Pharmacokinetic Comparison of a Novel Non-tobacco-Based Nicotine Pouch (ZYN) With Conventional, Tobacco-Based Swedish Snus and American Moist Snuff

Nicotine Tob Res. 2020 Oct 8;22(10):1757-1763. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntaa068.


Introduction: The single-dose pharmacokinetics (PK) of a novel, non-tobacco-based nicotine pouch, ZYN, 3 and 6 mg, were compared with 8 mg General snus (part 1) and ZYN 8 mg was compared with 18 mg Longhorn moist snuff (part 2). The present study demonstrates the characteristics of three strengths of a novel tobacco-free oral snus, ZYN, viz. the extraction of nicotine from the oral cavity and its uptake into the systemic blood circulation. Comparison is made to Swedish General snus and American Longhorn moist snuff and from literature 4 mg Nicorette gum and mean of 13 brands of e-cigarettes.

Aims and methods: A single-dose randomized crossover design was used. In vivo extraction and PK parameters were determined.

Results: Part 1. The AUCinf of ZYN 3 mg was 27% smaller than that of 8 mg General and the AUCinf of ZYN 6 mg was 34% larger than that of 8 mg General. Less nicotine was extracted from ZYN 3 mg (1.5 mg) and more from ZYN 6 mg (3.5 mg) than from 8 mg General (2.4 mg). The extracted fractions of nicotine for both ZYN products (56% and 59%) were significantly larger than for 8 mg General (32%).

Results: Part 2. Close to identical plasma nicotine curves, AUCinf and Cmax were found for ZYN 8 mg and Longhorn Natural 18 mg moist snuff. The extracted amount of nicotine from ZYN 8 mg (3.8 mg) was larger than the amount extracted from Longhorn Natural 18 mg (3.0 mg), but smaller than the extracted amount of nicotine from General 2 × 8 mg snus pouches (5.0 mg). The extracted fraction of nicotine for ZYN 8 mg (50%) was larger than for Longhorn Natural (19%) and General 2 × 8 mg snus pouches (33%).

Conclusions: The two higher doses of ZYN (6 and 8 mg) deliver nicotine as quickly and to a similar extent as existing smokeless products, with no significant adverse effects.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage
  • Nicotine / pharmacokinetics*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Tobacco Use / epidemiology*
  • Tobacco, Smokeless / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States
  • Young Adult


  • Nicotine

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN14866695
  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN77807609