The dangers of ZYN

The dangers of ZYN

Fitz Diefenbach, Staff Writer

In the past couple of years, a new alternative to chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes has become increasingly popular, especially among teenagers. The Swedish company is called ZYN and its product is classified as an “oral nicotine pouch.” Similar to how e-cigarettes once were, users can pick and choose from a variety of different flavors.  ZYN provides eight different flavors including coffee, cool mint, and citrus. In 2020 the FDA banned the sale of flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes — other than menthol and tobacco flavor, over concerns that teenagers were attracted to the fruity flavors. However, they did not ban the use of flavored nicotine pouches.

Social Media apps like TikTok have seemingly glorified the product.  Social media influencer “Freezertarps” has a following of 417.8K followers and has grossed over 17.8 million likes amongst all his videos.  His top video, with 2.5 million views, is him spewing out nicknames for the brand. Things like “Zyndey Crosby and Zynabons” are amongst some of the puns he spreads to his viewers in hopes of getting a laugh. According to one in four TikTok users are below the age of 20. This means influencers like “Freezertarps” are promoting ZYN to adolescents that aren’t old enough to even buy the product. 

According to Dr.Adnan Hyder, a professor of global health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, “when you have companies that make e-cigarette flavors such as cotton candy and gummy bear, there is no other motive there except to get young children hooked on the products.” 

With the ban on flavored e-cigarettes, many teenagers have turned to flavored nicotine pouches. According to, “a survey conducted in the fall of 2020 found that nicotine pouches were used by 13% of 15-24-year-olds in the past 30 days and that an increasing number of young people are reporting use of oral nicotine products.”

Not only is this the same problem that occurred with flavored e-cigarettes, it’s becoming increasingly worse. Because ZYN is advertised as a “tobacco-free” nicotine pouch, it has misled teenagers to believe it is practically completely safe and “cancer free.” However, this is simply not the case.  Even without tobacco, the presence of large amounts of nicotine poses a great health risk to its users and even more so to teenagers. It seems as if the brand has managed to find a loophole in the FDA’s classification of smoking cessation products (quitting aids) and indirectly marketed itself as such, which has furthered its grasp on young adults. 

The CDC states that “nicotine is highly addictive and can harm the developing adolescent brain.”  We know that the brain isn’t fully developed until around age 25 which means the physical damage to teenagers is significantly worse.  Some of the problems that can occur include difficulty with learning, anxiety, attention, addiction, and more. If those aren’t good enough reasons to not use nicotine, some of the scariest issues down the road are: “increase in blood pressure, heart rate, the flow of blood to the heart and a narrowing of the arteries. Nicotine may also contribute to the hardening of the arterial walls, which in turn, may lead to a heart attack.” (

Humanity once allowed an entire generation to believe smoking cigarettes were safe and another that vaping was ok. Hopefully, the FDA will recognize the same problem they dealt with before is returning in a new form and ban flavored nicotine pouches for the sake of another generation’s future health.