ZYN Spearmint Specifications:
Nicotine content: 0.4% (1.5mg/pouch)
ZYN Espressino Specifications:
Nicotine content: 0.75% (3mg/pouch)
Many vapers probably don’t give a second thought to alternative nicotine products. This is understandable. Many of us quit smoking successfully using vaping and continue to enjoy it as a method of ingesting nicotine, with significantly less harmful chemicals than are found in cigarettes.
When I quit smoking, I skipped straight past things like gums, snus, and inhalers, going straight for vaping. It just seemed like the obvious choice. I’m sure most of the people reading this can relate to that process, but what about those times where you can’t vape?
Whether it’s in a work environment, a long journey or even a trip to a country that’s banned vaping altogether, there are situations when you can’t get your usual nicotine fix, for a prolonged period.
Enter ZYN. For the uninitiated, ZYN is a small, tobacco-free pouch, which is flavoured and infused with varying levels of nicotine. In terms of format, it’s essentially snus, without the tobacco content. You place a pouch under your upper lip and nicotine is delivered to your blood stream.
My first proper trial of this product was after The Vaper Expo UK in October. I had a sample pack of strength 2 pouches and a four-hour journey ahead. On the first leg of my journey, I placed a pouch under my lip as directed and it eliminated any temptation to make a trip to the toilet for a top-secret stealth vape. Something I would never, ever do, or condone, of course. For someone who is a relatively heavy user of nicotine, that was quite the first impression.
ZYN has just released two new varieties, Spearmint and Espressino, which are available in strengths 1 and 2 respectively. With a positive first experience, I was intrigued to try them.
The Spearmint pouch has a light, sweet spearmint flavour, which is more akin to a gum, than a herbal mint. I found this to increase the tingle sensation provided by the nicotine and the flavour consistently lasts for 20 or so minutes per pouch. This is a strength 1 product, which translates to 1.5mg per pouch. When compared to the amount of nicotine I consume vaping, this does not appear to be a high dose at all but still, I find a strength 1 pouch to keep me satisfied for 20-30 minutes. This is likely due to a different delivery mechanism to the blood stream and I won’t pretend to be an expert on the subject. I see this as a good option for low to moderate nicotine users, or light smokers.
Espressino has a more saturated flavour in my view. It’s not a pure coffee flavour though, as there are notes of cream and a pleasant level of sweetness. I would compare it to the taste of a Frappuccino. This is a strength 2 product, which means 3mg of nicotine per pouch. I think this is the sweet spot for me. I found each pouch to keep me satisfied for 45 minutes to an hour, without the need for a vape. Again, I won’t pretend to understand the correlation in terms of nicotine dose, since I can easily go through 1.5-3ml of 3mg/ml e-liquid per hour when vaping.
I have no doubts that some people in the vaping community will have a problem with me enjoying ZYN, or merely writing about it. All the same, I think it has a very important place in the market, for nicotine users who are in situations where they cannot vape. Will ZYN replace vaping for me? No, but that’s not the point.
The next time I take a long train journey or flight, you can bet that I’ll be carrying some strength 2 ZYN with me and that’s simply not an option I had before. Smokers who want to quit, while avoiding inhalation will likely benefit from products like this one too. As vapers, we should welcome tobacco harm reduction in all its forms and I am interested to see where ZYN is in five years.