Nicotine usage is not a new thing at East High School, however, this habit has found a new form: the Zyn, a thin white pouch filled with powdered nicotine, flavorings, and numerous filler chemicals. This smokeless and spitless pouch originated in Sweden under the name, ‘Snus’. Beginning in the 16th century, Swedish people began to mix tobacco leaves with salt and water and placing leaves on their upper lip. (Swedish Match.com) Since its creation, large companies have monopolized the industry such as Zyn. Zyn markets itself as a smoking alternative as well as an alternative to traditional oral tobacco pouches such as Copenhagen and Skoal. The difference between Zyn and other pouch brands is the fact that Zyn contains no tobacco.
These pouches are filled with not only addictive nicotine, but tons of unseen dangers that affect physical well being. According to a study from August of 2022, nicotine pouches can be seen to cause Gingivitis in the gums. According to Bristle Health.com, this disease causes lower blood flow and oxygen flow to the gums, as well as an inability to repair themselves leading to cell death. This lack of blood flow and cell death, can lead to users having indents in their gums in the places where they usually place Zyns. Usage can also lead to hiccups and nausea as well as an overall sore mouth (Nebraskamed.com).
Beginning last school year, the small pouches began to find their way into the lives of East students, with collections of used ones appearing on the ceilings of all three floors of boys' bathrooms. The janitors would scrape the pouches off the ceiling, only for them to seemingly regenerate the next day. A poll sent out by the East Spotlight asked the students of East Highschool if they participated in Zyn usage, 72% of the responders reported “No” they do not use zyns while 28% of responders said “Yes”. This poll garderned almost 100 responses, while not a complete representation of the student body, it does allow us to make an inference into how the student body is interacting with Zyns. Sales of the nicotine pouches sparked in early 2020, with 13% of 15-24 year olds stating they had “zyned” in the last month (Tobaccofree.com). Specifically upper class boys seem to be the catalyst users in the school, with much of the banter and usage flowing through this subsection of students.
This “banter” around Zyn is what has fueled the uprising of the pouches. Certain phrases such as “Zyniccino” and “Monica LeZynsky” have swept the internet as well as the hallways. One internet user has specifically taken hold to this brand, he goes by the name, ‘freezertarps” on TikTok, Instagram and more. He has gained nearly 50,000 Instagram followers as well as a whopping 361,000 supporters on TikTok, in a short time due to primarily Zyn content. Most high school students will follow trends, and the Zyn is just the internet's current buzz.