Chuck Schumer Whips Up 'Moral Panic' About Smokeless Nicotine Product

Chuck Schumer's Sunday showdown! The Senate Majority Leader calls for a crackdown on Zyn nicotine pouches. But there's a twist. Experts worry his claims might backfire, pushing smokers away from a healthier choice.

Schumer's not going all-out to ban Zyn. He's more focused on alerting parents, pushing the FTC and FDA to dig deeper into Zyn's marketing and health impacts on kids.

His take? Zyn is a "pouch packed with problems." He's sounding the alarm on their appeal to youth, especially on social media. He coins a term, "Zynfluencers," for those who make Zyn look cool online.

Schumer's big picture? It's all about Big Tobacco's new focus. He believes they're targeting kids with these discreet, problem-packed pouches. And he's calling for swift federal action.

Enter Dr. Mike Varshavski at the event. He's wary too. "Don't let this new product hook kids on nicotine," he warns.

Zyn's pitch? Their website calls their pouches a hassle-free nicotine experience. Strictly for adults, they claim, with tight age checks online.

Zyn's response? Philip Morris International's Sam Dashiell defends their practices. "We exceed industry regulations," he states, denying any use of influencers.

Schumer's not convinced. He's seen too much Zyn chatter online, including by minors. He's urging the FTC to probe Zyn's social media tactics.

But Guy Bentley from the Reason Foundation disagrees with Schumer. He sees Zyn as a safer, smoke-free alternative. "Mistaking these for smoking is the real danger," he says. Bentley compares nicotine to caffeine, underscoring its benefits for adults and role in helping quit smoking.

Then there's Dr. Jeffrey A. Singer from the Cato Institute. He sees Schumer's stance as "Nicotinophobia," an irrational nicotine fear. Nicotine alone, he argues, is relatively harmless, like caffeine.

Singer's stance? Don't keep adults from making their own choices. And don't scare the public into poor policy decisions by demonizing nicotine.

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