Big tobacco and nicotine pouches

Big Tobacco & Nicotine Pouches

In recent times, there has been more work and studies done, as well as publication of these studies being released which is showing exactly what harm Tobacco is having on people, as well as surrounding factors like public finances, healthcare providers as well as the impact it is having on the mortality rate globally due to people dying from smoking related illnesses every single day, and not in small volumes either.

With this publication, and more people becoming aware of the implications of using tobacco, the cigarette market sales and profits have started to notably shrink, which comes as no surprise really. Over the last several years, Big Tobacco companies have started creating tobacco free alternatives for Nicotine, as well as committing themselves to creating a “tobacco and smoke free future” with a large majority of them first creating their own brands of Electronic Cigarettes and E-Liquids, but most recently they’ve also created and promoted their own brands of Nicotine Pouches which is what we’re going to look at in this article.

Who makes up the ‘Big Tobacco’ Collective?

Big Tobacco is the collective name given to describe the 4 largest tobacco/cigarette manufacturers in the world. This group is made up of;

  • Philip Morris International (Malboro)
  • British American Tobacco (Lucky Strike, Rothmans)
  • Japan Tobacco International (Winston, Benson & Hedges)
  • Imperial Brands (JPS, Lambert & Butler)

These four companies hold the largest market share within the tobacco industry, and are globally known giants within the industry and make some of the most well known and sold brands of cigarettes and tobacco across the globe.

Big Tobacco is the collective name given to these four companies as that’s exactly what they are, big tobacco companies. All of these big companies have pledged into investing into harm reduction options to encourage people away from tobacco, and it ties in nicely with the fact that the amount of adult smokers globally has started reaching record low numbers, with more people now opting to use tobacco free alternatives for their nicotine fix.

Why are Big Tobacco interested in alternative nicotine products?

It comes as no surprise as I mentioned above that Big Tobacco started taking an interest in alternative tobacco products due to the sales of actual tobacco products starting to take a dip.

One of the first steps taken into the alternative nicotine market was seen in 2009, when Altria took control of US Smokeless Tobacco Co. A company that had a dominant presence in the Snus/Oral Tobacco market, which became even more dominant when a giant like Altria took the helm. Some rebranding took place, and Malboro Snus was created and heavily marketed which saw a rise in sales and profits for Altria.

Big Tobacco companies also began taking a look at the E-Cigarette market when the use of E-Cigs amongst adult users started seeing a big increase in the mid 2010s, with some Big Tobacco brands acquiring pre existing and established brands of E-Cigarettes, but also some branched out and created their own brands of E-Cigarettes and E-Liquid to be used in these devices.

And then finally, once Nicotine Pouches started picking up in popularity and used by adults across the globe, Big Tobacco then turned their heads to focus on either acquiring pre-existing brands, or creating their own brands of Nicotine Pouches, which came with large marketing and advertising campaigns due to the sheer volume of money being injected from these big corporations. Let’s have a look at this in more detail.

Big Tobacco and Nicotine Pouches…a perfect partnership?

 Nicotine Pouches have been on the market since 2019, and they’ve risen in popularity in more recent times, with more people opting to use oral nicotine as their preferred method of Nicotine Replacement Therapy.

The large majority of Nicotine Pouches that are on the market globally today are manufactured by a Big Tobacco company. Many of these Big Tobacco companies have pledged to commit to make changes to encourage a smoke free future, and playing a part in harm reduction methods, thus resulting in them creating their own brands of Nicotine Pouches.

British American Tobacco

BAT first launched their brand of Nicotine Pouch onto the market in 2019, under the name LYFT in the UK, and VELO in the USA. They also were found to be on sale in other countries such as Italy and the home of Snus, Sweden. BAT started promoting LYFT in developing countries who had previously not had any form of Nicotine Pouch promotion done.

Fast forward to 2022, and BAT decided to drop LYFT and sell their Nicotine Pouches under the name VELO in the UK, and also saw a massive sponsorship deal being agreed between VELO and the McLaren F1 Racing team. As of today, VELO stands as one of the biggest brands of Nicotine Pouch in the world, and boasts large sale unit figures in the UK.

Japan Tobacco International

JTI are the Big Tobacco company behind the hugely popular brand of Nicotine Pouches known as Nordic Spirit. Nordic Spirit is one of the biggest and well known brands of Nicotine Pouches, and is one of the largest sellers in the UK, with them being available in most major supermarkets, convenience stores, petrol stations and other retail locations. JTI is also quoted to say that Nordic Spirit holds 70% of the UK market share in Nicotine Pouches, a massive hold on the market!

Philip Morris International

Surprisingly, PMI was one of the last Big Tobacco companies to enter into the Nicotine Pouch market, when they acquired Swedish Match in late 2022. Swedish Match manufacture the brand of Nicotine Pouches called Zyn, which are sold in Sweden, as well as other European countries, but they are hugely popular in the USA, where they hold 54% of unit sales volume as of late 2022. Swedish Match have not made anything else other than Nicotine Pouches, so this acquirement by a Big Tobacco company came as a surprise to some, but could ultimately only end in good results thanks to the sheer size of PMI.

Not all brands of Nicotine Pouches are made by Big Tobacco firms

As the title says, believe it or not, not all brands of Nicotine Pouches are backed and created by Big Tobacco companies.

DIP is manufactured and created by Future Now, who are a company that are committed to creating and specialising in harm reduction, and they are manufactured right here in the UK. And DIP is available to buy right here on Snusmail!

Denssi is also another brand of Nicotine Pouch that we sell that is not manufactured by Big Tobacco, they are also manufactured in the UK.

There also other brands of Nicotine Pouches out there on the market today which have been founded and manufactured by independent companies not associated with Big Tobacco, so whilst they hold the monopoly on most markets, it’s not totally held by Big Tobacco.


I think it is quite obvious as to why Big Tobacco companies are getting involved with alternative nicotine delivery options such as E-Cigs, and Nicotine Pouches and that comes down to the sheer profit potential that comes with these options. It will cushion the blow that they may be receiving by the sales of tobacco starting to dwindle down, and in turn they still want to maximise their profits as much as they can.

I see no problem with Big Tobacco getting involved with creating or acquiring alternative nicotine options, as the more focus given on these products means there will be less focus on the manufacture and promotion of actual tobacco products.

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