Current Date: 22 Feb, 2024

Sen. Chuck Schumer asks feds to crack down on teen use of Zyn nicotine patches

Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer has called on federal agencies to crack down on Zyn nicotine pouches, saying the product will be the next "trend in addiction for teens." 

Schumer has asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission to take action on Zyn's marketing practices and health effects, the New York Democrat said in a news release on Sunday. 

"Amid federal action against e-cigs and their grip on young people, a quiet and dangerous alternative has emerged and it is called Zyn," Schumer said in a statement. "I am delivering a new warning to parents because these nicotine pouches seem to lock their sights on teens and use social media to hook them." 

He continued to say that "the amount of nicotine is highly addictive and much more needs to be done to understand and communicate the health risks for young people." 

In response, the parent company of Zyn said it meets and exceeds the industry regulations. The FDA and the FTC did not immediately provide a response to Schumer's statement on Wednesday.  

WHAT ARE ZYN NICOTINE POUCHES? 

According to its website, Zyn is a nicotine pouch placed between the upper lip and gum for up to one hour. Users, required to be 21 years or older, get the effects of nicotine without spitting or smoking. 

"Philip Morris International and its affiliates – including Swedish Match, the manufacturer of ZYN – fully meet and exceed the regulations governing the industry," the company said in a statement shared with USA TODAY Wednesday. 

"Our marketing practices – which prohibit the use of social media influencers – are focused on preventing underage access and set the benchmark for the industry." 

NICOTINE POUCH USE AMONG YOUTH 

Zyn pointed to recent data from the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, saying that nicotine pouch use among youth is "exceptionally low." Ten percent of students in the 2023 Annual National Youth Tobacco Survey reported using any type of tobacco product. 

Here are the most common product types: 

  • E-cigarettes – 7.7% 
  • Cigars – 1.6% 
  • Cigarettes – 1.6% 
  • Nicotine Pouches – 1.5% 
  • Smokeless (chewing tobacco, snuff, dip, or snus) – 1.2% 
  • Other oral nicotine products (lozenges, discs, tablets, gums, dissolvable tobacco products, and other products) – 1.2% 
  • Hookahs – 1.1% 
  • Heated Tobacco Products – 1.0% 
  • Pipe Tobacco – 0.5% 

However, Schumer says the pouches are growing in popularity. He said "Zynfluencers" make content about the pouches on TikTok, some of which is seen by minors.

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Excellence Chukwuma Chukwunaedu

Excellence Chukwuma Chukwunaedu

I enjoy marketing, technology and business. I help businesses and brands connect with their ideal customer profiles and build products that excite them and solve their problems.