There’s a new high-tech nicotine delivery system sweeping the nation. This one could be easier for the public to, uhm, swallow.

The tobacco industry is innovating faster than San Francisco can regulate — no easy feat in the city that led the charge against indoor smoking, flavored tobacco, and e-cigarettes.

The industry’s latest trick doesn’t even contain tobacco, in many cases, instead isolating the cravable, joltable active ingredient of tobacco products. Nicotine pouches, like the popular brand Zyn, are a sort of cross between nicotine gum and dipping tobacco. They add a high-tech, user-friendly sheen to a form of nicotine ingestion that might otherwise be seen, at least here in San Francisco, as a decidedly un-sexy way to get your fix. And for nicotine novices, the buzz is no joke.

According to the latest industry data and anecdotal accounts from local smoke shops and corner stores, this new product category is taking America and San Francisco by storm. If Zyn and its peers ever get to Juul-like levels of popularity, the implications for public health and, let’s be real, a new generation of memers and hypebeasts, remain unclear.

Read full article here.

Benjamin Schneider – SF Weekly – 2021-06-30.

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