Besides cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, pipes, hookah, and vaping products that will deliver nicotine, there are other non-tobacco products you need to be made aware.
Zyn is a tobacco-free nicotine pouch that comes in several flavors such as cool mint, spearmint, wintergreen, peppermint, cinnamon and coffee and in two strengths, 3mg or 6mg. There is no spitting. One site had a container of 15 pouches for $5 while eBay had them for about $10 plus shipping.
Another tobacco-free product is called Fully Loaded and you use it like you would any dip product. It comes in chew or pouches and flavors include wintergreen, mint, bourbon, berry, peach, classic and cherry, with three different strengths. The website and the cans do not tell you how much nicotine is in the product. It is under $5/can.
Nicotine can also be delivered through toothpicks, and there are several products on the market. Pixotine bills itself as the “original nicotine toothpick” and is based in Jupiter, Florida. A pack of 15 picks is about $6/pack. They claim one pack of Pixotine is equivalent to 1 pack of cigarettes, 1 can of dip, 1 can of snus, or 1 electronic cigarette cartridge. Each pack is 3.0mg nicotine per toothpick. Their site says “nicotine can transmit its effects through contact with the skin and absorption through the mouth.” It takes from 1 to 15 minutes for the first effects to be felt and is designed to last from 10 minutes to 1 hour. The ad on the right is from Instagram and is for the month of June. Easy for kids to use in class or at home and no one would know. One journalist said he found them “shockingly strong” and he got a buzz from them.
This product is called Smart Toothpicks and contains 3mg of nicotine each. It comes in three flavors: cinnamon, peppermint ice, and wintergreen. It does say on the package you must be legal age for nicotine purchase. A pack of 20 nicotine picks is about $7.00.
Another toothpick product is Zippix. They come in mocha, cinnamon, and mint-melon (or peppermint/watermelon). Each pack has 20 picks with 2mg of nicotine per pick. A pack of 20 is about $6/pack. A flavor bundle of 60 picks is about $15 and gives you 20 picks of the three flavors. A large bundle of 100 goes for $20, but you can also get bundles up to 500 picks. Two other flavors, spice island clove and sweet whisky only come in large bundle packs.
Some products are approved by the FDA as smoking cessation aids, such as nicotine gum, patches, and lozenges. These can be purchased over-the-counter without a prescription. Lozenges and gum come in 2mg and 4mg strengths while the transdermal system (patches) is 14mg. These products haven’t been tested for use in teens.
We have provided a number of products for parents and teachers to see, and hope it helps them understand what the tobacco/nicotine industry has on the market, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. According to Tobacco 101: A Guide to Working with Nicotine Addicted Patients, it takes approximately 5 cigarettes or 4-6 mg of nicotine to reach the threshold of addiction. Some teens are more susceptible to nicotine addiction than others, but understand this, it is not a right-of-passage. Nicotine is highly addictive and may be one of the toughest drugs to quit without help. If you suspect your child of using tobacco or nicotine, talk to them about the dangers and seek help through your family doctor.