Tuesday, 28 June 2016 14:26

US distribution of mystery product ZYN nt Tobacco-free Nicotine Pouches expands

Written by Larry Waters
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Swedish Match North America (SMNA) is dramatically expanding the availability of ZYN nt tobacco-free nicotine pouch products into the western United States.  Three questions come immediately to mind:  1) What the hell is ZYN, 2) If ZYN is tobacco-free but has nicotine, why is Swedish Match making it? and 3)  As a Swedish Match snus user, why should I be interested in ZYN nt?

Fortunately, I am now in position to answer those questions and more.....

ZYN nt Displays; 3mg nicotine and 6mg nicotine(updated 30 Jun 16)  My Monday Swedish Snus Ambassador Diplomatic Pouch contained a box from SMNA.  Inside were two attractive ZYN nt display boxes as pictured here.  One contained the six ZYN nt 3mg nicotine products; the other the six ZYN nt 6 mg nicotine products. 

As pictured in the left display box, I also received a large but stylish USB drive with "ZYN" carved into it. 

When I plugged the drive into my PC, it began glowing red which was a bit unsettling.  Fortunately, my anti-malware software quickly confirmed I had not been phished by anti-all-tobacco extremists pretending to be Swedish Match.  On the flash drive was everything I could want to know about ZYN nt...almost.

What is ZYN nt?

ZYN nt (the nt stands for "no tobacco") are a pouch product similar to Swedish snus in that the pouch goes under your upper lip, is very discreet, it's spitless, and contains nicotine.

Swedish Match launched ZYN nt in Colorado and Montana back in 2014.  Sales were strong enough to now expand distribution to the entire United States west of Texas.

Two strengths are available; 3mg which is said to be equivalent to a regular Swedish Match snus portion and 6mg which is designed as a strong snus equivalent.

In appearance, the ZNT pouches look like a dry white portion snus.  ZYN nt comes currently comes in six flavors, Coffee, Cinnamon, Cool Mint, Spearmint, Wintergreen, and Peppermint. 

I suppose Swedish Match could have created a tobacco flavored version except it probably would have confused the whole "tobacco-free" message.  If you want tobacco flavored reduced harm oral pouch products with nicotine over the counter in the US, just buy General Snus.

ZYN's non-woven pouches contain flavoring, non-tobacco filler, nicotine salts, and pH balancers (to enhance the nicotine experience).  The nicotine used is derived from tobacco leaves yet ZYN is tobacco free.  How is that possible?

The nicotine is essentially soaked out of the tobacco leaves in high pH water, then filtered to remove any other tobacco elements leaving pure nicotine salts.  Tobacco leaves may have been killed to make ZYN's nicotine, but there are no tobacco leaves in ZYN.

Each can contains 15 portions weighing roughly 0.4mg each.  The pouch weight may be reminiscent of mini portion snus but the pouches themselves are larger and don't feel like mini portions under the lip.  The filler quickly flattens out and molds itself to the gum making ZYN so discreet you can easily forget you have a pouch in, save for the flavor.

I hesitate to quantify the nicotine experience with ZYN.  Matt Campbell from SnusTV.com said he had to use two ZYN portions at once to really feel the nicotine.

My initial experience was different and possibly unique, especially with the 6mg nicotine products.  I felt the nicotine fairly quickly to the point of an uncomfortable tightness in my chest.  After receiving no similiar complaints from others, I started my ZYNnt testing over again today with very different results. 

As before, I've been alternating ZYN with various strengths and types of Swedish snus.  I felt no discomfort this time.  The 3mg portions held off nic cravings but I found myself cycling through pouches quicker than the 40 minutes to an hour intended use time.

The 6mg pouches were better but I found snus of similar strength more satisfying overall.  While the taste of ZYNnt is not bad at all, the sweetness and lack of tobacco flavor became too cloying for my liking eventually.

Moving on, ZYN nt cans are the same size as most of today's Swedish Match portion snuses.  I could not find a catch lid but can lids are child-resistant.  You have to line up a top and bottom arrow in order for the cans to open.

I wish I'd read that part of the documentation first as I almost broke a nail trying to get the lid off the first can of ZYN I tried.

ZYN nt can graphics top and bottomThe top lid is split between the product name/description and the insanely long fine-print disclaimer “This product contains nicotine, a substance known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. Nicotine is addictive. Physical effects include increased heart rate and raised blood pressure. Intended for use by adult tobacco users and not minors, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or persons with or at risk of heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes. Keep out of reach of children. Use as directed.”

Wow, and I thought the FDA smokeless tobacco warnings were extreme!  Actually three of the four FDA warnings are extremely inaccurate but at least they are succinct.  I suspect that ZYN being now sold in the People's Republic of California has a lot to do with the voluminous ZYN health disclaimer.

The flavorings themselves are tasty and on the sweet side.  I wish Swedish Match would apply the coffee and cinnamon recipes to traditional snus.  Mixed with the tobacco flavor, they would probably be quite good.

