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Concern over nicotine pouches targeting teens

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Posted at 7:22 PM, Oct 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-16 19:22:16-04

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — With vaping under pressure for health risks, parents are being warned about what could become a popular alternative.

They’re small, white pouches that look a lot like chewing gum. ZYN is sold at local gas stations. They’re tobacco free, and a lot like chew, but loaded with addictive nicotine.

Experts, like Dr. Frank Michalski of East Amherst say these are the next trend in addiction for teens, and say these pouches can be especially dangerous to growing, adolescent minds.

“We need kids to realize that the addiction to the nicotine itself is the most harmful thing in many cases,” he said.

Dr. Michalski is setting up a program for youth in the Williamsville Central School District to help them try to get out of addiction.

He says with the vaping ban, we’re seeing a transitional process, and teenagers are turning to other addictive things like the pouches.

“With the vaping ban you’re seeing an increase in depression, alcohol use, cannabis use, and nicotine replacement therapies such as ZYN pouches.”

Experts say the pouches deliver nicotine to the blood stream for about an hour. They're used much like chewing tobacco and are highly addictive for teenagers.