Reduced levels of toxicants in nicotine pouches translate directly into reduced in-vitro biological activity, a recent study in the journal Applied In Vitro Toxicology shows.

According to WebMD, nicotine pouches contain nicotine, water, flavorings, sweeteners, and plant-based-based fibers but no tobacco, making them different than chewing tobacco, snus, and other tobacco-based products.

This latest study looks at two commercially available Imperial Brands nicotine pouch products were compared to combustible cigarette smoke across three toxicological assays:

Neutral red uptake (NRU) assay. Measures cytotoxicity, considered a potential step in several chronic disease processes associated with smoking – including cancer, cardiovascular disease and emphysema.

In vitro micronucleus (IVM) test. Measures genotoxicity, the damage to the structure or function of genetic material often mechanistically linked with the development of cancers. 

Ames test. Assesses mutagenicity, which is the ability of substances to affect the genetic material in cells.

The study found that combustible cigarette smoke induced a statistically significant positive response across all three assays.

In contrast, tobacco-free nicotine pouches were negative in both the IVM and Ames assays, while demonstrating only weak cytotoxicity compared to combustible cigarette smoke in the NRU assay (>99% reduction).

Matthew Stevenson, investigative and mechanistic toxicity senior manager and study coauthor, commented: “It’s encouraging to see the reduced levels of toxicants in our nicotine pouch products compared to combustible cigarette smoke translating directly into substantially reduced in vitro biological responses.