The Salary Man’s Pouch: The Nicotine Pouch and its place in the Filipino Workforce

The emergence of Reduced Risk Products (RRPs) as a category, along with its growing portfolio of alternatives to conventional tobacco products, continues to grow both locally and globally. Heated tobacco products (HTPs) and most recently, the nicotine pouch, have all made their way into the Philippine market, and have already played a significant part in influencing smoking behaviors of existing Filipino adult smokers. But what does this mean for the Filipino workforce?

The recent introduction of the nicotine pouch, in particular, represents a significant shift in the evolution of nicotine consumption habits, promising to redefine the workplace experience in the Philippines.

This innovative, discreet, smokeless, and combustion-free option for nicotine delivery enables  individuals to get their nicotine fixes in various settings where restrictions typically associated with smoking would otherwise stop them.

BPO workers and other office-based employees could find the benefits of nicotine pouches advantageous. GWI, an audience research tool and consumer insights platform, estimates the population of white collar workers in the Philippines to be at 10 million; and the proposition of them being able to use nicotine pouches without leaving their desks, while maintaining productivity, and at the same time, adhering to indoor smoking bans, could potentially mark a shift in smoking behaviors and social dynamics in the office setting.

Nicotine use is high among BPO employees. A survey conducted in 2018 revealed that the national average of smoking is at 23 percent. 

With the emergence of novel tobacco products, nicotine users will not have a hard time-consuming nicotine products in areas where vaping and smoking are only permitted. The nicotine pouch allows nicotine users to get their nicotine fix wherever and whenever with its portability and discreet packaging.  

As the Philippine market embraces the nicotine pouch, its role extends beyond a mere alternative to traditional smoking, heralding a new era of workplace efficiency.

International nicotine pouch brands such as Lyft,  Nordic Spirit, On!, and Velo  have all made its way into the Philippine market and are readily available for purchase in convenience stores, as well as e-commerce platforms such as Lazada, Shopee, and Pandamart.