In May, we will celebrate World No Tobacco Day, which was established by the World Health Organization (WHO) to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes. The WHO aims to help people around the world live a healthy smoke-free lifestyle by providing information and resources that will give smokers the tools they need to quit. To help achieve this goal, not just on World No Tobacco Day but every day, it is also critical that products are readily available that make it easier for smokers to transition away from combustible cigarettes to less harmful alternatives, particularly when these products have proven to make it more likely for them to succeed and finally kick the habit for good.

I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of this movement by working for a company that provides access to tobacco-free nicotine products, which are crucial for helping millions of smokers transition to a healthier lifestyle. These products include tobacco-free nicotine pouches, nicotine gum, lozenges, mints, and many additional products that can provide smokers with nicotine in a safer, healthier way.

NicoKick is a driving force behind oral nicotine, and we have a growing number of customers, currently serving over 500,000 individuals in 34 countries with alternative products to tobacco smoking. For the majority of our customers, our products are a way to quit their tobacco usage altogether and achieve the benefits that come from quitting, especially in terms of health and well-being.

Based on the data of our tobacco-free nicotine pouch customers, 75 percent of users are former, current, or occasional smokers, with the largest percentage (59 percent) being former smokers who no longer smoke today. Of these former smokers, 34 percent were actively trying to quit smoking when they started using nicotine pouches, and impressively, 25 percent of these nicotine pouch users quit using tobacco without having the intention of doing so, also known as “unintended quitters.”

To our knowledge, no previous method, tool, or product has before been able to show such a positive result, where a quarter of the users manage to successfully quit smoking without initially planning to. This shows that nicotine pouches provide an opportunity to save lives worldwide, and it is critical that policymakers take into consideration the important role these products can play in helping smokers quit.

Worldwide, roughly eight million people tragically pass away each year because of smoking, with seven million of those deaths resulting from direct tobacco use, and around 600,000 non-smokers who were exposed to second-hand smoke. These deaths are sadly avoidable, and it is incumbent upon elected officials to promote successful methods to prevent this tragic loss of life. Oftentimes, education is not enough, and smokers need transitional products like nicotine pouches to successfully quit cigarettes for good.

We share a common goal with the WHO of helping smokers quit and choose a healthier lifestyle, and our data show an important component of this effort is tobacco-free nicotine products that make it easier for smokers to transition to a smoke-free lifestyle. This journey may look different for each person, but it is our responsibility, and the responsibility of policymakers, to both show and guard the positive approaches that make it easier for smokers to commit to quit.