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ZoneX Nicotine Pouches Review

Nicotine Pouches

More options for smokers

If there’s one thing I can appreciate is the broad array of products available for smokers, either current or former. Broadly defined as “tobacco harm reduction”, each product available – be it an e-cigarette, heat-not-burn or snus (nicotine pouches) – offers something far better to the consumer than those in public health and tobacco control ever could. Each of the alternative products is fun. That’s the whole point.

I switched from smoking to vaping using e-cigarettes, but I’ve also used heat-not-burn and snus. I have multiple e-cig and heat-not-burn devices, plus a variety of sources for snus. I go through phases of using one product more than others and, right now, I’m on a snus kick.

What is snus?

Snus is a moist, smokeless powdered tobacco and is available either as a loose powder or pre-packaged in a small pouch – often referred to as a “tea bag”. It consists of ground tobacco, salt and, on occasion, smoke aroma flavourings – citrus, menthol and peppermint seem to be favourites. The pouch is placed between the lip and gum (either top, or bottom) and the nicotine (along with any flavour) is released into the saliva.

What’s the point of snus?

To put it bluntly, it’s an alternative method to consume nicotine. Made popular by high prevalence of use in both Sweden and Norway snus has, to a large degree, had a significant impact on smoking rates. Snus is also available in most common-sense areas, apart from the EU (natch).

In the zone

Nicotine pouches
Each box contains 24 pouches which should be good for 3 days!

Most snus originates from Sweden from Swedish Match, while this stuff is made by Imperial Tobacco. At a glance, ZoneX is a rebrand of an existing Imperial brand – Skruf – and seems aimed at the UK market. Because this form of snus is tobacco-free it shouldn’t fall under any of the ridiculous EU TPD regulations, and it will be very interesting to see how Imperial Tobacco market these nicotine pouches because there shouldn’t be many advertising restrictions on the product.

ZoneX is available in two strengths, 6mg (ZoneX #2) and 10mg (ZoneX #3) with only a single flavour – fresh mint. So, what is like?

Snus’ing

I’m not going to lie, using snus takes a bit of getting used to. Unlike smoking, vaping or heat-not-burn, there is no ritualistic hand to mouth motion. Popping a small pouch between lip and gum does feel strange the first time and, for some, may feel slightly uncomfortable.

That feeling does quickly pass, and the gentle buzz you get from the nicotine – some of which is absorbed through the gum with the rest being released into the saliva – is pleasant. Very pleasant indeed.

I found it best to dry the area where you intend to place the snus as much as possible as it eases the initial hit – which can be very strong, particularly for new users. Speaking of the initial hit, it is a very curious sensation. It feels somewhat like a cool tingling sensation which passes quickly to be replaced by a gentle, almost ‘invisible’, sensation. In drying the area first (as much as is possible) it allows for a gentler nicotine intake and flavour that is more consistent across the ‘recommended’ 20 minutes use.

Tips

For new users, snus can be uncomfortable to use. After all, you are sticking a small pouch packed with tobacco powder on your gum. For the most part, it is invisible but, you can see a small bump under the lip when using nicotine pouches. Here are some brief, but not exhaustive, tips:

  • Build up your use

Don’t try and go the whole hog of 20 minutes in one go. Work up to it. The sensation on the gum, and the salty saliva can be uncomfortable.

  • Make sure you have a drink to hand

This is important for during, as well as after, snus use. Just be careful to not swallow the pouch. It won’t kill you, but it could make you feel unwell.

  • Do dry the area of use prior to putting the pouch in your mouth

I’ve used snus both ways – without gum drying and with. The flavour lasts a lot longer with drying and, particularly for the stronger version, the salty saliva isn’t as harsh. This is purely a personal preference thing.

  • Do alternate sides for use

This gives your gums a chance to recover from the nicotine absorption. You can also use the lower gums but be aware the natural salivation does reduce the longevity of the flavour and overall experience.

  • Do pay attention to the packet

It says a maximum of 8 nicotine pouches a day (on the 10mg strength) based on the average user. It is possible to have more than the recommended 8 pouches a day but everyone is different. It is probably best to err on the side of caution until you find your perfect daily amount.

Conclusion

Nicotine pouches
They are small and white!

I like snus in general. I like the fact that it is another alternative to nicotine consumption. I like that you can pop a pouch in and just get on with things. There isn’t a need to take a break to have a smoke/vape, but that can also be a bad thing. Many smokers, and vapers (who are, of course, ex-smokers by and large) like the fact there is a set time for their product. That doesn’t exist with snus. Nor does the ritualistic hand-to-mouth action. For some, this may be a bad thing. For others, it isn’t. It wholly depends on the person. For me, it has never been an issue as I’ve always been doing something at the time of a smoke or vape so, nothing really changes.

With ZoneX nicotine pouches, the pack recommends “up to” 20 minutes of use however, I’ve used a several pouches (of both strengths) for longer than that as the flavour was still there. Speaking of the flavour, it isn’t as strong as some other snus products I’ve tried, but that isn’t a bad thing. It isn’t an “in your face, scrub your sinuses with wire wool” mint flavour, it is more akin to the amiable Polo mint. It’s a flavour that remains even after the pouch has been removed. If you’re looking for something different to try instead of heat-not-burn or vaping, this may be just the thing for you.

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ZoneX Promo Banner for their new nicotine pouches
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