Dutch heart, lung and cancer charities have criticised the promotion of nicotine pouches by British Formula 1 team McLaren in the run up and during next week’s Grand Prix in Zandvoort.
The pouches, which are illegal in the Netherlands, are tucked underneath the user’s upper lip for a direct nicotine hit. Unlike “snus” which is used in the same way, the nicotine pouches do not contain tobacco.
Health institute RIVM considers the use of the pouches, which contain over 0,035 milligrams of nicotine, as “harmful”.
The Hartstichting, Longfonds and KWF Kankerbestrijding, which are united in a foundation to combat smoking, said promoting the product at the Grand Prix is “bizarre” and have registered a complaint with the Dutch advertising code committee.
The Velo nicotine pouches are made by British American Tobacco, a long-time sponsor of the British Formula 1 team.
Although nicotine pouches are not for sale in the Netherlands, it is not against the law to advertise them. The product is not covered by the Dutch law on tobacco because they don’t contain the cancer-causing plant.
The health charities said that advertising Velo around the Grand Prix is breaching the advertising code committee’s rules on “taste and decency”.
“It just goes to show that the tobacco industry stops at nothing to turn young people into addicts to maintain a sick-making and deadly business,” cancer charity KWF director Carla van Gils said.
According to the addiction centre Trimbos Institute, some 0.1% of Dutch people used the pouches last year.
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