The ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes within the European Union on Might 20, 2020 brought about many Czech people who smoke to show to different merchandise. In accordance with a British American Tobacco survey cited by iDNES in September 2020, round 2% of Czechs who had beforehand smoked menthol cigarettes had switched to utilizing nicotine pouches. And in line with one other survey, this time quoted by the Seznam Zprávy information portal and dated August 2021, about 3.5% of people who smoke within the Czech Republic use nicotine pouches.
Initially designed to assist people who smoke stop smoking, nicotine pouches are tobacco-free nicotine substitutes which can be positioned below the higher lip in touch with the gums. They include solely artificial or tobacco-derived nicotine, plant fibers and flavorings. They’re utilized in the identical method as Swedish snus, from which they’re impressed in form. Nonetheless, not like conventional snus, nicotine pouches are often flavored, making them extra interesting to youngsters who’re drawn to their fruit, praline, menthol or tobacco flavors.
New pattern in faculty and highschool programs
Chargeable for prevention in a major and secondary college in Adamov, South Moravia, Ilona Martochová noticed a number of complaints in the identical class. When requested, the scholars admitted to testing the nicotine pouches and feeling very dangerous. Not like tobacco merchandise, most faculties’ inside laws don’t but ban them as a result of it’s a comparatively new product. In accordance with Ilona Martochová, this harmful product is aimed exactly at younger folks due to its accessibility, comparatively low value and presentation “in fairly bins”.
The kids surveyed point out a want to do the identical, but in addition the reduction from nicotine and the truth that it helps them handle stress and nervousness. A misery that was additionally largely compounded by the 2 years of well being restrictions that remoted her from younger folks her personal age. That is confirmed by a research on the psychological well being of highschool college students in Prague and Central Bohemia, which discovered particularly a rise in consuming issues and self-harm, but in addition in the usage of addictive substances. Nonetheless, in line with habit specialist Tomáš Jandáč from the Charles College Dependancy Clinic and the College Hospital Prague, interviewed by Czech Radio, the impact achieved through the use of nicotine pouches just isn’t short-term – and illusory:
“Youngsters take it to cut back their nervousness, however when nicotine is taken in excessive doses, quite the opposite, it will increase nervousness. You’ll be able to actually have a panic assault. »
A completely authorized product
A priori, younger folks shouldn’t have issues with acquiring nicotine pouches, as these escape tobacco product laws as they don’t include tobacco. Their sale to individuals below the age of 18 is subsequently not prohibited. On-line shops warn that nicotine pouches usually are not appropriate for minors, however then once more, we have already seen a model of nicotine pouches handing them out for promotion in a Prague park…
The nicotine sachets are positioned between the higher lip and gums for 10 to fifteen minutes and work in a short time: launched within the mind, dopamine brings a sense of happiness and improves focus. Moreover, not solely do nicotine pouches not stain tooth as they don’t include tobacco, however they don’t seem to be essentially perceived as harmful merchandise for well being. Nonetheless, their nicotine dosage is considerably greater than with typical cigarettes, so the habituation impact is there. As well as, the dangerous results of nicotine are higher in younger folks than in adults: nicotine pouches can impair mind growth, and adolescents turn into bodily depending on it a lot quicker than adults in only a few weeks. . Lastly, the usage of such a product can result in the usage of different medication, as Marek Lžičař, an habit specialist from CHU Svatá Anna in Brno, factors out:
“It is not a trivial matter, and it is actually not a good suggestion to show a blind eye to it. It’s a dangerous habits that opens the way in which to the usage of different tobacco merchandise, however probably additionally to the usage of different delicate and even exhausting medication. »
unwanted effects and mortality
Nicotine pouches are available a wide range of flavors and strengths, and revel in some reputation amongst Czech youngsters. Nonetheless, they can’t at all times dose their consumption effectively and the unwanted effects can subsequently be vomiting, fever and bleeding gums. Offered in doses of as much as 50mg of nicotine per sachet, the sachets may even be lethal for youngsters, as the pinnacle of prevention on the regional police headquarters in Náchod, Miroslav Mervart, informed Czech Radio:
“They will even include a deadly dose, so a deadly dose for the kid’s physique. Particularly for the reason that little one can unintentionally swallow the bag. On this case, the results might be actually severe. »
New Czech – and European – laws?
Because of this, the cops of the Náchod area are intervening within the lecture rooms to warn in regards to the dangers of utilizing nicotine pouches. They’re additionally hoping for an upcoming change in laws. The Czech Ministry of Well being is certainly getting ready an modification on this concern, as its spokesman Ondřej Jakob informed Czech Radio:
“We’re conscious of the issues this product causes. We’re presently engaged on a regulation that may outline the composition, presentation, high quality, properties and labeling necessities, together with prohibited objects, for nicotine pouches. We’re additionally engaged on altering the legislation. »
Nicotine pouches are additionally the order of the day on the European degree, as the marketplace for tobacco merchandise – and alternate options to them – has developed enormously for the reason that final tax adjustments in 2010. A standardization of their taxation is critical and is required by many international locations to replicate the harmfulness of the merchandise.