State Flavor Ban on Nicotine Pouches
Smokeless, tobacco-free nicotine pouches are among the safest alternatives to smoking and help users transition away from more harmful products, and that is why Northerner is focused on harm reduction and improving access to safer products for millions of adults.
Unfortunately, the ability for smokers to transition to harm reduction products like tobacco-free nicotine pouches is being threatened in states that seek to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products. We have seen this most recently in California, which passed overly broad legislation that would ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products - including menthol - starting January 2021. While there is a ballot initiative in the state to provide voters the opportunity to oppose this policy, the outcome of that process is uncertain.
What is certain is that we can anticipate more states passing harmful flavor bans and may see similar activity on the federal level, particularly given that President-elect Joe Biden has selected current California Attorney General, an outspoken supporter of California’s flavor ban, to serve as Health and Human Services Secretary.
Flavor bans don't work, and provisions like those that passed in California threaten to undo the progress smokeless users have made and create widespread unintended public health risks to adult users who may now have no realistic option but to switch to cigarettes. Though concerns about youth use of e-cigarettes are serious and justified, flavor bans will make it difficult for adult tobacco users to switch to less harmful smoke-free products. Consumers want these safer options, as shown by the rapid growth of Northerner sales in the United States.
For example, the company's growth was just over 450% when comparing the third quarter of last year to this year, and Swedish Match had grown almost 200% when compared to the previous year. In 2020 alone, Northerner sales have tripled in California.
“In the last year we have seen a rapidly growing number of Americans switch to a healthier, tobacco-free lifestyle and choose smokeless flavored nicotine products, with our sales in November 2020 beating all records of active consumers and sales in the United States,” said Markus Lindblad, Head of External Affairs of Northerner parent company, the Haypp Group. “As a result of this high demand, we are creating new American jobs at our distribution centers and commercial offices while continuing to provide a safer alternative to U.S. tobacco users. Flavor bans undermine this important effort and will result in negative public health outcomes for adult consumers.”