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Health officials note ‘troubling’ trend in nicotine pouch use

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Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 9:51 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Health officials are noting a “troubling” trend Wednesday in the uptick of nicotine pouch use and are concerned for young people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said these patches have grown in popularity over the past five years. Sales have gone up from around 163,000 units sold in 2016 to more than 45 million units sold in the first six months of 2020.

Nicotine pouches are small packets that people can place between their lip and their gums, allowing users to absorb nicotine. Fruit flavored pouches outsold all other types in the first six months of 2020.

Public Health Madison and Dane County Prevention Program Coordinator Myranda Phelps-McGuire said the group has a lot of work in front of them.

“Just when we were making progress, along come these new flavored and highly addictive products that are even easier for kids to hide,” said Myranda Phelps-McGuire.

She also said the agency is worried about the effects nicotine pouches could have as teens head back to school in a few weeks.

“We’re seeing them pop up in more stores, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see kids sneaking them into school this fall – especially since they come in flavors like mango, cinnamon, lollipop, and citrus burst,” said Phelps-McGuire.

Dane County Alliance Against Commercial Tobacco encouraged residents to go online to see what these products look like and visit their website to learn more about getting involved in community prevention efforts.

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