Emerging Tobacco and Nicotine Products
What are emerging tobacco products?
The tobacco product marketplace is ever-evolving with new products that deliver nicotine in a variety of ways. Emerging tobacco products are smokeless, and some contain tobacco, and others do not contain tobacco but still contain nicotine or synthetic nicotine, which is addictive. These products are attractive to children and teens with their colorful packaging and pleasing flavors.
Why should I know about emerging products?
These products do not produce clouds of smoke or require spitting, but they are easy to conceal, dissolve under the tongue, or are chewed. A few of these products are e-cigarettes like JUUL, heat-not-burn products like IQOS, pouches like Zyn, lozenges like Nicorette, and chewing gum like Lucy.
Are non-tobacco products safer than smoking cigarettes?
No. Non-tobacco products are not a safe alternative for smoking cigarettes. These products can lead to a lifetime addiction to nicotine and may cause cancer, lung issues, or other lasting health problems. Also, the range of risks from smokeless tobacco products may vary extensively because of differing nicotine levels, carcinogens, and other toxins.
Knowledge is powerful.
Teenagers know that parents and teachers know how to detect vaping, so they find other ways to get their nicotine fix. Learn how to spot these emerging products, know what they contain, and seek help helping your child or teen break free from these products.
If your child or teen uses any of these products, they may be experimenting or addicted. Either way, help is available. It may be challenging to determine if they are experimenting or addicted, so visit Helping Your Teen Quit.
E-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product among youth since 2014.
E-cigarettes are sometimes called electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), e-cigs, vapes, vaporizers, mods, vape pens, tank system, and e-hookahs.
Some e-cigarettes look like regular cigarettes, cigars, pipes, USB flash drives, pens, highlighters, candy dispensers, and other everyday items.
Young people believe that vaping is safer than smoking tobacco products. The reality is Safer Safe.
It’s not just VAPE
E-cigarettes release an AEROSOL comprised of toxic chemicals, including heavy metals and carcinogens (poisons). The term “vape” suggests water vapor– that is entirely incorrect.
A Nicole in your pocket is great! Breathing this heavy metal can trash your lungs and cause cancer. We freak out when we find lead in children’s toys, so why would we want to inhale this cancer-causing substance? This toxic chemical affects pretty much every organ in the human body, not in a good way. For a comprehensive list of chemicals found in e-cigarettes, visit the American Lung Association web page.
Nicotine and Flavors
Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine—the addictive drug in regular cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products. Some e-cigarettes contain 59 mg of nicotine, equivalent to a pack of 20 cigarettes. The use of benzoic acid in e-cigarettes makes nicotine tolerable.
Flavors come in either 20mg or 50mg nicotine strengths, and flavors include strawberry, pineapple lemonade, cool mint, and watermelon. A no-flavor option is also available.
Kids and young people that would have never touched a cigarette are now smoking the nicotine equivalency of 1 pack of cigarettes every time they vape a pod. We have heard reports of kids vaping 2-3 pods a day, equivalent to 40-60 cigarettes a day.
The Food and Drug Administration has banned most flavored e-cigarettes
There is a policy loophole. An exemption in the policy allows vape shops to continue selling menthol and tobacco flavors in non-refillable devices.
Teenagers have caught on fast.
The holes in the flavor ban opened the door to an array of competing brands that produce disposables. The pre-charged, pre-filled devices are made by domestic companies and imported from China.
While there is a ban on all flavors, excluding tobacco and menthol, of certain pods at the federal level, in TN, vape shops can still sell flavors. There is not a ban on the refillable, tank e-juice, or disposable flavors.
A bill signed into law in 1970 banned all tobacco advertisements. However, with these new emerging products, young people are inundated with the marketing of these products through social media influencers, billboards, radio commercials, and their peers.
With advertising enticing young people, magical flavors to keep them coming back, and nicotine to addict them, teens need to know the risks and facts. For more information on e-cigarettes, visit is vaping safe.
Oral nicotine products come in many flavors, have different nicotine strengths, are affordable for consumers, and are quickly gaining popularity and raising public health concerns. The popular oral nicotine products are frequently marketed as tobacco-free alternatives. The products are still derived from tobacco and contain nicotine, which is harmful to young people in any form.
Some types of oral nicotine products use synthetic nicotine that isn’t derived from tobacco leaf, raising additional concerns about misleading consumers who may assume that nicotine that doesn’t come from tobacco is somehow safer than tobacco-derived nicotine. The use of flavoring in tobacco products has been proven to appeal to youth, and sales data show that nicotine pouches are increasing in popularity.
A nicotine pouch is a small bag containing nicotine (in most products) and other ingredients. Tobacco companies market nicotine pouches as a safer alternative to smoking. Is Safer really Safe?
The user places the nicotine pouches below their upper lip against the gums, and the smokeless tobacco pouch does not produce saliva, making it spit-less. The user does not need to chew on the pouch. These pouches are easy to conceal, and they can last up to 20 minutes.
They do not contain leaf tobacco, but these products are still derived from tobacco and have nicotine. Due to the absence of the tobacco leaf, the Food and Drug Administration does not classify it as a smokeless tobacco product.
The use of nicotine pouches can lead to nicotine addiction and disease of the mouth, and they could cause cancer of the mouth, esophagus, and pancreas. Using smokeless products can cause serious health problems.
