Everything You Need To Know On How To Use Nicotine Pouches

By Josh, Head Of Media
15 APR 2024

Popping up in supermarkets and vape stores, nicotine pouches are an alternative that a lot of smokers and vapers are considering. But, how do they work and what’s in them? These are important questions, and if you’re looking to try out these handy alternatives, you’ll need to learn a bit about them.

With that in mind, we thought it’d be a good idea to create a one-stop guide that gives you the full run-down and tells you everything you need to know about nic pouches.

We’ll be covering exactly what nicotine pouches are and their ingredients, alongside how they work, so you can work out whether they’re the right fit. Then, we’ll help you pick the right pouches by covering what strengths are available and offering a bit of advice on flavour.

What Is Nic Pouch And How Do They Work?

Lip pillows, upper deckies, Zynnies: nic pouches go by a lot of names, but all have the same function as a way to satisfy nicotine cravings without having to rely on cigarettes. Essentially, a nicotine pouch contains a combination of materials that allow your body to absorb nicotine through the mucous membrane of your gums.

Pouches are a very discreet option, they don’t produce smoke or vapour, and you can use them in situations where it’s not possible to vape, such as at work, on public transport or in public indoor spaces like the cinema or a bar.

They contain no tobacco but utilise nicotine to stop common side effects you’d experience when quitting smoking. Like vapes, they’re not designed for non-smokers, and we don’t recommend them to anyone who isn’t trying to quit or cut down.

What’s Inside A Nic Pouch?

First things first – there is no tobacco in a nicotine pouch and there’s no mystery behind what’s inside them.

Each pouch is made up of an outer weave of plant-based, cellulose fibres. Like all weaves, there are very tiny gaps and these gaps allow for nicotine – held in cellulose granules – to be absorbed into the gum after reacting to the moisture in your mouth.

longside the nicotine, you’ll find several food-grade ingredients to make sure your pouch works effectively. These include pH modifiers (used in baking) that contribute to better absorption, flavourings to deliver taste, Glycerol and Propylene Glycol that carry flavour, and a few preservatives that stop pouches from going mouldy or losing their flavour.

If this sounds like a long list of ingredients, it’s worth remembering that the average cigarette contains over 5,000 chemicals – around 70 of which are harmful carcinogens!

Are Nicotine Pouches Safe?

Nicotine pouches contain a similar list of ingredients as traditional NRTs (Nicotine Replacement Therapies) such as patches and gum. We only stock high-quality nicotine pouches – this means no heavy metals or hidden nasties, just a less harmful alternative to smoking. If you're at all unsure of whether pouches are right for you, we recommend you contact a healthcare professional.

Why Do Nicotine Pouches Tingle?

When you first start using a nicotine pouch, you’ll notice a tingling sensation on your gums. You experience the tingle as the nicotine leaves the pouch and begins to be absorbed. It normally lasts around five minutes. Manufacturers use ingredients to make sure the tingle isn’t too strong – these are the pH modifiers we mentioned above.

Manufacturers walk a tightrope in making sure that their pouches have a high enough pH level to allow nicotine to be effectively absorbed, but not so strong that they deliver an unpleasant burning sensation. Nicotine content also affects the “tingle factor” with higher strengths delivering a more noticeable sensation.

How To Pick The Right Nicotine Strength?

The most important thing to consider is what strength pouch you’re going to use. As a quick note, if you’ve vaped before don’t assume that e-liquid strength correlates with pouch strength, as they’re used differently and nicotine is absorbed more efficiently through pouches. So, just because you’ve vaped a 20mg e-liquid for the last two years, don’t assume you need to jump straight in with a 20mg pouch.

We recommend you start with a light strength and work your way up as needed. A good starting place is a 6mg pouch. Pouches that are too strong will feel a lot harsher and can cause a burning sensation. If this is the case, then remove your pouch and try something in a lower strength. There may be a bit of trial and error, but starting low will help stop side effects like headaches.

Picking The Right Flavour

Just like vaping, nic pouch flavour is very subjective and what some people love, others can’t stand! At the end of the day, the best flavour is the one that stops you from smoking – and this means different things to different people. We offer plenty of options, so there’s bound to be a few that take your fancy.

The two most common types of flavour are fruit and mint, just like in vaping. Mint’s pretty simple and they’re perfect if you’re looking for something cool and fresh. Fruit, on the other hand, offers a lot of variety, and we mean a lot. Sweet cherry appears alongside tangy tropical fare and dark forest berries sit next to light exotic fusions – there really is a bit of something for everyone.

