The substance named after Valtteri Bottas is highly addictive – “The worst possible way to be a role model for young people” | Sport

The substance named after Valtteri Bottas is highly addictive

Nicotine bags marketed especially to young people are highly addictive.

77 VB Edition nicotine pouches with an F1 driver on the cover have gone on sale in Finnish grocery stores Valtteri Bottas silhouette. Bottas’ name is mentioned in the description of 77 VB Edition products in online stores selling nicotine pouches.

Urheilu reached Bottas’s manager Ville Ahtiainen, who replied that he could not comment on the matter. Bottas himself has not commented on his involvement as the advertising face of a nicotine pouch company.

Nicotine is a highly addictive substance. In recent days, social media has wondered why a world-renowned athlete like Bottas has become the face of nicotine products.

Professor of Public Health Jaakko Kaprio The University of Helsinki considers Bottas’ actions irresponsible.

– It’s almost the same as becoming the advertising face of a tobacco company. If you want to be a role model for young people, that’s the worst possible way. If you take actions that maintain or promote the continuation of nicotine addiction in society, I think it is completely irresponsible, says Kaprio.

The Polish brand that manufactures 77 VB Edition nicotine pouches has not published Bottas’ pictures or name on its social media channels. Bottas has tagged the 77 Pouches account in an Instagram photo he published in September, where a puck-shaped object can be seen through the pocket of his shorts. The photo in question is the sixth in Bottas’ Instagram post.

In September 2023, the State Council denied Nicotine pouches with 20 milligrams or more of nicotine from the Finnish market. The 77 VB Edition nicotine pouches sold in Finnish grocery stores contain 16 milligrams of nicotine. Nicotine bags bearing Bottas’ name sold in foreign online stores contain 20 milligrams of nicotine.

According to Professor Kaprio, tobacco and nicotine products are marketed especially to young people.

– People over the age of 25-30 very rarely start using nicotine products. Teenagers and young adults are the target group, because nicotine companies need to get new customers who will get hooked. The vast majority of people no longer start using nicotine products when their brains have matured.

Nicotine products are marketed to young people through, for example, healthy and sporty images. The athlete as the front image of the product can directly hit the target group.

– This is one example of how the nicotine industry tries to promote the use of nicotine in society in every possible way. It is ruthless action, says Kaprio.

People who use nicotine products are likely to start using tobacco products as well, says Kaprio. Even nicotine products that do not contain tobacco have harmful effects on health and the athlete’s performance.

– Nicotine is poison. If you take a large amount at once, it can kill you. An adult can survive a fairly large dose, but a child may die from it. The use of nicotine during pregnancy is very dangerous for the fetus. With long-term use, nicotine constricts blood vessels, says Kaprio.