According to nationally representative data published in the National Center of Biotechnology Information, non-tobacco-using youth who try smokeless tobacco are more willing to try cigarettes and e-cigarettes one year later.
Lozenges and Nicotine Lozenges
Lozenges (throat) is a small, typically medicated tablet intended to be dissolved slowly in the mouth to temporarily stop coughs, lubricate, and soothe irritated tissues of the throat. They look like candy and come in a variety of flavors.
Nicotine lozenges work by providing nicotine to your body to decrease the withdrawal symptoms experienced when smoking is stopped and reduce the urge to smoke.
They dissolve slowly in the mouth means they are more easily concealed because the user does not have to spit or dispose of any leftover portion of the product after use.
Because they are used orally and involve swallowing tobacco juice, there is increased concern about the possibility of oral, esophageal, and stomach cancers arising among long-term users.
Nicotine Gum is an oral nicotine product with a soft, gum-like texture and a crispy outer coating. It comes in various flavors and can be used anywhere to provide a clean boost of nicotine. Nicotine Gum is intended for adult use only but is growing in popularity with young people.
Some nicotine gum has 4 MG of nicotine-still addictive and provides a high nicotine level to the developing brain. Nicotine use during adolescence can disrupt the formation of brain circuits that control attention, learning, and susceptibility to addiction. Research has shown that early smoking and pleasurable initial experiences correlate with daily use and lifetime nicotine dependence.
A new wave of synthetic nicotine products is emerging on the market, raising regulatory questions and health concerns as youth vaping continues at epidemic levels. Synthetic nicotine is not new, but more tobacco companies are starting to use it to market tobacco-free or non-tobacco nicotine.
Synthetic nicotine comes in a variety of flavors that are proven to attract youth. The new products bosting synthetic nicotine have not been through the FDA's required regulatory review and approval processes.
While it is too early to know whether synthetic nicotine's health effects are different from tobacco-derived nicotine, we understand that these products threaten to addict more young people.
Key Messages to remember: The tobacco industry markets these products as less dangerous than smoking; however, they are still harmful to youth. Nicotine leads to addiction, whether tobacco leaf derived, or synthetic and it's detrimental to the developing brain.
Also, the tobacco industry is marketing these products to a group that would NEVER have picked up combustible cigarettes!
Heat-Not-Burn tobacco products are also called non-combusted cigarettes and heated tobacco products.
Heat-not-burn tobacco products heat tobacco and produce an inhalable aerosol, instead of burning tobacco like traditional cigarettes. Heat-not-burn products use real tobacco, not the flavored liquid nicotine typically found in e-cigarettes. "Heatsticks," which look like mini cigarettes, are inserted inside, and they are heated but not ignited like a traditional cigarette.
The Food and Drug Administration recently authorized this product for sale in the United States. While this action permits the product to be sold, it does not mean these products are safe or "FDA approved" — there are no safe tobacco products.
These are very pricey products, so hopefully, they are not on young people's radar.
Concept flavors are vague non-characterizing descriptions on the packaging that do not expressly identify a flavor, such as "Marigold" (formerly "Icy Mango"), "Arctic" ("Mint Freeze"), and "Solar" ("Berry Blast"), even though they are flavored. Concept-flavored products are often more heavily flavored than explicitly flavored tobacco products. A study of 16 tobacco products purchased in New Your City in concept flavors such as “Mellow,” “Blue Mixx,” “Pink,” “Robust,” and “Frost” found 14 of the products had flavor chemical levels that were higher than products with characterizing flavors.
The use of concept flavors aligns with historical tactics of modifying product characteristics, labeling, or packaging to maintain sales and subvert flavor restrictions designed to deter youth use.
Concept flavors pose a challenge for the enforcement of flavored tobacco restrictions. They can make it difficult for enforcement agencies to determine whether a tobacco product meets the legal definition of a flavored tobacco product.
Since these products can be used without detection at school and other places, young people may find these products appealing. The tobacco industry targets youth with colorful packaging and appealing flavors.
Take time to talk to your children about the very real dangers of tobacco use and nicotine addiction. Educate your children on the facts about using tobacco products and share the benefits of living a smoke-free life. If your child is using nicotine products encourage them to quit. Click here for more information on helping your teen quit.
1. CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Quick Facts on the Risks of E-Cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/Quick-Facts-on-the-Risks-of-E-cigarettes-for-Kids-Teens-and-Young-Adults.html#flavors-marketing-appealing-to-youth. 9.22.2021
2. Truth Initiative. Oral nicotine products entice customers with ‘tobacco free’ claims, falsely implying lower risk. https://truthinitiative.org/research-resources/tobacco-industry-marketing/oral-nicotine-products-entice-customers-tobacco-free. 9.22.2021
3. Truth Initiative. What you need to know about new synthetic nicotine produces. https://truthinitiative.org/research-resources/harmful-effects-tobacco/what-you-need-know-about-new-synthetic-nicotine-products. 9.22.2021
4. Truth Initiative. Industry Finding Loopholes: Concept Flavors. https://truthinitiative.org/research-resources/emerging-tobacco-products/flavored-tobacco-use-among-youth-and-young-adults. 9.22.2021