Study: One in five football players using nicotine pouches

Study: One in five football players using nicotine pouches

Representational image (iStock)

Pramod Thomas

ONE in five professional players who took part in a study commissioned by the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) said they were using nicotine pouches, tobacco sachets (snus) or both, research showed on Tuesday (28).

The study, conducted by Loughborough University, surveyed 628 male players in the Premier League and EFL, as well as 51 players from the Women’s Super League.

Researchers also interviewed 16 club performance and medical staff currently working in men’s and academy football.

“Over half of current users in the men’s game indicated they want to quit over the next 12 months,” the study said.

“Most players used legal tobacco-free nicotine pouches rather than tobacco-based snus, however, players often used the term snus to refer to nicotine pouches.”

The study found that two out of five players had tried the pouches at least once.

Of the players surveyed who had used the substance, many reported elements of nicotine dependence, 53 per cent in the men’s game and 73 per cent in the women’s game, it added.

“The study’s findings will be used to inform the PFA’s own welfare and safeguarding programmes and to facilitate knowledge exchange with clubs and medical teams around snus use in football.”

The study added that the estimates of usage are “likely higher than reported” due to players’ unwillingness to disclose whether they are using the pouches.

“This research will help us ensure that the PFA’s own support services, and those of club medical teams, are grounded in football-specific evidence and tailored to the needs of players,” the PFA’s director of player welfare Michael Bennett said.