Belgium's Health Minister wants nicotine pouches banned

Belgium's Health Minister wants nicotine pouches banned
Credit: Belga

Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke called on Wednesday for a ban on nicotine pouches, noting that, like e-cigarettes and vaping, they can be a stepping stone to smoking for young people.

”Our goal is to prevent our children and young people from smoking," Vandenbroucke said. "If you are fully committed to a smoke-free generation, you must ensure that young people come into less contact with smoking or anything related to it.”

Nicotine pouches, which are placed between the upper lip and teeth, are reminiscent of snus, a wet powder containing tobacco that is banned throughout the EU, except in Sweden. However, nicotine pouches are not made of tobacco but of nicotine, vegetable fibres and flavourings, which are particularly attractive to young people.

The fact that they are cheaper than tobacco products makes them even more popular.

Dutch research has highlighted the dangers of the pouches, especially for young people. They contain enough nicotine to be addictive and have a harmful effect on the brain.

For Frank Vandenbroucke, there can be no place on the market for such products.

“These nicotine pouches, like electronic cigarettes and vaping, can be a stepping stone to smoking at an early age," the minister stressed. "That is why we are resolutely opting for a ban on them. We are doing this because protecting the health of children and young people is an absolute priority.”

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