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Drew’s Decrees: OU Students need to be aware of dangers of Zyns

If you attend college in 2024, you will have probably noticed some unique nicknames about the new nicotine pouches known as Zyns. The Thomas Jefferzyn, Lamar Jackzyn and, of course, the upper decky lip pillow. However, no matter what comedic or hip little names we have for it, it's still a nicotine product that can cause many physical and mental long-term problems.

I was first introduced to Zyns when, in one of my classes, a male classmate of mine popped a colored tin open and appeared to toss a white pouch into his mouth. After this encounter, I realized the pouches are becoming extremely popular in Athens. During the fall semester, I noticed more and more students had them in their pockets and bags. Most notably, though, I noticed people who regularly consume Zyns seem to be numb to knowing the effects nicotine has on the brain. 

First of all, nicotine is dangerous — let's be clear. The long-term effects alone are devastating, which many young individuals do not consider. It can cause behavioral, psychological and physical effects that can derail a person's well-being. At an age where many are discovering who they are and absorbing possibly the most knowledge they will ever have the chance to, nicotine is the easiest way to lose interest in the college learning experience.

It's also very easy to get hooked on, believe it or not. While it may seem like common knowledge that nicotine is an addictive substance, many around OU seem to disregard this fact. Approximately 24% students have tried nicotine in college while looking for an escape and/or a quick buzz to get through the rigors of college, resulting in them quickly getting hooked. 

This brings us to the conundrum of Zyns. Students looking for an easy way to get a nicotine buzz try them knowing they can keep the pouches in during class and not have to worry about the tobacco-related problems caused by other products such as dip or chew. They think just because it contains nicotine and no tobacco it's perfectly safe and won’t cause lung or mouth cancer.

But, surprise, nicotine is still nicotine with or without tobacco. It still contains dangerous chemicals that can change one's brain chemistry and affect their performance in both school and daily life.

So if you are a Zyn user at OU, pause and ponder for a second on the consequences that nicotine can have. Think of the long-term effects it can have on your physical and mental health. Think of the impact that it has had on your performance in school after you started using it. Think of what your mother would say.

Drew Haughn is a freshman studying communications at Ohio University. Please note that the opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Drew about his article? Tweet him @haughn_drew24

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