Fetterman rejects top Democrat’s attempted crackdown on Zyn: ‘On the side of more freedom’

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Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., dismissed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s call for a federal crackdown on Zyn nicotine pouches, saying there are “bigger issues” to address Thursday.

“I’m going to err on the side of more freedom and personal choices of those kinds of things,” Fetterman told reporters. “And I made that same argument when I wanted to legalize marijuana.” 

Fetterman added he doesn’t support “snuff or chewing tobacco,” but that substances should be available for adults to freely choose. 

“So, I don’t support it,” Fetterman said of Schumer’s campaign against the popular nicotine product.

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During a recent interview with NBC News, Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., declared he’s “not a progressive.” (Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Schumer called for a federal crackdown on Zyn nicotine pouches and a “warning to parents” of its addictive effects on Sunday. Schumer wants the Federal Trade Commission and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate Zyn for its marketing tactics, which he said target young social media influencers, and its health effects.

“It’s a pouch packed with problems – high levels of nicotine,” Schumer said at a press conference. “So, today, I’m delivering a warning to parents because these nicotine pouches seem to lock their sites on young kids, teenagers and even lower. And then use the social media to hook them.”

A statement from Phillip Morris International, which is associated with Zyn’s manufacturing, pushed back on Schumer’s claims in a statement to the media. 

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Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer speaks

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., called for Zyn to be investigated. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

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“Philip Morris International and its affiliates — including Swedish Match, the manufacturer of ZYN — fully meet and exceed the regulations governing the industry,” the statement said.

“Our marketing practices — which prohibit the use of social media influencers — are focused on preventing underage access and set the benchmark for the industry. Real-world evidence shows this approach is working. The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA show oral nicotine pouch use by those under the legal age remains exceptionally low.”

Zyn was crowned as the leading nicotine pouch brand worldwide in 2021 with sales volume exceeding 3 billion units.  

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