Person holding nicotine pouch with pack of pouches in the background.


Nicotine pouches have been around for many years acting as a vape alternative to traditional Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), to help smokers quit cigarettes. Although not entirely new, these nicotine products have continued to rise in popularity for those looking to stamp out smoking or those who currently use nicotine, especially with leading vape manufacturers working alongside nicotine pouch brands such as Tacja powered by Elf Bar.

As you begin to notice Nicotine Pouches more, you may have many questions such as what they are, how they work, comparing them to vaping, or most importantly if they're effective and safe. In this guide, we break down nicotine pouches to the basics to create a greater understanding of the product whilst providing answers to any questions you may have.

Whether you currently smoke cigarettes, vape, or you're an ex-smoker struggling to remain smoke-free, we cover everything you need to know about nicotine pouches including their benefits, limitations, safety, and usage so you can make your own decision.

Summary: Nicotine pouches may help smokers quit traditional tobacco by offering nicotine discreetly without vapour or smoke. Although vaping is backed as a much safer alternative to smoking and used within smoking cessation by the NHS, pouches are not yet studied enough to provide adequate data on their effectiveness. With many advantages highlighted, pouches do have drawbacks with few side effects to be considered. Either way the effectiveness will depend on your preferences and requirements.

Woman placing a nicotine pouch between her upper lip and gum.

What are nicotine pouches?

Nicotine pouches are small bags containing nicotine, water, flavouring, and sweeteners alongside plant-based fibers in a powder form. This tobacco-free product offers a discreet alternative to other NRT available such as patches, gum, sprays, and vaping. Based on the initial Swedish invention of Snus, nicotine pouches available today contain nicotine synthetically or from the tobacco plant without containing tobacco. Available in a wide variety of flavours and strengths, pouches have a taste and nicotine hit for any preference.

How to use nicotine pouches

Nicotine pouches are simple to use when you get a craving for nicotine. To use, take a pouch out of the box and roll it between your fingers to soften the contents inside. Once loosened, insert the pouch between your upper lip and gum just to the side of your front teeth whilst ensuring it is placed as high as possible and not sitting on your teeth.

Once in place, nicotine will begin to be released into the gum which will create a tingling or hot sensation to begin with which will decrease in severity over time.

Woman taking a nicotine pouch out of a tub.

How long do nicotine pouches last?

Nicotine pouches generally come in a tin, plastic, or cardboard tub containing 20 pouches in your chosen strength and flavour. Depending on the brand chosen, nicotine pouches generally last around 30 minutes before they reduce and stop delivering nicotine to the body. Once you have used a nicotine pouch simply dispose of it, some packaging offers a lid compartment to place used pouches if you're on the go and not near a bin.

A pack of nicotine pouches can last anywhere from a couple days to a couple of weeks depending on how many you consume daily, however, we advise only using pouches when you have the urge for nicotine, we also do not recommend using multiple pouches at the same time.

Do nicotine pouches contain tobacco?

Unlike previous creations of pouches such as Snus, nicotine pouches available at Royal Flush Vape do not contain tobacco; they are made from either synthetic nicotine or directly gathered from the tobacco plant the same way it is done for e-liquids containing nicotine or nic salts.

"Oral tobacco products are regulated and it is illegal to sell some products, such as Snus, in the UK" - ASH 2022. For this reason, you'll find that the vast majority of pouches in the UK do not contain tobacco but it's important to check what you're purchasing to be sure. As an advocate for smoke and tobacco-free alternatives to smoking, we do not stock any tobacco-containing products at Royal Flush Vape.

Person holding a pouch in one hand and a tub of pouches in their other hand.

Are nicotine pouches for me?

Nicotine pouches differ from other nicotine products such as vaping, patches, gum, or tablets whilst having both their advantages and limitations. Although it generally comes down to preference, there are unique differences that can make the decision quite confusing to begin with. Below we highlight the pros and cons of pouches to help you make your own informed decision on whether nicotine pouches are for you or not.

Advantages of nicotine pouches

Discreet: Nicotine pouches offer a discreet alternative to smoking or vaping which are ideal in many situations where other products may not be viable. Thanks to being smoke-free, pouches are great when looking to satisfy nicotine cravings in enclosed public places such as public transport and venues where vaping is prohibited.

Convenience: Nicotine pouches are very convenient for on-the-go use whilst being great for those looking for an easy-to-use smoking alternative. With no need for batteries, coils, liquids, or settings, pouches are a simple solution that cravings without worry.

Tobacco Free: Like e-cigarettes, nicotine pouches are tobacco-free to offer a safer alternative to the chemicals found within traditional tobacco. Although vaping is highlighted as 95% safer than smoking by PHE, there is no direct research that relates to nicotine pouches with the popularity of them being relatively new.

Limitations of nicotine pouches

Flavours: Although nicotine pouches are available in varying flavours, when compared to e-liquids there is a significant gap in choice. If you're looking for unique flavours or those available in e-liquids or disposable vapes, you may not find the same taste you're used to when it comes to pouches.

