In recent years, there has been a significant decline in the number of teenagers smoking traditional cigarettes. However, that doesn’t mean teenagers no longer smoke nicotine. In fact, a staggering number of teenagers have been found to use nicotine pouches. As a concerned parent, you want your kids to live healthy, non-addicted childhoods. But with product placement, enticing flavors, and regulation loopholes, it’s easy for teens to obtain nicotine pouches, such as ZYNs or Nordic Spirit.
Here, we’ll go over the dangers of teenage nicotine addiction, how many teens are estimated to be addicted, and whether nicotine pouches can show up in drug tests.
Teenage Nicotine Addiction Dangers
Nicotine pouches are microfiber pouches that contain flavored nicotine powder. They can dissolve in the mouth without the user needing to spit, making it a flavorful, discreet drug product.
Many nicotine pouch companies cater to the youth, making their products enticing to teenagers. While their brains are still developing, they become quickly addicted to nicotine, which is a substance that acts as a stimulant. It effectively speeds up the messaging between the brain and the body. It is psychoactive, which means it affects the brain. When that brain is still developing, you can run into some risks.
Nicotine pouches, specifically, can transfer the nicotine through the gums, which allows the substance to enter the blood-brain barrier faster. This is a potent drug with a variety of side effects, including:
- Gum Irritation
- Sore Mouth
- Teeth Discoloration
- Headaches & Dizziness
- Blood Flow Changes
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Shortness of Breath
- Disturbed Sleep
- Oral Cancer
Being a teenager is hard enough. Adding unnecessary medical problems is never a good idea. And with their bodies still developing, these side effects are exacerbated.
How Many Teens Are Addicted to Nicotine?
The current data shows that about 0.5 percent of middle schoolers and 1.4 percent of high schoolers report using nicotine pouches. Of course, that is the data from the willing participants of surveys; the actual number could be much higher. This is due to fear of “getting caught.”
One out of every six teenagers reported using a tobacco product of some kind, which is a whopping 16.5 percent. And with nicotine pouch popularity on the rise, it would make sense that they command a hefty amount of that percentage.
On top of this, those who use oral nicotine pouches seem also to smoke or vape. Seventy-three percent of pouch users also smoke, while about half of pouch users vape. This creates a compound effect of the dangers.
Nicotine Drug Testing Is Possible & Available
So how can you tell if your teenage child is using nicotine pouches? Children can be very crafty when it comes to hiding things from their concerned parents. Luckily, drug testing is available for nicotine usage.
Urine or saliva samples can offer insight into potential nicotine or tobacco use. Because the pouches sit in the mouth and dissolve, medical tests that use fluids from the mouth are really effective at detecting nicotine presence.
Racoo Screening offers oral fluid and saliva drug screenings for legally defensible individual testing. If you’re suspicious of a minor in your care using drugs without permission, you are well within your rights to screen-test them for drug use.
Nicotine pouch use is dangerous and tough to prove. But there are ways to ensure your child is safe and drug-free. See how Racoo Screening can help.