Not very long ago, the prevalence rate of smoking was immensely different to how it is today. In 1995, the number of male smokers in Spain was approximately 48% – a figure that has dramatically decreased to 31% over the course of 17 years and is still seeing a decrease today. Were the anti-smoking laws of 2006 the final push to make people quit, or were there other reasons that made a large number of Spanish smokers give up their beloved cigarette?
Smoking Restrictions make smoking difficult
Of course, with the rise of anti-smoking laws the number of smokers was bound to decrease. In Spain, where there is a very strong coffee culture and where coffee shops are highly important, it would be deeply impractical to attempt a steady cigarette consumption since you’d have to stay away from your favourite hang-out place – the coffee shop! In order to quash the powerful cigarette craving, many Spaniards turned to smokeless (and discreet) options that are easy to have together with a cup of coffee at the barista.
These smokeless alternatives include vaping (which is perhaps not so discreet and rather frowned upon) nicotine patches and a relatively new phenomenon – nicotine pouches. Nicotine pouches can be purchased at local vape shops, some gas stations and even from online stores such as www.snusdirect.eu, and are a popular option among EU residents.
Nicotine pouches are placed under the top lip where they release flavour and nicotine for an extended time (usually 1 hour) until the flavour release ends, in which the pouch is ready to come out. Since they are also available in coffee flavour, they have become quite a popular smokeless alternative among Spaniards looking to quit smoking but not nicotine.
Hygiene Consciousness is growing
Smoking is not healthy, that is a fact that everybody knows. And although smokeless nicotine products also are classified as “unhealthy” their smoke-free disposition make them slightly less hazardous than your typical cigarette. Of course, many smoke-free options such as nicotine pouches and vapers are also tobacco free which gives them a more hygienic feel.
Tobacco taste is heavy and leaves a bitter after-taste, something that is omitted with any nicotine product. As we move toward a cleaner world it isn’t surprising that Spain and the rest of Europe are quick to follow and switch to products such as nicotine pouches for a cleaner mouthfeel.
No Second-hand smoke
One of the worst sides to cigarette consumption is the way it affects everyone around it; the elderly, children, people waiting for the bus when you happen to wait there too and just about any person around you when you light one up. It is understandable that when new alternatives arise such as nicotine pouches, gum and patches that eliminate the health hazards associated with passive smoking people willingly change their ways.
When nicotine pouches hit the market a few years back they came forth offering flavourful options of melon, mint, fruits and liquorice all without causing dangerous side-effects to people around the user; it is no wonder Spaniards swapped out their usual cigarette for a flavoured, tobacco free nicotine pouch.
If you ask Swedes, using nicotine pouches is as normal as eating breakfast for this small pouch is a close relative to traditional Swedish snus – a cultural phenomenon that has existed for many hundreds of years. Thanks to the discreet nature of a tobacco free nicotine pouch its popularity has spread to countries all over the world, including Spain and other EU member states. Nicotine pouches come in two discreet formats:
- Slim White – the most common type of nicotine pouch. Has a very similar shape to chewing gum and fits comfortably under your lip. It is said to give a custom-made feeling and is completely undetectable by curious eyes. Since it is white and tobacco free, it will cause no discolouration on your teeth and produces no brown discharge – as is typical with traditional Swedish snus. It is the most popular pouch format in Spain, and certainly the most discreet one.
- Mini White – This pouch format is slightly smaller than slim, and while being equally discreet and comfortable often offer a slightly lower nicotine content – a quality that has appealed to many Spanish nicotine pouch newbies. But don’t be fooled by its small size – it still packs a full range of flavour!
With the ever-growing number of anti-smoking restrictions making it increasingly difficult for smokers to tend to their nicotine craving, nicotine product’s user-friendliness and discreet nature speaks for itself. Smoke-free products such as nicotine pouches can be used on the airplane, in meetings, at teachers’ conferences and in bed before lights go out – qualities that have all of Europe throwing away their cigarette packs!
Studies on Nicotine products and Coronavirus
A notion has been spreading recently, more specifically in France and Wales, about the effect nicotine might have in preventing people from being infected with Covid-19. It began as Doctors noticed that a high number of smokers were developing fewer symptoms – some even seemed to be less prone to contracting the virus at all.
That said, a lot of research has shown that smokers, in particular, are also more likely to endure secondary complications of the virus if it takes a real hold. An article that was released May 17th 2020 from The Guardian discusses the potentially protective qualities in nicotine and talks about nicotine products as an alternative to smoking that doesn’t lower lung-capacity.
Whether or not nicotine does influence Covid-19 has yet to be proven, but the idea has nevertheless caused an increase in nicotine usage not only in Spain but around the whole globe!
If anything, it could potentially motivate smokers to switch to a more lung-friendly option which, in itself, will drastically lower the risk of developing severe Covid-19 symptoms to the lungs.