Nic Strengths: Available in numerous nicotine strengths, pouches do offer variation to select between, however, the range of strengths is lacking when compared to e-liquids which have many forms including freebase and nic salt e-liquids. You may struggle to find the perfect balance with pouches when compared to vaping.

Mimic the act of smoking: Although supplying nicotine to the body, pouches do not offer the same habitual process as vaping which closely mimics the act of smoking cigarettes. For this reason, many may find it more difficult to quit cigarettes or remain smoke-free if they rely on the habit in addition to the core nicotine addiction.

Evidence studies: Although studies have been carried out on nicotine pouches, there is currently not as much evidence on the safety of pouches as with e-cigarettes which are highlighted to be 95% safer than smoking by PHE with the NHS advising that those who use e-cigarettes to quit smoking can be twice as likely to succeed.

On the other hand, the NHS states that "tobacco-free nicotine pouches are fairly new in the UK and currently are not recommended as a stop smoking aid, due to lack of research on how safe or effective they are for stopping smoking".

White and black tubs of nicotine pouches on a table with pouches taken out.

Are nicotine pouches safe?

You may already know that vaping has been highlighted to be 95% safer than smoking cigarettes, but what about nicotine pouches? Whilst nicotine pouches were not directly designed to quit smoking, they have widely become popular for those looking to replace cigarettes with a healthier alternative.

Healthline points out that unlike traditional tobacco such as cigarettes, cigars, or chewing tobacco, nicotine pouches do not contain tobacco leaves. This is rather significant when comparing the amount of harmful chemicals associated with tobacco combustion which also include tar and carcinogenic compounds.

Although it may seem clear that nicotine pouches are much safer than smoking cigarettes, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) highlights that nicotine pouches "are not captured and by regulation of either tobacco or e-cigarettes and as such are only regulated under general consumer product safety regulations".

The National Health Service (NHS) does briefly discuss pouches as a stop-smoking aid stating "they may help some people with nicotine withdrawal symptoms", however, they cannot currently recommend them as a stop-smoking aid due to lack of research on their effectiveness and safety.

Overall it is most likely believed that nicotine pouches pose much less harm than traditional cigarettes with evidence pointing to help nicotine withdrawal without harmful chemicals found in traditional tobacco. If you are going to use nicotine pouches, we advise starting with a lower nicotine strength to begin with as a starting point and reviewing how they work for you.

Side effects of nicotine pouches

Although nicotine pouches do not contain tobacco, they may cause side effects, especially if used incorrectly or if you use a nicotine strength that is too strong. If you ingest more nicotine than your body is used to then you could increase your chances of negative side effects. We always advise starting with a lower nicotine strength and working from there to judge what best works for yourself to avoid any potential negative impacts highlighted below.

Upset stomach: Consuming increased amounts of nicotine, alongside excess saliva created from a pouch can lead to stomach or nausea in some cases.

Mouth irritation: Some users may experience mouth or gum irritation, especially if they are already sensitive to nicotine or any individual ingredients within a pouch.

Hiccups: Excessive nicotine consumption may lead to hiccups or nausea which may be caused by irritation in some circumstances, therefore it's important to start with a lower strength.

Why do nicotine pouches burn?

When you first use pouches you may be concerned about a burning or tingling sensation on your gum, however, this is a usual feeling and is no direct cause for concern. This sensation is created when nicotine reacts with the gum as it's being absorbed. If you do find the sensation too strong, it may be worth trying a lower nicotine strength or flavour.

Two disposable vape devices on a table next to an open tub of nicotine pouches.

Nicotine pouches vs vaping

When looking at nicotine pouches and vaping there are many similarities and differences which can seem overwhelming at first. In this section, we look into both vaping and pouches as an alternative to smoking to address the core fundamentals of both so you to gain a greater understanding of these products to make an informed decision.

The biggest difference between vaping and nicotine pouches is the habitual process. Unlike pouches, vaping offers a process similar to that of smoking a cigarette, especially with many starter vape kits having a pen shaped style. Although both products provide nicotine, it could be argued that pouches do not replicate the same process as vaping which could be harder for those looking to quit smoking effectively. 

In addition, vaping has been studied much further from leading organisations such as the NHS and PHE with both pointing towards vaping being 95% safer than smoking cigarettes. Unfortunately, pouches have only recently gained popularity with evidence based research lacking in regard to the effectiveness of nicotine patches as a replacement to traditional tobacco. 

Either way, it's clear that neither e-liquids or nicotine pouches contain tobacco or other harmful chemicals found in traditional tobacco. With this in mind, both products remove the harmful effects found with smoking and could be argued that either offers a safer alternative to cigarettes. 

Are nicotine pouches better than vaping?

For the most part, the choice between vaping and nicotine pouches comes down to preference. With that said, vaping has been around for much longer with much further evidence pointing towards its effectiveness as a tobacco alternative with the NHS now advising e-cigarettes through their NRT services.

