Iceland will attempt to reduce use of nicotine pouches by under-18s if an upcoming parliamentary bill passes into law, strengthening existing laws against the practice.
The pouches are designed to allow the ingestion of nicotine without smoking. The user places one under their lip against the gum, where it slowly releases the stimulant drug into the user’s system. Pouches are often used by former smokers as a replacement for cigarettes.
The bill, drawn up and published by Minister of Health Svandís Svavarsdóttir last December, was available for public commentary until the end of January. The proposed legislation will be put before Parliament in April.
Nicotine products—such as pouches and vape oil—are increasingly available in Icelandic shops, potentially giving children access to them. The bill not only proposes to strengthen laws around that, but to outlaw deliberately targeting an underage market with such products. In an attempt to reduce nicotine consumption, the law will also limit the amount of the stimulant in products and its concentration will be made clearer on the packaging, RÚV reports.
Comments received during the consultation included those from The Association of Icelandic Nurses and Save The Children, who both urged that more be done to prevent young people starting to use nicotine products. A spokesperson for Svens, a chain of Icelandic stores which sells these products, called for the packaging of pouches to carry a reminder of their highly-addictive nature.
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