ABC Trumpets Schumer’s War vs. Zyn Nicotine Pouches, Ignores His Support for Marjuana

News & Politics

Wednesday’s Good Morning America (GMA) showcased Disney’s ABC behaving like public relations associates for the left’s latest fad as they eagerly spent a full segment promoting Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) declaring war on Zyn nicotine pouches under the guise of being a threat to children. The problem? They ignored Schumer’s virulent support for legalizing marijuana as a new frontier of freedom.

Given the left’s penchant for celebrating pot, it wasn’t entirely surprising they only have an issue with nicotine, but not other, harder drugs.

“Nicotine pouches. The calls to crack down on kids using Zyn. Popularity soaring with ‘Zynfluencers’ on TikTok. And this morning the risks, especially for the nicotine naive,” warned co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos in a tease.

Notice how the problem isn’t Chinese-owned TikTok dumbing down society and large accounts drumming up and encouraging the use of Zyn, but instead, Zyn itself even though it’s something former smokers have turned to as an alternative as they look to quit.

With a chyron warning of “nicotine pouches meant for adults gaining popularity on social media,” co-host Robin Roberts tossed to weekend GMA co-host Eva Pilgrim by fretting Zyn’s been “getting attention”.

Pilgrim argued that the pouches, which “discreetly tuck between your lip and gums and they are quickly growing in popularity”, have been “raising questions about safety and access” and “calls to crack down on” Zyn.

Citing “Zyn amassing 700 million views on [TikTok] and getting the attention of Gen Z,” Pilgrim said CDC sales and 2023 data “showing 1.7 percent of high schoolers reporting use in the past 30 days” are cause for concern.

Of course, like most liberal priorities, their real goal wasn’t exactly what they thought it was. Marketing drugs to teenagers? In polite society, that’s almost akin to being pro-puppy torture.

Pilgrim tucked Schumer in (as if he were only a minor piece of the puzzle), boasting that he “led the charges against vapes and e-cigarettes being marketed to children, now setting his sights on nicotine patches.”

Pilgrim went on to explain the dangers of taking Zyn without any prior nicotine use or awareness about the gross side effects (click “expand”):

PILGRIM: And while these pouches contain a smaller amount of the highly addictive drug compared to traditional cigarettes, medical experts say it is too early to tell what the long term health effects could be for kids, but add that individuals who are nicotine naive, especially young individuals, can be at risk for acute nicotine toxicity if consumed in high amounts, which may cause agitation, fast heart rate, and vomiting. Prolonged nicotine use can cause cardiovascular and respiratory disorders.

AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION’s DR. PANAGIS GALIATSATOS: If you take kids that are in their teenage years and make them life-long users, four, five decades later, I don’t know what the health consequences would be.

PILGRIM: The parent company of Zyn, Philip Morris International, saying ABC News: “Zyn designed for adults 21 or older who are currently using nicotine products and wish to continue using nicotine. Our marketing practices — which prohibit the use of social media influencers — are focused on preventing underage access and set the benchmark for the industry.” Yeah, and, you know, the company is saying they’re not marketing towards young people, but young people are finding these products. If you or someone you know is struggling with nicotine addiction or other substance abuse, free, confidential help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the National Substance Abuse Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

If Pilgrim were interested in a more noble cause against cigarettes or drugs, perhaps she should get on Al Sharpton’s case about menthol cigarettes.

In contrast, NewsNation and On Balance host Leland Vittert took Schumer to task on Tuesday for his hypocrisy of being a supporter of marijuana but not Zyn.

“Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats go all-in on legalize — you see, there we go — all in legalizing pot, but last week, they wanted to regulate Zyn nicotine patches. The class divide behind America’s elite love of pot. And love to hate nicotine,” he said the second of two teases.

Using a 2021 clip of Schumer touting marijuana legalization as pro-“freedom”, Vittert pointed out Schumer has less concern with something that “16 million people report being addicted among 52 million Americans 12 and older” who “say they’ve used marijuana in the past month” and “[n]early one-third of users say they can’t quit.”

Vittert noted that between findings such as this and the fact that extended use “has now been found to cause psychosis, especially in young adults,” there’s a “real problem” with the drug and “real questions…pro-pot folks don’t like talking about.”

The former Fox News correspondent went on to connect these problems that Schumer doesn’t seem to have a problem with to Zyn, which Schumer perceives as the real scourge (click “expand”):

VITTERT: [I]t’s interesting because Schumer’s pot advocacy this week comes after a stern warning about nicotine last week. He wants to outlaw or heavily regulate Zyn. They are non-tobacco, meaning just the drug form of nicotine pouches that you put in your mouth. 

SCHUMER: Pouch packed with problems. High levels of nicotine. So, today, I’m delivering a warning to parents.

VITTERT: So in other words, high levels of nicotine? Well, we have a problem. High levels of THC? It’s about freedom. And full disclosure, after our story last week about Schumer’s Zyn crackdown, I tried Zyn for the first time. It wasn’t fun. It turned me as green as Kermit the Frog and our graphics department has illustrated exactly how I looked on Saturday night. And I know my mother’s watching and I will hear about this after the show. But I feel being honest with the viewers is important. That said, it was my choice. As Chuck Schumer would say, it was freedom, freedom to be stupid. So, if marijuana can be a choice, why can’t nicotine? We’re not talking about tobacco. We’re just talking about nicotine, a drug just like THC.

Vittert wrapped with this zinger: “So, it’s like a lot of things these days where there’s a divide in America. Marijuana is the drug of the elite. Thus, pot shops all over Brooklyn and close to middle schools are just fine with Chuck Schumer.”

To see the relevant transcripts, click here (for ABC) and here (for NewsNation).

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