How Do I Use Nicotine Pouches?

Now that you’ve worked out your preferred strength and flavour, you might be wondering how to use your pouches. First off, only use one pouch at a time – it’s all you need, honestly. Pouches should be applied to the gap between your top lip and gum and they’ll naturally stay in place. You can put them behind your lower lip, but you won’t experience much/any flavour this way.

Place Your Nicotine Pouch

Place Your Nicotine Pouch

Put your pouch in between your gum and upper lip.

Let Your Pouch Work

Let Your Pouch Work

You'll feel a tingling sensation as it begins working, which will last for up to 5 minutes.

Keep Your Pouch In Place

Keep Your Pouch In Place

Keep your pouch in place for up to 30 minutes.

Dispose Of Your Pouch

Dispose Of Your Pouch

When you're ready, remove your pouch and dispose of it in a general waste bin.

For the first five minutes or so, you’ll notice a tingling sensation (this is a side-effect of your pouch's pH balance and nicotine strength), this will go away on its own and is nothing to worry about. The flavour will kick in around this point and most pouches last between 30 minutes and an hour (depending on the brand), with nicotine released slowly over its lifespan.

You can use a fresh pouch as often as you need to and combat cravings whenever they flare up. If you find you’re getting through a lot of pouches, you might want to consider moving up a strength, similarly, if your pouch feels uncomfortable or is giving you a bit of a headache we recommend going down a strength – same as with a vape.

How Long Should I Use A Pouch For?

Each pouch is slightly different when it comes to how long they can be used, with some working for around 30 minutes while others last an hour. Always check the manufacturer’s recommendation as the pouch's lifespan will affect what sort of nicotine hit you’ll experience. If you’re using a pouch for an hour it will release nicotine more slowly than one only designed to be used for 30 minutes.

What Happens If You Swallow A Nicotine Pouch?

Accidents can happen and while you should never swallow a pouch, swallowing one shouldn’t present huge risks. Nicotine can not be absorbed through the lining of your gut so that shouldn’t affect you. However, swallowing a pouch can cause indigestion or nausea due to its size, and the flavourings and preservatives inside.

Please always dispose of your pouches, do not swallow them. If you are worried or begin feeling unwell after swallowing a pouch, contact a doctor immediately.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Nic Pouches?

Pouches serve an important purpose, especially in situations where you can’t vape, but they’re not the only answer when it comes to tackling cravings. We’re Vape Club, so you might think we’re slightly biassed, but it’s important to remember vapes replicate the action of smoking and this makes them incredibly effective as they feel more like a cigarette. It’s our opinion that a lot of smokers would benefit from using a combination of pouches and vapes, allowing them to tackle cravings whenever they pop up regardless of the situation.

Nic Pouches Pros

Pouches Are Very Discreet

Pouches are very useful in that they can be used in situations where it's just not possible to vape, like public spaces or transport. They don't produce any vapour but do satisfy cravings. They're so discreet that it's almost impossible for others to tell you're actually using one - very handy when meetings are overrunning.

Pouches Are Very Simple

Unlike vapes, there's no setup or maintenance to speak of, in fact, the only things you'll have to decide take place before you purchase your pouch, namely selecting a nicotine strength and flavour. From there it's just a case of using them whenever your cravings flare up.

Pouches Are Cost-Effective

Not having to buy a piece of electronic hardware or spare parts like coils and pods can actually make nicotine pouches a cheaper option. They average between three to five pounds for a pack of 20, with most people getting through it anywhere between 5 and 10 pouches a day.

Nic Pouches Cons

Pouches Aren’t Regulated By Law

Unlike e-liquids and vape kits, nicotine pouches are in no way regulated by law. While responsible retailers like us only stock quality products, the same can't be said for every single trader. Our recommendation is to only buy your nicotine pouches from a trusted source.

Pouches Can Be Slow-Acting

Although nicotine pouches get to work straight away, feeling their full effects can take a bit of time. Some people report that their cravings aren’t completely satisfied until using the pouch for its entire lifespan. This isn't the case with vapes, you'll begin to feel cravings diminish after the first few puffs and they'll be completely satisfied after a few more.

There’s Not Much Variety

As they haven’t existed in the UK market for very long, the range of nic pouches available is quite small. The range can seem almost non-existent when compared to the massive selection of vapes that are available. This will gradually change as more and more people realise how handy it can be to carry a pack of pouches along with their vape.

Want To Learn More?

We hope this guide has given you the start you need, but, if you have any questions or just fancy a personal recommendation on the best pouches, get in touch with our customer Service Team.

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