Nicotine Pouches Provide Solutions For Golfers Who Can’t Smoke

Despite smoking having been banned in more and more places over the years, golf courses have largely avoided restrictions. This became particularly clear late in 2016, when wider smoking regulation gave golf courses a pass. Specifically, as VC Star reported at the time, proposed bans on smoking at beaches, parks, and campgrounds in Ventura County specifically allowed for the hobby at “county-owned public golf courses.” This and other decisions like it appeared to solidify the continuation of smoking in California’s golf culture.

Now, however, it is beginning to look as if it may not be long before smoking is more widely prohibited. Though no specific golf-related restriction is in the works (that we know of), a 2019 LA Times article on smoking bans pointed out that Governor Gavin Newsom had succeeded in prohibiting smoking and vaping at “most California state parks and beaches.” This was a step Newsom’s predecessors had refused to take, and it was promoted as a means of bringing about a cleaner and safer environment, as well as preventing forest fires. The law did not specifically affect golf courses, but it continued a trend toward more widespread bans, which raises the question: What will smoking golfers do it (as some would argue seems inevitable) more public courses do ban the habit?

The traditional options in the past for smokers who need alternatives in public spaces have been things like chewing tobacco, nicotine gum, and nicotine pouches. Yet the argument can be made that these are all poor options for golfers. Tobacco leaves messy residue (due to the need to spit), and gum is difficult to dispose of (and would inevitably lead to pollution on courses). Pouches can work, but some find them to cause burning or itching, and there are even anecdotal reports of sunburn affecting the skin under patches more severely.

Given these issues, it is the more modern alternative to these cigarette replacements – the nicotine pouch – that may offer the best solution. Per the nicotine pouch retailer Prilla, these are “tobacco-free pouches” that come in different flavors and strengths, and which can be obtained simply through online purchases. The pouches release controlled amounts of nicotine slowly from their place under the user’s upper lip – causing no need to spit or chew. Pouches are also easy to throw out, either in any standard trash bin alongside the golf course, or in an empty tin of used pouches for later disposal.

As of this writing, pouches are not as well known as some of the aforementioned alternatives. However, they do represent a growing market. According to data posted at the business analysis platform MarketWatch, the global nicotine pouch market was valued at some $70 million in 2018 – but is projected to account for $4,810 million by the end of 2025. This represents compound annual growth of 83%, and provides some sense of how popular pouches may become in the next few years.

Should this growth occur as expected – and should smoking bans increasingly spread to cover golf courses – smokers will have intriguing new options. While some certainly like the idea of actually smoking and having a cigarette to fidget with in between holes, nicotine pouches can address the actual cravings for the substance. This, plus the fact that they’re clean to use and easy to toss, makes them well suited for golfers who may need to leave their cigarette packs in their cars in the coming years.

We hope this information comes in handy for any golfers who smoke regularly – and please visit us at CalGolfNews again when you get a chance!

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