The difference between smoke-less tobacco, tobacco-free oral nicotine and NRT treatments

In 2020 cigarettes represented 84.1% of the total nicotine ecosystem by retail value sales, compared to 88.9% in 2017. Growing from a much smaller base, noncombustible products, including heated tobacco, vaping products, and nicotine pouches, have continued to take share from combustible products over the past three years.

The major nicotine ecosystem players dominate the overall market, although manufacturers of noncombustible products, both new entrants and established players, have gained share.

Smokeless tobacco is a tobacco product that is used by means other than smoking. Its use involves chewing, sniffing, or placing the product between gum and the cheek or lip. They are produced in various forms, such as chewing tobaccosnuffsnus, and dissolvable tobacco products. All smokeless tobacco products contain nicotine.

Tobacco-free oral nicotine products are still generally derived from tobacco and contain nicotine, but due to the absence of tobacco leaf, they are not classified as smokeless tobacco products. In this category we find snus, pouches, lozenges and chewing gum.

NRT (Nicotine replacement therapy products) are pharmaceutical products that reduce withdrawal feelings by giving you a small, controlled amount of nicotine but none of the other dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes. This small amount of nicotine helps satisfy your craving for nicotine and reduces the urge to smoke. The most common format is chewing gum.

Check out the weighted harm scale of the different nicotine products:

Tobacco-free oral nicotine, in terms of the relative risk hierarchy, is estimated to be marginally more harmful than the least harmful category, NRT products.

Similarly, vaping products and heated tobacco, the largest noncombustible categories, are no longer niche products, but take a significant share of the total ecosystem in many markets. The development of these categories represents innovation in the tobacco industry.

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