Zyn Nicotine Pouch Maker Halts Online Sales Amid Regulatory Scrutiny

In a significant development, Philip Morris International (PMI) has suspended sales of its popular Zyn nicotine pouches on its U.S. website, Zyn.com. This decision follows a subpoena issued to Swedish Match North America (SMNA) by the attorney general of Washington, D.C., over the sale of banned flavored nicotine pouches. 


Regulatory Crackdown in Washington, D.C. 

The subpoena is part of an ongoing investigation by Washington, D.C. officials into SMNA’s compliance with the district’s stringent ban on flavored nicotine products. This regulatory scrutiny has prompted PMI to undertake a comprehensive review of its sales and supply chain practices, not only in Washington, D.C., but also in other U.S. jurisdictions where similar bans are in effect. 


Compliance and Investigation 

In response to the subpoena, SMNA has pledged to fully cooperate with the attorney general's office by providing detailed sales information regarding Zyn. Preliminary findings by PMI indicate that flavored nicotine pouches were indeed sold in the district, primarily through online platforms and independent retailers. 


Impact on Zyn's Market Presence 

Despite the halt on Zyn.com, PMI reassured stakeholders that the website sales constitute a "very small" portion of Zyn's overall market presence in the U.S. Since acquiring SMNA in November 2022, PMI has seen substantial growth driven by Zyn's popularity. In the first quarter of the year, PMI reported a 40% surge in shipment volumes of its smoke-free products, largely attributed to the robust demand for Zyn nicotine pouches. In the U.S. alone, Zyn shipment volumes reached an impressive 131.6 million cans. 


The Rise of Zyn 

Since its introduction to the U.S. market in 2014, Zyn nicotine pouches have gained a significant foothold, especially over the past 18 months. These pouches, which offer a discreet and smoke-free alternative to traditional tobacco products, have been embraced by a wide range of consumers. Available in various flavors such as mint, cinnamon, coffee, and citrus, Zyn pouches resemble small tea bags and can be placed discreetly in the cheek without the need for spitting. 


Health and Public Perception 

Public-health experts note that the health risks associated with Zyn pouches are comparable to those of nicotine replacement therapies like gums and patches. However, the rise in popularity of flavored nicotine products has sparked controversy and regulatory challenges, reflecting the evolving landscape of the U.S. tobacco market. 


Looking Ahead 

SMNA anticipates resuming shipments and sales on Zyn.com in the near future. As the investigation progresses, the industry will be watching closely to see how regulatory actions impact the broader market for nicotine products.  

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