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Zyn Nicotine Pouches: The New Weight-Loss Craze?

A weight-loss trend has emerged around Zyn nicotine pouches, with users claiming significant results. However, experts warn of potential health risks and stress the importance of evidence-based approaches to weight management.

Bebeto Matthews / AP
Containers of Zyn, a Phillip Morris smokeless nicotine pouch, are stacked for sale at a newsstand. Photo: Bebeto Matthews / AP

In a bid for a quick fix to shed those stubborn pounds, Americans are turning to an unexpected source: Zyn nicotine pouches. Marketed primarily as a tobacco alternative, Zyn has gained widespread popularity among various demographics, with users hailing its purported benefits ranging from a boost in energy to enhanced focus. However, recent claims suggesting that Zyn could also aid in weight loss have ignited a storm of debate and concern among health experts.

Zyn, which resembles small, hard candies and is placed in the gumline, has gained popularity across diverse demographics. From truck drivers seeking endurance to gym enthusiasts craving a pre-workout boost, and even high-profile figures like Tucker Carlson, who has endorsed its purported benefits, Zyn has found its way into the mainstream conversation.

Recently, social media has been abuzz with claims of weight loss attributed to Zyn usage. Posts on platforms like Instagram and Reddit have highlighted individuals attributing significant weight loss to their Zyn habit, sparking curiosity and enthusiasm among users.

Andrea Hernández, an authority on consumer trends, brought attention to this phenomenon, underscoring the growing interest in Zyn as a potential weight-loss aid. However, experts caution against viewing it as a quick fix.

Andrea Hernández, author of the consumer trend newsletter Snaxshot, shed light on this emerging trend, sharing numerous social media posts showcasing individuals crediting Zyn for their weight loss success. While some users celebrate their newfound slim figures, concerns regarding the safety and efficacy of using nicotine for weight management have been raised by experts.

Dr. Carolyn Bramante, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota, expressed apprehension regarding the potential cardiovascular implications of using nicotine pouches for weight loss. She highlighted the lack of comprehensive studies examining the effects of nicotine on heart health and cautioned against viewing Zyn as a safe or effective weight loss aid.

Historically, nicotine products have been associated with appetite suppression, dating back to the marketing of cigarettes in the 1920s as a slimming alternative to candy. Despite regulatory efforts to counter such claims, the allure of nicotine's weight-loss potential persists.

Unlike traditional cigarette marketing, which often emphasises slimness and femininity, Zyn adopts a simpler, more masculine branding. Moreover, its gamified reward system, offering incentives like electronic devices in exchange for points accumulated through purchases, adds to its appeal.

The allure of Zyn as a weight loss solution is further compounded by the scarcity of alternative options. With blockbuster weight loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy experiencing shortages and commanding exorbitant prices, individuals seeking affordable and accessible alternatives may view Zyn as an attractive option.

Philip Morris International, the parent company of Zyn's manufacturer, Swedish Match, has emphasised compliance with industry regulations while refraining from endorsing Zyn as a weight loss aid. However, concerns persist regarding the potential health consequences of widespread Zyn use for weight management purposes.

Despite the tempting promise of shedding pounds effortlessly, experts urge caution and advocate for evidence-based approaches to weight loss. The long-term effects of using nicotine pouches like Zyn for weight management remain uncertain, underscoring the importance of seeking guidance from healthcare professionals for safe and sustainable weight loss strategies.