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The Rise in Popularity of Nicotine Pouches and Legislation in Poland

Nicotine pouches are going popularity in Poland, we take a look to see why

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META: Explore why nicotine pouches are growing in popularity in Poland and learn more about the Polish legislation relating to this product category in this interesting article.


  1. Introduction to Nicotine Pouches in Poland
  2. Factors Contributing to the Popularity Surge of Nicotine Pouches in Poland
  3. The Current Legal Framework and Regulations
  4. Public Health Perspectives and Debate
  5. Future Outlook and Potential Changes

An Introduction to Nicotine Pouches in Poland

Nicotine pouches first appeared in Poland in 2020.  The pouches offer an alternative to cigarettes and vaping products.  A smokeless option for consumers, nicotine pouches do not contain tobacco but instead consist of a small pouch containing a cellulose matrix blended with nicotine and flavourings.  The pouch is used orally, placed inside the mouth, between the gums and cheek, or behind the upper lip area. Unlike traditional tobacco products, there is no combustion involved. Moreover, as the pouches do not contain tobacco, they are perceived by some as a better alternative to cigarettes especially for those seeking a substitute product to cigarettes or vape products. 

Factors Contributing to the Popularity Surge of Nicotine Pouches in Poland

In Poland, nicotine pouches have enjoyed significant popularity since their introduction four years ago thanks to sites like snuzzer.pl and pouchmafia.pl , carving out a niche in the Polish tobacco market. Euromonitor International forecasts the value of the nicotine pouches’ market will increase by as much as 96.8% by 2025.

Here are some reasons why the products have gained so much traction:

  • A Smokeless Option. They are a smokeless option, and legislation in Poland means that smokers cannot smoke or vape in public areas.  As nicotine pouches do not combust, smokers can use these products wherever they wish.
  • Tobacco-Free.  More and more consumers are choosing tobacco-free products over cigarettes and vapes.
  • Convenience. Puches are much more convenient and can be used indoors in public spaces.  They don’t emit smoke, or smell, and because they slip discreetly into the mouth, a user can enjoy them without imposing a smoking product on others.
  • Choice of Flavours. Nicotine pouches come in a range of flavours catering to  user preferences.
  • Perception of a “Healthier” Product. As the pouches do not contain tobacco, they are perceived as a “healthier” alternative to cigarettes/vapes.
  • Longer Lasting Effects.  The effects of nicotine pouches last from 1 to 2 hours, longer than smoking a single cigarette.
  • Cheaper than Cigarettes.  On average, nicotine pouches are cheaper than cigarettes in Poland.
  • Social Stigma Associated with Cigarettes. Nicotine pouches are proving to appeal to a broader demographic, especially to those who are looking for a nicotine-alternative without the social stigma associated with traditional cigarettes.

The Current Legal Framework and Regulations

Due to the continued popularity of nicotine pouches in Poland and the increasing demand, it is essential for regulatory bodies to better understand why the demand for nicotine pouches is growing, what the legal implications are and what the possible future developments for this market could be.

However, while nicotine pouches are widely available in Poland, they lack regulation and are not regulated by Polish Tobacco Law.  This has sparked debate concerning the implications of using these products on public health. There is some anticipation that regulations will follow, but currently, there is no information as to when. 

Less than a year ago in September 2023, tobacco manufacturers signed a voluntary market code/self-regulatory framework relating to supervision guidelines for nicotine pouches in Poland, agreeing standards for marketing, communication and health warnings.  The tobacco companies involved include:

  • BAT (British American Tobacco Trading Poland)
  • Imperial Tobacco Poland
  • PMI Poland Distribution
  • Swedish Match

The following recommendations are in the code:

  • Nicotine pouches should not be sold to under 18s.
  • Nicotine content must not exceed 20mg per pouch.
  • Warnings should be placed on packaging relating to ingredients, nicotine content, pouch weight, manufacture date, best before/expiry date, manufacturer details.
  • Warnings should be placed on packaging concerning addiction, along with an adults-only logo.

Additionally, the above tobacco manufacturers recommend that the pouch must not display any information that may mislead or deceive the consumer, should not encourage the consumer to purchase based on “healing, anti-aging, natural ingredients, health properties or similar.”  Other recommendations include that nicotine pouches must not be marketed as similar to food products or cosmetics, encourage young people to purchase (using campaigns in comic books, cartoons, in confectionery products, toys and similar).  Neither should nicotine pouches be marketed as environmentally-friendly or medicinal.

Public Health Perspectives and Debates

There has always been debate surrounding tobacco and nicotine products within public health circles in Poland.  On one hand, some believe that nicotine pouches may well have a place as a product suitable for smoking cessation efforts.  Some perceive the pouches as a less harmful alternative to smoking, potentially reducing the burden of tobacco-related illness, especially as these pouches do not contain tobacco.  However, rather like vape products, the long-term effects of using nicotine pouches are still widely unknown.  Of course, sceptics are concerned about the potential rise in use of nicotine pouches amongst younger people and non-smokers.  There are many questions relating to potential addiction, and the renormalisation of nicotine use.  All of the above only bolster the need for deeper research into nicotine pouches and new product legislation.

It is worth mentioning that the Polish Anti-Tobacco Act of (of 9th November 1995) defines tobacco products as those consisting of tobacco (or partly of tobacco).  Nicotine pouches do not contain tobacco – therefore do not come under the Tobacco Laws.  There is some argument that the act should cover nicotine products (without tobacco) as there is confusion over classification of nicotine pouches. 

Future Outlook and Potential Changes

Nicotine pouches show no signs of slowing growth in Poland but thanks to consumer group pressures and anti-tobacco campaigners, the largest tobacco companies have already prepared their own legislative framework to restrict the use of nicotine pouches in non-smokers and amongst the younger generation.  There is also growing awareness of the risks associated with vaping, this is beginning to filter through to the use of nicotine pouches but as there may be some advantages for using nicotine pouches for smoking cessation, it is becoming more apparent that this sector of the tobacco industry must be regulated, with laws put into place to shape the future of the market.  There needs to be a balance between public health and accessibility necessitating collaboration between the government, public health experts and tobacco industry leaders.

To conclude, doubtless the increase in popularity of nicotine patches in Poland displays the shift in attitudes towards tobacco consumption.  There may well be some benefits associated with the use of nicotine patches, potentially for smoking cessation as an example but the long-term health implications are still unknown. Robust regulatory frameworks and more extensive studies will become necessary in assessing both the benefits and the risks of nicotine pouches.

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