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Nicotine pouches increasing risk of addiction among youth

By Muhammad Qasim
July 07, 2022

Rawalpindi: The tobacco industry in Pakistan has been using innovative tactics to sell its products as after the introduction of nicotine pouches, the risk of nicotine addiction among youth has been escalated taking shape of an endemic.

Sanaullah Ghumman, general secretary and director operations, Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH), said the sale of nicotine pouches is continuously on the rise in Pakistan and the government is urged to impose an immediate ban on the new nicotine pouches to protect the youth from diseases.

He added that nicotine pouches are manufactured in Scandinavian countries that are now making their way into countries with large young population like Pakistan. It is pertinent to mention here that nicotine pouches were banned in Russia due to serious health repercussion especially among children and youth, he said.

Health experts warn that nicotine is a highly addictive substance, and when absorbed into the bloodstream, it can increase blood pressure, heart rate and overtime, narrow arteries (the vessels that carry blood), leading to heart disease and stroke, said Ghumman.

He added the use of nicotine in any form by pregnant women and youth is dangerous because it carries health risks for the developing fetus’ brain and lungs. It can cause harmful changes to the developing adolescent brain, he said. He said if the government keeps ignoring the widespread sales and advertisements of nicotine pouches, it may pose a greater threat to the health of general public particularly the youth.