You will not get any tobacco flavor at all out of ZYN nt.  The flavor is more in line with nicotine gum except it's better and you don't have to chew it.

Why would Swedish Match market a tobacco-free nicotine product?

Before I even opened the package, my question was why?  Why would the largest Swedish snus manufacturer with a tobacco product history going back centuries make a non-tobacco product which could compete with snus?

In reading through the ZYN documentation on the USB drive, the positives for ZYN largely matched the positives of Swedish snus. 

Like snus, ZYN is spitless, discreet, convenient, and unlike other tobacco products except snus, easy to use in tobacco-free zones; especially airplanes (not that I am condoning that behavior....).  It took a little digging to ferret out other positives not shared with snus.

ZYN nt is not temperature sensitive; no need to refrigerate or even store at a cool, constant temperature.  Nicotine salts are also more stable than pharmaceutical or other types of liquid nicotine and not vulnerable to oxidation.  Unopened, each can will remain fresh for one year.  Once opened, Swedish Match recommends you finish the can within 30 days.

Since ZYN is officially tobacco free, unless someone comes up with a "No Nicotine" sign, you are free to use it anywhere and everywhere.

Maybe that's why Swedish Match created ZYN in the first place.  Unlike Sweden, snus was not a part of our cultural history. "Smokeless tobacco" has negative connotations in large parts of the US.  Most Americans still immediately think of chewing tobacco or dip with the spitting and mess; not snus. 

SMNA and American snus bloggers have been fighting this perception since 2007 and it's still an ongoing informational challenge.

With the current torrent of anti-all-tobacco hysteria over vapor and ecigs, offering a nicotine product without tobacco may seem like an easier sell to American nicotine addicts seeking a discreet way to support their addiction.

Based on the two state ZYN trial being a big enough success to warrant expanding the market to half the country, it certainly makes sense to Swedish Match.  Sales at Smoker Friendly stores alone would make ZYN worth pursuing, according to a SnusCIA source in Colorado.

Will I use ZYN nt personally?

This is the most important question of all, especially to me.

I'm a snuser.  I've been a Swedish snus user since 2007 when it finally allowed me to quit my life-long cigarette habit. 

I love Swedish snus and the taste of tobacco; either alone or with flavoring agents added.  I love how it satisfies my nicotine addiction with so little risk. 

ZYN is flavored nicotine in a food-quality base containing absolutely no tobacco or tobacco flavor.

I may pop a ZYN-nt occasionally before bed as I wind down.  I don't see myself mixing ZYN into my daily rotation of snuses or switching completely to ZYN.  Even if the nicotine experience was stronger, this is a product and a product category I really have no interest in.

That doesn't mean ZYN is a bad alternative to snus for smokers looking to quit or cut back on cigarettes.  ZYNnt may be a great alternative for vape fans in places where vaping is not allowed; especially if they prefer fruit or mint flavored nic juice.

If ZYN nt can help anyone struggling with nicotine addiction by providing a near-harmless nicotine alternative (yes, I read the warning label on the can), then I'm all for it.

ZYN or any other product from any manufacturer in that category, is just not for me.  I'm a Swedish Snus lover.  Swedish snus saved my life.  Snus is my tobacco and nicotine source of choice.  It always will be.

LARRY WATERS

At an Undisclosed Location
Reporting for SnusCENTRAL.org

 

Read 21906 times Last modified on Tuesday, 13 September 2016 16:36

12 comments

  • Comment Link RJ Tuesday, 25 July 2017 14:22 posted by RJ

    I have been using Zyn for about 7 months now & really like it, especially the coffee. One question I have though is about the wording 'tobacco leaf free'. I have contacted Zyn concerning any tobacco carcinogens that could still be present in the Zyn, even after filtering. They did not answer my question directly, but repeated the 'no tobacco leaf' statement. I asked them specifically about presence of nitrosamines(tobacco-specific carcinogens) with no answer. This tells me that they have not done any testing to verify. I like the product, but after a scare about a year ago my end goal is to be rid of nicotine as a habit all together. I have not used American chew since March of last year. Thanks for any input.


    TSNA's come from the tobacco leaf; not the nicotine. ZYN and other tobacco-free nicotine products should not have any measurable levels. Swedish snus has less TSNA's than 85% of all American smokeless tobacco and is for all intents and purposes harm-free. ZYN and the like are even more so but you do lose the taste of tobacco.

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  • Comment Link Jim Sunday, 25 June 2017 14:14 posted by Jim

    I tried Zyn at the Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw last week. The Swedish Match rep had samples. Very interesting product. They also had a citrus flavor I don't see in your article, which is good but so mild the nic overwhelms it.

    I wanted to point out that Zyn is a tobacco product in the U.S. According to the Tobacco Control Act, anything that contains nicotine derived from tobacco -- except pharmaceutical products approved by FDA for cessation or medical treatment -- is a tobacco product. Their deeming rule, introduced last year, defines vapor products as tobacco products for the same reason.

