An image of an open nicotine pouch tub.

Ultimate Guide to Nicotine Pouches

Prized for its discreet and hassle-free design, the humble nicotine pouch has become a hugely popular choice for smokers and vapers in the UK who enjoy the advantage of being able to partake in any situation. Within the past couple of years, they have become a commonplace option that is available in most grocery stores and larger supermarkets. You may be curious as to what exactly nicotine pouches are, how they work and what makes them so popular and effective.

Nicotine pouches are stealthy and you can use them in places where you wouldn't be able to smoke or vape and enjoy a gradual release of nicotine into your system for up to an hour. If you are new to nicotine pouches and wish to experience the economical and effortless benefits join us as we navigate the simple steps and highlight important considerations when making your purchase.

1. How to Use Nicotine Pouches

Nicotine pouches are small white envelopes containing plant-based fibres wrapped, nicotine and flavourings. They were developed in the 2000s as a tobacco-free alternative to the popular Swedish snus tobacco pouch. Nic pouches are tobacco free, easy to use and above all discreet. They come in a variety of nicotine strengths and flavours offering a personalised touch that can be tailored to your needs.

Once placed between your upper lip and gum, nicotine is absorbed gradually for up to an hour. If you are new to nicotine pouches and wish to experience the economical and effortless benefits, you can learn how to use them with our quick and easy guide. Join us as we navigate the simple steps and highlight important considerations when making your purchase.

2. The advantages of nicotine pouches

Discreet:  Nicotine pouches are stealthy so you can use them in places where you wouldn't be able to smoke or vape like public transport, bars and offices. Even if you are not planning on quitting smoking or vaping, nicotine pouches are a lifesaver when travelling or when you are indoors for long periods. They can be used in airports and during your flight, and the next time you are at a concert or cinema, you can pop one in and enjoy your show without any niggling anxiety.

Tobacco and inhale free: With a simple switch, you can effectively remove tobacco from your life, as well as the need to inhale anything. Nicotine pouches are the solution for people with asthma or COPD as they remove the need for inhalation altogether.

Convenient: A lot of smokers are put off by the gadgetry and maintenance of vaping. Nicotine pouches are straightforward; no refilling, no coil changes and no device to keep charging. A tub of nicotine pouches is pocketable and can last for up to 2-3 days (depending on use).

Cheap: If you're a smoker, we don't need to tell you how punishingly expensive cigarettes are. Vaping, whilst a lot cheaper, is set to go up in 2026 with the new vaping tax that was announced by Jeremy Hunt in the 2024 Spring Budget. Nicotine pouches are up to 80% cheaper than smoking and 25% cheaper than vaping, savings that could potentially save you thousands of pounds each year.

Environmentally Friendly: Nicotine pouches are biodegradable and the plastic tins can be recycled at home, making them the most environmentally friendly nicotine alternative available.

3. How to Use Nicotine Pouches

Hands holding an open nicotine pouch tub
Nicotine pouch being placed under the top lip
          1. Remove a pouch from the tub.
          2. Place the pouch underneath your top lip, resting between your lip and your gum. You may feel a tingling sensation when the pouch begins to work.
          3. Keep the pouch in place for up to an hour, remove it when you feel that you have had enough.
          4. Do not chew or swallow your pouch. You can store your used pouches in the lid compartment.

          4. Do nicotine pouches come in different sizes?

          Nicotine pouches cater to many types of cravings and situations, offering various sizes depending on what you need. Some can be used for upwards of an hour but are more noticeable under the lip, whilst more discreet options offer a 30-minute quick hit and complete privacy. Most brands use the slim nicotine pouch size as it provides a good balance of subtlety and long-lasting satisfaction.

          Here is a breakdown of sizes and strengths:

          Nicotine Pouch Sizes

          Size Best for
          Large Home use or long journeys. Quite noticeable under the lip.
          Slim Great for everyday use, slightly noticeable.
          Super Slim Inconspicuous in most public situations.
          Mini Completely invisible, perfect for meetings or interviews.