The NHS highlights that those who use e-cigarettes can be twice as likely to succeed in quitting smoking than those who use other nicotine replacement products such as patches or gum. Although nicotine pouches may be ideal for smoking cessation, there is currently not enough evidence to support their effectiveness in full.

With no definitive answer to nicotine pouches being any better than vaping, we would revert to the advice that the answer is subjective to your own preferences. You may find that vaping works best, although pouches may also be a great way to suppress nicotine cravings without the harmful chemicals found in traditional tobacco.

Can you vape with nicotine pouches?

The National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT) and the University of Oxford highlight that a combination of NRT greatly increases the chance of quitting tobacco than using a single product on its own.

With this in mind, using both e-cigarettes and pouches may be a viable way to satisfy nicotine cravings, especially if you're struggling to remain smoke-free. However, with this said, we would advise against vaping with a nicotine pouch in your mouth at the same time as this may lead to excessive nicotine and could be a potential choking hazard.

Empty tub with nicotine pouches scattered on a table with person holding a pouch close to the camera.

Selecting the best nicotine pouches

Like other NRT products, nicotine pouches are available in many forms including flavour, nicotine strength, size, and quantity. If you're just discovering pouches it can seem overwhelming at first to know which ones will work best for you. In this section, we offer further context into the strengths, flavours, and brands to highlight the best nicotine pouches available at Royal Flush Vape.

Nicotine strengths

Much like e-liquid, nicotine pouches are available in a variety of strengths up to 20mg. Although similar, the nicotine strengths in pouches are absorbed differently so cannot be directly related to vaping e-cigarettes.

When starting with pouches, we advise starting with a lower strength and working upwards if required. Although there is not as wide of a selection of strength when compared to vaping, there is still a significant collection available.

Flavour options

Nicotine pouches are available in a wide range of flavours including fruity, menthol, and sweet tastes. With brands such as Tacja now working in partnership with leading vape brands such as Elf Bar, you can now experience the same great flavours found in disposable vapes with nicotine pouches. Although there is still nowhere near as much option with pouches when it comes to flavour, you'll still find a varied collection to suit your preference.

Best nicotine pouches

Here at Royal Flush Vape, we stock a selection of nicotine pouches from leading brands such as Tacja, powered by leading vaping manufacturer Elf Bar. Tacja nicotine pouches are available in eight bold flavours created to mimic the e-liquids found in Elf Bar disposable vapes. With nicotine strengths available in 12mg, 18mg, and 20mg, Tacja pouches offer twenty pieces per pack to keep you going throughout the day to satisfy your nicotine cravings.

Man holding a pack of nicotine pouches in one hand with another placed in their palm on top of a wooden table.


As nicotine pouches continue to rise in popularity, you should now have a much greater understanding of this vape alternative to make your own informed decision on whether pouches are an option for you. Although vaping is backed by both the NHS and PHE as a much safer alternative to smoking, whilst also being identified as a successful NRT, nicotine pouches are yet to to be studied in as much detail to offer direct guidance.

Pouches may be a great alternative to smoking when in public settings where vaping is prohibited such as with some enclosed public spaces, however with their advantages they still have numerous drawbacks to be considered. As with vaping, the effectiveness on nicotine pouches being successful varied depending on strength, flavour, usage and willpower to quit or remain smoke-free. If you're looking to try pouches, please be sure to check out our nicotine pouch collection to select from a growing and varied choice available. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Nicotine pouches do not emit any vapour or flavour which means that you can take them on a plane. However, it's important to check with the destination country to ensure that nicotine products are legal.

Although smoking is banned within enclosed public places alongside vaping being prohibited in many public settings, nicotine pouches do not produce any vapour making them ideal for consuming nicotine in public.

We advise against re-using nicotine pouches for hygiene reasons. Although nothing is stopping you from using a nicotine pouch again, you will not receive the same experience.

Nicotine pouches are not intended to be chewed, sucked, or swallowed. If you accidentally swallow a pouch there is no reason to panic. As well as being tobacco-free, pouches contain common ingredients such as water and food-grade ingredients.

Unlike Snus, nicotine pouches do not contain tobacco. Containing nicotine, flavourings, sweeteners, and plant-based fibers, pouches offer a simple alternative to traditional tobacco.

Nicotine pouches offer a much cheaper alternative to cigarettes with a pack of 20 pouches costing less than £5 with the average price of 20 cigarettes costing over £10.

Nicotine pouches are tobacco-free and contain nicotine, flavourings, sweeteners, and plant-based fibers

Nicotine pouches may lead to side effects which include an upset stomach, mouth irritation and/or hiccups.


Disclaimer: The content on offers general insights about vaping and vape related products. Please be aware that this information is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice and should only be relied upon when explicitly referenced. We make no guarantees regarding the accuracy, reliability, or health-related advantages of the content displayed across all pages of our website, including blog posts, product pages and social media content.

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