    The ZYN citrus is not available in the US. There are actually 15 ZYN flavors. I'm guessing they're going to monitor sales of the first 6 and replace any poor performers from the remaining 9. BTW, I did try a can of the ZYN Citrus 6mg and liked it...it reminded me of Country Time Lemonade. NOTE: FDA made some fundamental changes in how they will regulate nicotine in 7/2017. The deeming regulations do not necessarily apply anymore. Once I can sort out all the changes (like cutting the amount of nicotine in cigarettes in half), I'll do an article on it.

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  • Comment Link Shawni Korol Friday, 21 April 2017 16:12 posted by Shawni Korol

    I recently came across ZYN when there was a recall on Skoal Bandits, (my usual) and I they stopped selling them. I was forced to by ZYN. I am so happy I did. This product is much healthier and cleaner than the tobacco loaded Skoal Bandits. The only problem is that ZYN isn't readily available at all smoke shops and mini marts, and if I do find them, it's only in 3 of the 6 flavors. I buy the wintergreen 06 but would love to try the same in 03, but can't seem to find them anywhere! I would also love to try some other flavors. Reading the article on ZYN, the photo of the display with all 6 flavors in the large Z looks awesome, and with both 03 and 06 mg. Is there anyway to buy one of these? I love this product and would
    search high and low to find all the flavors!

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  • Comment Link L Waters Tuesday, 28 March 2017 00:38 posted by L Waters

    Try registering at http://www.zyn.com. They have a Contact Us link on the bottom menu.

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  • Comment Link david Friday, 24 March 2017 16:05 posted by david

    im looking at purchasing 20 cans of the wintergreen ZYN NT 06. Does anyone know where I can purchase this product at?

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  • Comment Link Larry Waters Thursday, 12 January 2017 22:34 posted by Larry Waters

    @Bruce ZYN nt is in mass distribution in the Western USA (states west of Texas). The coffee is great; I've asked Swedish Match to make a snus using the same flavoring.

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  • Comment Link Bruce Sunday, 08 January 2017 10:17 posted by Bruce

    A friend gave me a tin on Zyn coffee flavored. I love it and it is working better at handling my trigger moments and overall cravings better than Nicorette gum (which I find to be effective) or other things I've tried. Patches don't even stick I found them worthless. Please where in the US can I get it?

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  • Comment Link Mango Thursday, 01 December 2016 20:10 posted by Mango

    Just bought my first can 10 minutes ago. 06 cinnamon. Very impressed. I usually use a third or half a can of longcut. Pouches don't do anything really. Great flavor and experience so far. Might buy some more to stock up for the new tax here in California.

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  • Comment Link Larry Waters Monday, 26 September 2016 14:49 posted by Larry Waters

    @Brian Madsen No; Swedish Match distributes their products to consumers through retail stores in the US. If you are a retail store, you can contact them or your tobacco distributor to discuss carrying ZYN. If Wyoming is west of Texas, ZNT-nt should be available in your state.

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  • Comment Link Brian Madsen Sunday, 25 September 2016 18:39 posted by Brian Madsen

    Can I purchase through you the manufacturer I live in the state of Wyoming

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  • Comment Link Max Wax Friday, 02 September 2016 04:31 posted by Max Wax

    Until recently, my thoughts have always been:

    'I'll give you my Copenhagen pouches when you extract them from my rotting, decayed gums.'

    ​I always have admiration for the strategy and effort involved bringing a new product to market, so I figured okay, I'll give this a try. Unfortunately trying was how I felt while trying to open the innocent looking plastic can. Larry got off easy nearly breaking a nail, I managed to get cut underneath the nail of my index finger. With routine motion, while also applying direct pressure to my sacrificial finger, I glided 2x6mg pouches (they kinda look like the small preservative package found in vitamin bottles) comfortably onto my upper lip. Tick...tock...tick... I waited for the roaring anger of my nicotine addiction when not pacified properly.

    To my surprise.... ZYN really pacifies.

    Since most of the flavors are reminiscent of mouthwash and chewing gum, I had no other choice as I sheepishly asked the convenience store clerk for the coffee flavor. I hope there are plans in the works for flavors similar to Copenhagen pouches which is the beloved flavor of horse manure with slight notes of your breath the morning after smoking a cuban cigar.

    Its a 'cleaner' nicotine relief offered by these tiny white pleasure pouches.

    Just purchased my second ZYN can today and this time masterfully, after finding the answer listed in the ZYN website FAQs, removed the lid. I am debating the effort involved going ALL-IN-WITH-ZYN and leaving the co-dependent relationship with my Copenhagen pouches. Time will tell....tick...tock..tick

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  • Comment Link Brandon Wednesday, 24 August 2016 14:26 posted by Brandon

    I like the stuff. Quality control is out to lunch as the past 6 cans (three weeks) 4 have had open pouches inside that cover all the other pouches... Lame

    Also, wanting to let them know that seems impossible. I can't find a way to contact them at all.

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