“Smut”: what is “Sniffy”, this white powder to inhale that the government wants to ban?

“Smut”: what is “Sniffy”, this white powder to inhale that the government wants to ban?
“Smut”: what is “Sniffy”, this white powder to inhale that the government wants to ban?

“Sniffy”, a product presented as energizing, is in the executive’s sights.

The Minister of Health Frédéric Valletoux promised this Saturday the ban on this white powder, the consumption of which is reminiscent of cocaine.

“It is completely in compliance with the law,” boasts the brand.

Mint, lime, passion fruit… “Sniffy”, presented as an energizing powder, comes in several flavors. This product, prohibited for minors, is nevertheless available on the Internet and in certain tobacco shops. The box is sold on the brand’s website at the price of 14.90 euros, each. The Minister Delegate in charge of Health, Frédéric Valletoux, promised this Saturday the ban on this white powder which arouses controversy because its consumption is reminiscent of cocaine.

“I discovered this latest invention 48 hours ago, and I put in big quotes, of course, this junk that some people want to sell. I will actually see in the coming days how we can ban this type of thing”declared Frédéric Valletoux on -. “We must ban it as soon as we can”he added. “I will look at this very quickly with the services, starting this weekend. And as soon as we can, I promise you that I will be uncompromising on this”he added.

“It is completely in accordance with the law”

“A white powder that one inhales through the nose? Although it may evoke forbidden pleasure, it is completely within the law”, touts the Sniffy brand on its website. Depending on the brand, the product, which acts for 20 to 30 minutes, contains l-arginine, an amino acid, caffeine, creatinine, l-citrulline, taurine and even maltodextrin.

The publicity around this product has provoked indignation and condemnations from representatives of several professions, police unions and tobacconists and addiction specialists. “The Confederation (of tobacconists) firmly opposes the marketing of these products”can we read on his Facebook page. “Let’s not compromise our ethics!”adds the professional organization. “The products that make up Sniffy are not banned substances, but my position is very clear and unambiguous. We are against this product”, declared to AFP, Philippe Coy, president of the Confederation of tobacconists. This evaluates to “a few dozen at most”the number of tobacconists selling this product.

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“It’s annoying to see this kind of product offered to young people,” declared Frédéric Valletoux. “It’s a constant race between almost ‘the sellers of death’, even if they might be angry with me for the expression, because it’s a bit radical” And “the repressive apparatus which is the law which must always run after those who have funny ideas for our young people”, noted the Minister Delegate in charge of Health.

Professionals express their concerns about the consumption of this product, which is not safe. First of all, there is a risk for people with heart problems. Snorting this powder can also lead to the use of drugs and particularly cocaine being trivialized, warns - Doctor William Lowenstein, president of SOS Addictions.

In December 2023, the National Assembly unanimously adopted at first reading a transpartisan bill to ban “puffs”. These single-use electronic cigarettes are very popular among young people, including minors. This first step towards a ban will still have to be confirmed by Brussels.


JC with AFP

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