          5. Choosing the right nicotine pouch strength

          Understanding nicotine strength is crucial to making a successful switch to nicotine pouches. Different strengths add an element of versatility that you can't find with tobacco, allowing you to cater to your individual needs or gradually lower your nicotine strength if you wish to wean yourself off altogether. It's always best to begin with a lower nicotine strength if you are not sure. Nicotine pouches can be used for upwards of an hour, so if your nicotine is too strong, you'll simply be wasting a pouch after 5 minutes. Social and light smokers should go for strengths of 6mg to 9mg whilst higher options of 20mg+ are ideal for seasoned users or anyone with very strong cravings.

          Here is a comparison to better help you understand how much nicotine you may need:

          Strength Best suited to
          <6mg Social smoker
          9mg Light smoker
          12mg 10 a day smoker
          18mg - 20mg Heavy, 20+ cigarettes a day smoker

          6. Choosing your nicotine pouch flavour

          One of the highlights of switching to nicotine pouches is the variety of flavours available, an element that adds a touch of personalisation to your experience that can be beneficial to making a successful switch. A wide selection of flavours is on offer with brands specialising in fruit, menthol and sweet and soda options to suit every taste. Fruit lovers will delight in berry combinations, sweet melon and delectable tropical fruit juice treats like pineapple or mango. Those with an exceptionally sweet tooth can indulge in soda and candy treats like bubblegum or cola. And if a blast of palate-cleansing refreshment is what you are after, then you will find more traditional mint and ice options that replicate the taste of ice mint chewing gum.


          7. Can you vape with nicotine pouches?

          Using a combination of alternative nicotine therapies can give you an added advantage when trying to stay off cigarettes. However, when first trying any nicotine replacement therapy, it is best to exercise caution by only using one at a time. The reason for this is that there is a period of adjustment in which you determine what nicotine strength is right for you. We recommend starting with a lower strength, using our nicotine strength guide, that correlates to your cigarette usage. You may feel the need to increase your nicotine pouch strength or top up with a vape.

          Nicotine pouches can be used to keep your cravings at bay over extended periods, especially when you're indoors. You may find that when you are in a more social outdoor environment, you feel the need to top up your nicotine supply, and in that case, a vape is an excellent choice. An electronic cigarette mimics the action and feel of smoking, adding a tactile element that can ease your transition away from smoking.

          8. What are the best nicotine pouches?

          As with e-liquids and vape kits, there are a host of top quality nicotine pouch brands available. Each brand will cater to different preferences based on nic pouch size, flavour and strength. Zyn pouches for example specialise in low to medium strength nicotine of 1.5mg to 12.5mg, an ideal starting point for beginners and light or casual smokers. Whereas brands like Pablo and Cuba offer strengths of up to 30mg per pouch that would be better suited to seasoned users and those with a heavy smoking habit. Other brands like Siberia and Nordic Spirit nicotine pouches have more menthol and mint based options whilst Elf Bar powered Tacja nicotine pouches specialise in fruit blends.

          That being said, as with vape juice, there are a lot of spurious nic pouch brands on the market and the easiest way to sift through the noise and zero in on premium brands is by visiting a reputable nicotine pouch vendor like Alternix. We stock the best brands, safety tested and made with the finest ingredients, whilst providing complete transparency on ingredients, strength and usage.

          5. Summary

          Nicotine pouches provide a quick and easy method to free yourself of your tobacco habit. They are a highly cost-effective and convenient way to satisfy nicotine cravings without having to invest time and money into devices and accessories. Consider what your nicotine requirements are and how much you smoke per day and, if in doubt, start low and work your way up. Think about where you'll likely be using your pouches. Some situations may call for more discretion than others, so choose the size that you think will suit you best.

          Once you've got the right fit, you'll be able to enjoy a slow-release oral nicotine experience with peace of mind knowing you are on your way to living a tobacco-free life.


          Disclaimer: The content presented on www.alternix.com is for informational purposes only and is centered around nicotine pouches and heated tobacco products—alternatives to traditional smoking methods. The information provided on this website, including blog posts and social media interactions, is not intended as medical advice, nor should it substitute for professional medical guidance or treatment.