There’s a surprising history between footballers and smoking. However, as the vast risks associated with smoking rose to public consciousness, it’s no wonder that we saw a significant rise in athletes ditching smoking for less harmful alternatives.

4NX blue raspberry ice guide to smoking alternatives

Why Are Footballers Giving Up Cigarettes?

Although smoking has never paired well with athleticism for apparent reasons, there’s a deeper connection between smoking and football than you may expect.

In the 1930s, cigarette brands saw English footballers as the perfect fit for promoting smoking products since it was so common among players. 20th-century perceptions are more understandable when you consider the context; explore our blog on how the history of nicotine pouches took a long time to progress due to centuries of misconceptions surrounding tobacco products.

By the 1980s, we can observe a significant shift in cigarette usage once the health risks became apparent. Studies indicate that in this period, smoking decreased significantly amongst professional footballers. Only a slim margin of 5% had a smoking habit, and it’s safe to assume this number has only decreased in the past forty years.

This can be attributed to growing awareness of tobacco drawbacks. We’ll take you through some of them below:

Fire Hazards

The tragedy of the Bradford City stadium fire remains strong in the memories of the British public. All it took was a single lit cigarette to cause one of the worst disasters in the Football League’s history, killing 56 spectators and injuring around 265 people.

This event cannot be blamed solely on cigarettes but on a combination of factors, such as the accumulation of paper litter and the wooden, outdated facilities of the stadium.

However, it is undeniable that cigarettes are a considerable fire hazard.

Restrictions On Smoking Are Increasing

Following the disaster of Bradford City stadium, the Football Association officially banned smoking in wooden stadiums across the country. Combined with growing anti-smoking sentiment towards the end of the 20th century, this led to FIFA prohibiting smoking in all stadiums being used for FIFA-led competitions by 2010.

Health Risks

Lungs surrounded by smoke

Besides the glaring risk of fire hazards, smoking does considerable damage to the body in general.

Top footballers must keep their bodies in peak physical condition to compete in such a high-intensity sport. Smoking inhibits footballers’ ability to perform by reducing oxygen levels in the lungs, muscles, and heart.

It doesn’t matter how physically fit you are; smoking is just as harmful to people who exercise and will only make staying fit harder.

These reasons are why we are seeing a rise in footballers opting for smokeless alternatives, but what are they using instead?

Are Nicotine Pouches Better for Footballers Than Cigarettes?

wayne lineker with 4NX pouches

Nicotine pouches are becoming a favourite for footballers looking to quit, and it’s easy to see why. The slim pre-portioned pouches of nicotine are designed to fit under the top lip and offer footballers a discreet, convenient way to satisfy cravings without fire hazards, public disruption or tobacco consumption.

What About Snus?

Nicotine pouches are far better than other alternatives – such as snus – for quitting smoking. This option provides athletes and fans alike a smoke-free, tobacco-free way to sate nicotine urges anywhere and at any time.

Compared with tobacco products, there are no similar legal restrictions on nicotine pouches in the UK. You can even use them on the plane!

4NX arctic mint and loose snus in tin

Whether you’re dreaming of becoming a football star or want to have a good time in the stadium during a match, 4NX nicotine pouches offer you the opportunity for a flavourful and discreet nicotine hit.