Controversial distribution of nicotine pouches at the station

Controversial distribution of nicotine pouches at the station

In the town of La Chaux-de-Fonds, nicotine pouches were handed out for free at the train station, sparking concerns about their misleading resemblance to candy.

These “pouches”, from the Zyn brand, each contain eleven milligrams of nicotine and are legally distributed to adults in Switzerland.

However, legislation currently under discussion aims to prohibit this free practice.

According to the French Addiction Studies Group (GREA), although less harmful than cigarettes, these pouches still represent a health risk, and accidental ingestion by children or adults could require emergency care.

According to Philip Morris, producer of Zyn, nicotine pouches are substitute products. They are aimed at adults and smokers: "Like all our smoke-free products, they are intended for adult smokers who would otherwise continue to use cigarettes or adults who use nicotine products."

For Camille Robert (co-secretary general of the Groupement romand d'études des addictions (GREA)), nicotine-based products in reality reflect a change in strategy on the part of the tobacco industry, which is facing a decline of cigarette sales: “Philip Morris launched a major sustainability campaign because they understood that the cigarette market was a bit outdated and that today people were looking for smoke-free alternatives. So we are really dealing with a marketing campaign to recruit new customers, since people who smoke end up dying.”

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