their high school but not in the locker rooms and he had been throwing a fit, telling the superintendent and the principals that they needed them in the locker rooms. When one of their star players got caught vaping, there was a big group vaping in the locker room. They are now in the process of purchasing Soter Technologies’ FlySense Vape Detectors for their locker rooms.

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