Vaping News

The Summer of the Pouch

With British music festivals asking attendees not to bring vapes, this has turned into a summer of tobacco-free pouches for music lovers

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Qualms about the environmental impact of disposable vapes has pushed music event organisers into asking festival attendees not to bring vapes along with them and have banned vendors from selling them. Consequently, smokers and ex-smokers have turned to tobacco-free nicotine pouches in their droves.

Japan Tobacco International (JTI) launched Nordic Spirit to the British market back in 2019. Developed in Sweden – where tobacco-free pouches are cited at driving Europe’s lowest level of smoking – the company announced: “The 100% tobacco-free pouches will offer existing adult smokers and vapers in the UK more choice by providing a convenient and discreet nicotine product that can be enjoyed in situations where smoking or vaping might not be possible.”

Stephane Berset, JTI UK Head of Marketing, told the media at launch that JTI expected the UK nicotine pouch to evolve and “show significant growth over the coming years”.

She added: “Consumer demand for alternative nicotine products is changing, driven by the growing number of occasions in which it’s not appropriate or possible to consume nicotine by smoking or vaping. Nordic Spirit offers more choice in providing consumers with a discreet nicotine product that can be enjoyed, anytime, anywhere.”

And nowhere have vapes become more unwelcome that the swathe of music festivals taking place across the nation this summer.

With a lack of convenient vapes, the market has been opened up to pouches that “contain a blend of plant-based fibres, nicotine, additives and flavourings commonly used in the food industry.”

JTI got ahead of the curve and signed up to a string of partnership deals before the season festival kicked off:

  • Creamfields North and South – “a dance music lover’s paradise bringing together the world’s biggest artists
  • Download Festival – “the ultimate destination for die-hard rock fans, held annually at the iconic Donnington Park
  • Parklife – “Expect the unexpected and join this unforgettable experience with surprises everywhere you turn
  • Isle of Wight – “A festival for all ages and music tastes
  • Kendal Calling – “four nights of live music, DJs and comedy
  • Wilderness – a “four-day boutique festival set amidst the lush surroundings of Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire
  • Boomtown – “Expect treasure-hunting, puzzle-solving, live-action role-plays and immersive theatre with a backdrop of the very best music
  • Bloodstock Open Air – “the most respected names in rock and heavy metal
  • Reading and Leeds Festival – “Straddling rock, grunge, indie, punk, metal and hip hop

Naturally, the success of 2023’s Product of the Year hasn’t been met with universal joy.

Action on Smoking and Health’s Hazel Cheeseman has commented: “It is unsurprising that this tobacco company are promoting their addictive nicotine pouches at music festivals with young and underage audiences.
“It is exactly what they used to be allowed to do with cigarettes. While nicotine pouches are certainly less harmful than smoking, they are still addictive products that should have an age of sale and rules around who they can be marketed to. Government should act to address this at the same time as they consider further regulations around vaping products
Given ASH’s recent pleading for media coverage to be more nuanced when it comes to vaping, it’s odd to see its spokesperson go full throttle on pouches aimed at adult smokers and vapers. Moreover, ASH’s own research doesn’t support the notion that teens are being targeted.

Photo Credit:

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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