In recent years, there has been a boom in the landscape of nicotine consumption that is centered around a new fan favorite– nicotine pouches. With its appeal and accessibility growing at a fast pace, its popularity as a smoking alternative has provoked the worry of critics, educators and guardians across the nation, even with its proven success rate when it comes to helping people quit smoking. The wide range of flavors could be seen as appealing to youth demographics, a similar argument that took place when vapes and e-cigarettes were at the same stage as nicotine pouches are currently.

“When vaping was gaining popularity in the US, the FDA panicked and heavily regulated the market in an unhealthy way. As a result, an extremely large proportion of the products on the market were not allowed to be sold. This created a large gray market of unregulated and unsafe products, produced in China,” said Markus Lindblad, Head of Legal and External Affairs at online tobacco-free nicotine seller Nicokick.

Before history repeats itself and we benefit China further, there is a chance to correct and focus on the crucial aspect that was once overshadowed: youth prevention. Nicokick, an online tobacco-free nicotine seller, is dedicated to informing customers of the available alternatives and ensuring accessibility to the majority of the United States. The company believes that addressing this issue head-on is imperative while acknowledging the state-by-state legal nuances surrounding all nicotine products. So, how can we create an attractive product for adults who want to use nicotine, without attracting young people to it? Nicokick has found three key learnings that will answer that question.

1. Flavors and Flavor Descriptions:

  • Flavors are a key part of a smoker’s quitting journey as they move from cigarettes to alternative products. According to Nicokick’s consumer data, smokers generally want to get away from the taste of tobacco and prefer fruity flavors instead. So, flavors play an undeniable role in keeping alternative products attractive to smokers. Although flavor bans are widely debated in the United States, they can be counterproductive and may decline the smoking conversion. However, it is important to avoid descriptors that attract youth, such as cocktails, candy, or energy drinks. While adults might enjoy a candy-flavored product, it is unnecessary and potentially harmful to flood the market with products whose flavor descriptions appeal to children. This could lead to minors trying the products for the first time. We need to launch flavored products cautiously to ensure they appeal to adults without enticing youth demographics.

2. Extensive Marketing:

  • It is imperative for the industry to practice caution when it comes to its target audience and how marketing campaigns are executed. In the early days of vaping, flashy gimmicks such as candy flavors and unique packaging designs increased the popularity of vaping within younger demographics. The imagery in campaigns also portrayed young people enjoying them as well. Nicokick believes that the industry should adopt self-regulatory measures and refrain from targeting demographics below 25 years to ensure that marketing practices align with ethical standards.

3. Product Self-Regulation:

  • With the nicotine pouch market being so new and underdeveloped, there is a risk of irresponsible players wanting to take the opportunity to present unsafe products and unethical practices. Nicokick has a maximum limit of 20 mg nicotine per pouch on nicotine pouches, this is enough to satisfy former smokers’ nicotine wants, but at the same time being safe for use.

“We are moving in the right direction and it’s an excellent sign that there are new products that push cigarettes from the market,” said Markus Lindblad, Head of Legal and External Affairs at Nicokick. “Criticizing vaping is not our mission here, as it is still one of the leading ways to help people trying to quit smoking. But we all have a shared responsibility to ensure that the products being created and put out are properly regulated and not aimed at children and young people despite their flavors.”

The lack of effective regulation within the e-cigarette industry has pushed the production overseas to China and led to vape products now falling into the hands of underage users. But as we look back and learn from those mistakes and how they impacted our society, we’ll use the key learnings around flavors, marketing, and product self-regulation to move forward to a brighter and healthier future.

For those looking to move away from tobacco leaf-based products, Nicokick’s diverse array of nicotine pouches, gum and lozenges, as well as alternative nicotine products — help vapers and smokers to transition more easily. Nicokick has a maximum limit of 20 mg nicotine per pouch on nicotine pouches, which is enough to satisfy former smokers’ nicotine cravings yet still safer for use. Whether you’re looking to quit nicotine altogether, transition from cigarettes, or just trying to cut down on the smoke that is often present in traditional methods of use, Nicokick’s diverse range of products might help.

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