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Fetterman rejects Democrats' attempt to crack down on nicotine

By Mandy Donalds
|
January 26, 2024

Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. John Fetterman voiced his opposition to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's proposal for increased federal regulation of Zyn, a nicotine pouch product.

Fetterman emphasized the importance of focusing on more significant issues, highlighting his belief in greater freedom and personal choice, as Fox News reported.

"I'm going to err on the side of more freedom and personal choices of those kinds of things," Fetterman stated to the press.

The lawmaker referenced his previous support for the legalization of marijuana in support of his position regarding the pouch product.

He clarified that while he is not an advocate for snuff or chewing tobacco, he believes in the availability of such substances for adults to make their own choices.

Schumer's Call for Crackdown

Schumer has been vocal about his concerns regarding Zyn nicotine pouches, particularly their reportedly addictive nature and potential appeal to younger audiences.

In a recent statement, Schumer urged the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to scrutinize Zyn for its marketing strategies.

Schumer he believes the methods target young social media users, and he urges additional study on the product's health effects.

"It's a pouch packed with problems – high levels of nicotine," Schumer declared at a press conference, stressing the need to alert parents about the risks associated with these nicotine pouches, especially for teenagers and younger children.

Industry Response to Schumer's Claims

In response to Schumer's assertions, Phillip Morris International, associated with Zyn's production, defended its practices in a statement.

The company emphasized its commitment to adhering to and exceeding industry regulations.

"Philip Morris International and its affiliates -- including Swedish Match, the manufacturer of ZYN — fully meet and exceed the regulations governing the industry," the statement read.

The company underscored that its marketing practices, which exclude the use of social media influencers, are aimed at preventing underage access and are considered a benchmark in the industry.

The statement noted, "The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA show oral nicotine pouch use by those under the legal age remains exceptionally low."

According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA, the use of oral nicotine pouches by underage individuals remains exceptionally low, supporting the effectiveness of the company's current strategies.

Zyn's Market Presence

Zyn has emerged as a prominent player in the nicotine pouch market.

In 2021, it was recognized as the leading brand globally, with sales surpassing 3 billion units.