Nicotine pouch marketing strategies in the USA: an analysis of Zyn, On! and Velo

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Tobacco control




advertising and promotion; harm reduction; non-cigarette tobacco products; surveillance and monitoring; tobacco industry


INTRODUCTION: Nicotine pouches are gaining popularity, yet their marketing is understudied. METHODS: Using Numerator advertising data from January 2019 to September 2021 regarding three popular brands of nicotine pouch in the USA-Zyn (by Swedish Match, introduced in the USA in July 2016), On! (Altria, August 2016) and Velo (RJ Reynolds, July 2019)-we examined (1) general advertising characteristics (eg, media type, year); (2) ad content (ie, headlines and imagery themes); (3) prominent media channels (ie, specific websites, magazines, etc); and (4) ad expenditures. RESULTS: There were 286 unique ads (Zyn: 44.4%; On!: 2.8%; Velo: 52.8%), 119 143 occurrences (Zyn: 3.5%; On!: 0.5%; Velo: 96.0%) and $24 774 650 total expenditures (Zyn: 4.7%; On!: 0.6%; Velo: 94.7%). The greatest proportion of ad occurrences and expenditures were accounted for by radio (75.9% and 28.2%, respectively) and television (16.2% and 56.5%), followed by mobile (0.5% and 7.2%) and online display (6.7% and 3.6%). Across ad occurrences and expenditures, prominent headline themes included 'freedom' (26.0% and 17.1%, respectively), 'brand' (9.6% and 18.6%) and 'flavour' (16.4% and 7.6%); images mainly featured the product alone (61.4% and 56.1%), text (16.2% and 24.6%) or men (8.7% and 8.6%); and prominent channel themes were entertainment (34.7% and 37.3%), news/weather (14.3% and 21.7%), business/finance (12.9% and 9.0%) and sports (9.5% and 1.0%). Zyn and On! prioritised online display and print; Velo prioritised radio and television. Zyn's and Velo's headlines focused on 'freedom', with Zyn also emphasising 'brand' and Velo 'innovation'; On!'s headlines emphasised 'flavour'. CONCLUSIONS: Regulatory efforts must be informed by surveillance of nicotine pouch marketing and impacts on consumer subgroups (eg, young people).


Prevention and Community Health