Hero image How To Reduce Nicotine Intake Using Nicotine Pouches

How To Reduce Nicotine Intake Using Nicotine Pouches

So you've made the switch, you're tobacco-free and enjoying all the benefits that come with living a healthier lifestyle. At some point in your journey, you may decide that it's time to quit nicotine altogether. Or perhaps you are a smoker who doesn't want to go cold turkey and you're looking for the best method to gradually wean yourself off your nicotine cravings. In this article, we're going to show you how nicotine pouches can be an effective tool to help you slowly reduce your nicotine intake and even quit nicotine for good if you so wish. Let's dig in.

1. What is Nicotine and how does it affect the body?

Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical that is naturally present in tobacco plants. Within seconds of it entering your body, it causes a rush of feel-good endorphins that give you a sense of well-being and relaxation. nicotine also releases dopamine which is part of the brain's reward system making you feel pleasure every time you use it. These temporary good feelings can quickly create dependence in the brain, leading to cravings which can create feelings of irritation and anxiety, and once trapped in this dependence loop it can be very difficult to break free. This is why many smokers choose to switch to a nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine pouches, nicotine pearls or using heated tobacco instead of trying to quit 'cold turkey'.

Graphic showing the nicotine addiction loop.

2. What are Nicotine pouches?

Nicotine pouches contain organic silica granules wrapped in a cotton sleeve which are soaked in nicotine and flavourings. The pouch is placed in between the upper lip and gum where the nicotine gradually enters the bloodstream via the lining of the mouth. Cravings are satisfied within seconds and the pouch lasts between 30 minutes and an hour. You may have heard of a tobacco pouch called snus that is popular in Sweden, nicotine pouches copy the design of snus but contain no tobacco whatsoever.

The three main benefits of nicotine pouches are their ease of use, subtlety and low carbon footprint. There is no need to purchase any equipment or learn any new skills, and there is no maintenance. Once in place, these discreet pouches are virtually invisible, making them ideal for indoor use such as office environments and travel - nicotine pouches are lifesavers when it comes to long-haul flights as they can be used discreetly on a plane. You just buy a tub, discreetly place the pouch under your lip and get on with your day, and so long as you recycle the tub, nothing will end up in landfill.

Each tub of nicotine pouches contains approximately 20 pieces and once you are finished with the pouch, it can be placed in a special compartment at the top of the tub or thrown away with your food waste. The organic nature of nicotine pouches means they are fully biodegradable and the plastic tub can be recycled at home.

Photo of nicotine pouches

3. How Nicotine pouches can help

But how can nicotine pouches help you to quit nicotine? Well, they are available in a variety of strengths for you to choose from and you can use these options to gradually reduce your nicotine intake. Nicotine pouches start in extra strong varieties of 20mg+ with incrementally lower options down to 0-6mg.  Initially, you need to choose a strength that matches your smoking habit. For example, if you are a heavy smoker, you may wish to start with a high dose of 20mg which will keep your cravings at bay and help you make a successful switch.

The aim of gradually lowering your nicotine strength is to slowly reduce the intensity of your withdrawal and the strength of your cravings. The key idea is to make going cold turkey much easier. Quitting when your body is used to a high amount of nicotine is very challenging, so if you can get your body down to a much lower nicotine requirement e.g. 3mg, then you're cravings should be much less intense.

Bear in mind that when you begin it is best to start with a lower strength and you may find that you go up as you hone in on the nicotine level that matches your cravings. Once pouches have become your staple form of nicotine intake and you no longer smoke, you can think about lowering the strength.  So if you started on a 20mg strength, you can drop down to an 18.5mg pouch and use that until you are ready to go lower and so on.

4. Combining Nicotine pouches with other quitting strategies

You will stand a greater chance of success if you combine your quit attempt with other quit strategies and healthy lifestyle activities. If you find that you lack the motivation you could join a support group or combine your nicotine reduction with behavioural therapy. Exercise can also be a powerful tool to aid you in your attempt.

Physical exertion releases a rush of natural endorphins that can give you a boost when you need it most. Along with the natural high, Exercise can also provide a distraction from any cravings or anxiety that you may experience when you lower your nicotine strength. And it doesn't have to be high intensity either, any form of activity is useful. Going for a walk can help to clear your mind and even tidying up can give you a break from your thoughts and earn you a small win for the day.

Image of two people exercising in a gym

5. Strategies for reducing Nicotine intake using pouches

Set realistic goals

It is important to take things slowly. First off, make sure that you have well and truly quit smoking. You are replacing a dangerous habit with a much safer one and if you have only been using nicotine pouches for a few weeks or find that you still occasionally smoke, when you start to lower your pouch's nicotine strength there is a good chance that you are going to go back to smoking cigarettes.

You'll know that you are over tobacco when you get a craving and you reach for your nicotine pouch tub instead of thinking about smoking. This can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, but once you are confident that nicotine pouches have become a part of your routine you can begin to drop down in strength. Remember to pace yourself and set a realistic timeline, if you attempt to rush it and leap from 15mg to 6mg strength you may find that your withdrawal symptoms are too strong.

Monitor Your Progress

Adjusting your nicotine pouch strength over time is key to overcoming your nicotine addiction. Start by dropping down to the next lowest strength and then staying there until you know you're not going to go back up. Be kind to yourself by acknowledging your progress and taking things slowly, dropping down a rung only when you feel ready.

Taking The Final Leap

Once you reach the lower levels of nicotine strength, be that a 3mg or a 6mg strength, you can decide to quit altogether. By this point you will have weaned your body off a large amount of nicotine making the last hurdle a lot less daunting. Effort and determination are still required on your part as you will experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms, but at this point, they should be far more manageable.

Remember to lean on support and your positive daily routines and motivate yourself by tracking your progress. Every hour and every day is a win.

(15mg) Ensure A Successful Switch To Nicotine Pouches
(12.5mg) Gradually Lower Your Strength
(3mg) Take The Final Leap!

6. Conclusion

Nicotine pouches can be a powerful ally in the transition to a nicotine free lifestyle, offering a discreet, convenient, and environmentally friendly option for managing and eventually overcoming nicotine addiction. By starting with a strength that matches your current intake and gradually reducing it, you can ease the withdrawal symptoms and cravings that often derail quit attempts. Combining the use of nicotine pouches with other strategies such as Exercise, support groups, and behavioural therapy will enhance your chances of success.

Setting realistic goals, monitoring your progress, and being patient with yourself are key aspects of a successful quit plan. As you work towards reducing your nicotine intake, remember that every small step forward is progress. Ultimately, reaching the point where you can quit nicotine altogether may seem daunting, but with the right approach, support, and tools at your disposal, it is entirely achievable. Embrace the journey with optimism and determination, and celebrate each victory along the way.

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.