Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has prompted a backlash for suggesting a crackdown on Zyn nicotine pouches. Republicans accused Schumer of promoting a nanny state when he described the pouches as “packed with problems” and said they are targeted at young children. He called on the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration to investigate their marketing.
Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina posted a picture of his Zyn pouches on Twitter with the caption, “Come and take it, Chuck.” Tillis met with criticism, however, from people who reminded him he backed Schumer on gun control but was now complaining of illiberalism.
Tillis clashed with his GOP colleagues last summer when he backed gun control measures in Congress. A group of 1,000 North Carolina GOP activists voted behind closed doors to censure the Senator.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee also hit back at Schumer and noted the Biden administration’s plans to ban menthol cigarettes while deadly Fentanyl floods across the US border. “The nanny state is alive and well with today’s Democrat Party,” the committee tweeted.
Federal proposals to ban menthol cigarettes emerged last year, and campaigners worry that it will be pushed back until after the Presidential election. Advocates for a ban say it is necessary because black smokers disproportionately smoke menthol, and it is negatively affecting the health of black Americans. The FDA proposals, however, say any action will be directed at importers and manufacturers and will not “police” smokers.
Senator Schumer now believes that Zyn pouches should be subject to similar restrictions and argues that the pouches act as a gateway to cigarette smoking or vaping. Philip Morris International purchased a 93% stake in Swedish Match, which produces Zyn, in 2022 and said the pouches can help people stop smoking and provide a less harmful alternative.
Nicotine pouches are popular in Scandinavia and are placed between users’ lips and gums.
Former Fox host Tucker Carlson said he uses them every day.