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Nicotine Pouches are still relatively new to the market, not just here in the UK but also worldwide. But despite this, they have started seeing somewhat of a rise in popularity with many people now opting to use them as their preferred method of alternative nicotine delivery.
But questions are still rising regarding what the regulations are on Nicotine Pouches, and the rules surrounding the sale, production and usage of them here in the UK, which is what this blog is going to explain!
So if you’re someone who’s wanting to try out Nicotine Pouches for yourself but may be unsure if they’re safe to use, or even if you’re a retailer considering stocking these as part of your existing retail arsenal, then I’ll aim to give fully clarity and understand on the regulations of Nicotine Pouches and why it’s vital that total compliance with these regulations is maintained at all times!
It’s pretty obvious that something called a “Nicotine Pouch” does contain Nicotine. Therefore this falls under the same age restrictions relating to tobacco and vaping products, and the minimum age someone must be in the UK to purchase Nicotine Pouches is 18 years old.
This is because the products contain Nicotine, the law has stated since it was raised way back in 2007, that anything tobacco related containing Nicotine would be restricted from sale to anyone under the age of 18. Despite vape related products not actually containing any form of tobacco, nor does Nicotine Pouches, they are still classed as “Tobacco related products” don’t get me started on that one…
Back in 2016, the UK Government introduced a set of rules and regulations under the Tobacco Products Directive, mainly aimed at the Vaping sector, which would bring everything in line with the tobacco/cigarette industry and these regulations must be adhered to for a product to be able to enter on the UK market for sale.
The main thing I’ll highlight here is that the labelling of products had to be considerably more robust and informative from what they previously were. Previously, they lacked any proper information relating to ingredients, health warnings, toxicity risks and so on.
Now labels will feature health warnings, specifically relating to Nicotine and it’s addictive properties, as well as a detailed ingredients list, which must feature everything used to make the powdered Nicotine used inside each pouch, and also a clear display of how much Nicotine is in each pouch, which is normally indicated on the front of the can.
You may also see emblems relating to risks, such as a large skull and crossbones sign, no this doesn’t mean they’re for pirates, it’s a toxicity risk emblem, because of the volatile nature of Nicotine in it’s raw form, don’t worry, the Nicotine used is treated and carefully made so that it is fine for human consumption, but there is still a chance of risk which has to be clearly indicated.
All label text on Nicotine Pouches that are sold here in the UK must also be fully in English, and legible to read.
Now there’s a serious amount of red tape when it comes to the advertising and promotion of anything Nicotine related, whether it’s nicotine pouches, cigarettes or e-cigarettes, the rules remain the same throughout.
They cannot be advertised or promoted on TV or Radio, bus stops, magazines, billboards etc, mainly because it’s to stop the promotion of them to younger people who are underage and discourages them from starting a nicotine addiction that isn’t necessary.
There also has to be a certain ere of decorum when it comes to any kind of claims of them being beneficial to a persons health, whether it be physical or mental. Nicotine isn’t harmful to a person, but it can’t be marketed to be some kind of magic healing thing that will help people!
Now, we here in the UK are fortunate that there aren’t really any restrictions on the sales of Nicotine Pouches (other than the obvious age restrictions) and are relatively free of any limitations being put on them.
Looking at places like the Netherlands here for reference, and they previously had put restrictions on the strength of Nicotine pouches that could be sold in the country, with the limit being very very low, compared to the higher strengths that we have access here to in the UK.
But it’s completely gone up the shoot for Nicotine Pouch users in the Netherlands, as they have completely BANNED the sale of them as of earlier on this year which is crazy to see. And it also makes me wonder if there will be any other countries nearby soon following suit, which I hope it isn’t!
Earlier this year, the Committee on Toxicity (COT) published a statement on oral nicotine pouches, which concluded that they should not be regulated as tobacco products.
The COT found that nicotine pouches are not as harmful as smoking, and that they may be a useful tool for smokers who are trying to quit. However, the COT also warned that nicotine pouches are not without risks. They can cause addiction, and they may have other health effects that are not yet fully understood.
And this does make me think that there will be restrictions being imposed on them sooner rather than never, but hopefully they will be relatively relaxed and not as strict and harsh as what the Netherlands introduced!
Why compliance is important
The regulations put in place for companies to comply to are there for a reason, and it’s absolutely imperative that these are adhered to at all times.
Should you as a retailer, or a manufacturer choose not to comply to these regulations, you’re likely going to end up in some serious hot water and risk a heavy fine, loss of business or even a prison sentence depending on the severity of the lack of compliance.
These regulations are put in place for a reason, and it’s for the safety of consumers, and also to ensure that all products sold within the UK are in line with one another and completely safe to use.
Everything that we sell here at Snusmail are fully compliant with all regulations I’ve mentioned above, so you can buy with peace of mind and confidence that you’re getting a great product that complies with all regulations!