Carcinogenic compounds detected in Germany in nicotine pouches

Are nicotine sachets (pouches) safe?


The objective of the study was to measure the concentration of nicotine and nitrosamine derivatives known to be carcinogenic. The analyses concerned 44 products on the market. The products examined contained between 1.8 and 47.5 mg of nicotine. More than 36% of products contained more than 16.7 mg of nicotine, a dose level that requires a danger pictogram, which was not included for 19% of highly concentrated products. In addition, 60% of the bags analyzed contained traces of carcinogenic compounds such as nitrosamines. In terms of exposure, the nitrosamine levels measured are much lower than those of tobacco cigarettes but significantly higher than those of pharmaceutical substitutes (gums, patches).

The authors conclude that it is imperative to strongly regulate nicotine sachets, particularly in terms of labelling, warning messages and product quality. These conclusions and recommendations are in line with those of the CNCT (French Committee for Tobacco Control) regarding nicotine sachets.

Levels of nicotine and tobacco-specific nitrosamines in oral nicotine pouches. Mallock N, et al. Tob Control 2022;0:1–7. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2022-057280

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