Looking for an alternative to cigarettes

Luc Williams

In Great Britain, e-cigarettes are an officially recommended way to gradually quit smoking, alongside e.g. gum or patches. The United States and New Zealand are also heading in this direction.

Sweden has built its success in the fight against smoking largely on the so-called snus, i.e. tobacco in sachets. But oral nicotine products, including tobacco-free sachets, thanks to which nicotine is absorbed through the mucous membrane in the oral cavity, are becoming more and more popular, also in other European Union countries and in the USA. They are also being talked about more and more often in Poland, although they are still products whose formal status remains unclear.

Participants in the regulatory process analyzed whether nicotine sachets are or are not a medical product. The President of the Office for Registration of Medicinal Products, Medical Devices and Biocidal Products was the first to speak on this matter at the central level, concluding that sachets should not be subject to medical regulations. This opinion is also shared today by the Chief Pharmaceutical Inspectorate, whose opinion is crucial to the matter.

Appropriate regulations regarding nicotine sachets have already been adopted – along with Sweden and Great Britain – by, among others, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia and Hungary. In these countries, sachets have been covered by non-medical regulations, which increases the range of substances available on the local markets to replace traditional cigarettes.

Roman Jamiołkowski, member of the BAT management board, comments: – The GIF's decision from March stating that nicotine sachets are not a medicinal product paves the way for the Ministry of Health to quickly implement the appropriate regulations and ensure that smokers in Poland also have the opportunity to use a smoke-free and tobacco-free alternative to cigarettes.

These products have been present on the Polish market for several years, which is why the nicotine industry, as part of good practice, has already decided to independently regulate these products. In September 2023, at the headquarters of Employers of Poland, four companies: BAT Polska, Imperial Tobacco Polska SA, Philip Morris Polska Distribution sp. z o. o. and Swedish Match signed a market code regulating product standards and sales of tobacco-free nicotine pouches.


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