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The newest weight-loss hack has people turning to a highly addictive drug

Dan DeFrancesco   

The newest weight-loss hack has people turning to a highly addictive drug
  • This post originally appeared in the Insider Today newsletter.

Happy Friday! New trailer alert! Check out a preview of the upcoming HBO documentary "MoviePass, MovieCrash" which chronicles the rise and fall of movie-ticket subscription company MoviePass.

In today's big story, we're looking at how Zyn nicotine pouches are becoming the new weight-loss quick fix.

What's on deck:

But first, forget Ozempic, I'm on "O-zyn-pic."

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The big story

Zyn to get slim

Pack a lip, and watch the weight drip.

A new weight-loss quick fix is making the rounds just in time for summer's unofficial start (Memorial Day), but this one relies on a highly addictive drug.

Zyn nicotine patches — a favorite among finance bros and Republican lawmakers — are developing a new fan base among people looking to drop weight fast, writes Business Insider's Hilary Brueck and Mia de Graaf.

Users are touting how the small pouches you tuck inside your lip have suppressed their appetites. However, one doctor Hilary spoke to has concerns about the effects of using nicotine to lose weight.

Weight-loss drugs can be tricky in the best of circumstances.

GLP-1 drugs like Ozempic have been effective in helping people with metabolic conditions. But they haven't been tested on people who don't need them. And with widespread shortages limiting access, using them to shed a couple of pounds fast isn't realistic for most.

Using nicotine to lose weight is a tried (but maybe not true) practice. In the 1920s, cigarette companies marketed themselves as a way to "keep a slender figure."

Nicotine pouches like Zyn don't contain some of the harmful ingredients you'd find in cigarettes or vapes, which is why they're considered by some to be a healthy alternative. But research suggests they increase blood pressure and heart rate.

They're also still incredibly addictive, which comes with its own issues. Some friends I spoke to found it harder it kick Zyns than tobacco products.

Of course, you don't have to rely on a highly addictive drug to lose weight.

Physical activity, for one, is usually a good bet. And with the weather getting nice, it might be time to try your hand at a racket sport that's growing in popularity.

No, I'm not talking about pickleball.

Padel might seem like pickleball's cousin with a trust fund, but there are plenty of differences. BI's Jordan Hart has a rundown on everything you need to know about padel.

And yes, padel has definitely caught on with the elite. Since the sport requires a bit more infrastructure than pickleball, exclusive padel clubs have popped up, attracting financiers and former athletes.

So not only will playing help you get in shape, you might land your next gig or investment.

But if padel is a bit outside your budget, BI's Gabby Landsverk has done a ton of stories on simple workouts and diets that can help you reach your fitness and weight-loss goals.

3 things in markets

  1. Jamie Dimon isn't feeling optimistic about inflation. The JPMorgan CEO sees a slew of factors — green-energy transition, infrastructure buildout, geopolitical remilitarization — keeping prices high. Someone else appears to agree with him, and he's pretty important: Fed Chair Jerome Powell.
  2. How to tap into your retirement savings without getting knocked for it. If you're thinking about early retirement — lucky you — Rule72(t) allows for penalty-free IRA withdrawals. Pulling cash from your IRA should probably be a last resort, a certified retirement counselor told BI, but strategies like amortization or purchasing an annuity could be a fallback plan.
  3. Redditors are questioning Roaring Kitty's comeback. This week, the meme stock aficionado posted on X for the first time in nearly three years, sparking a GameStop rally that later fizzled out. But inactivity on his other accounts has raised suspicion among some Redditors.

3 things in tech

  1. Disney wants better app store deals. Disney CEO Bob Iger said he's giving too much money to the Big Tech app stores that distribute Disney-owned streamers like Hulu and Disney+. In other words: Apple and Google better watch out.
  2. Big Tech's spending on AI could surpass $1 trillion in the next five years. Despite cutting costs elsewhere, tech companies will continue spending big money on the GPUs and data centers needed to support their generative artificial intelligence ambitions, according to a Bernstein research note.
  3. Microsoft is reportedly offering to relocate 800 workers based in China. The tech giant is offering transfers to workers involved in machine learning or cloud computing to countries like the US, Ireland, and Australia, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

3 things in business

  1. Escaping JPMorgan's "golden handcuffs." After years working high-paying jobs at Citi and JPMorgan, this writer quit the banking industry. She said she enjoyed the prestige of banking, but the job felt like "golden handcuffs" — and she regained her sense of purpose after leaving.
  2. New acronym just dropped: Meet the HIFIs. High-income, financially insecure individuals want to exude wealth but are struggling to keep up with their lifestyle creep. They're predominantly made up of millennials and Gen Zers.
  3. Career advice (Google's version). A director of engineering for the tech giant, writing for BI, shared five things to avoid doing for a successful career. Those aiming for success should avoid pushing for premature promotions and job-hopping, he said.

In other news

The Insider Today team: Dan DeFrancesco, deputy editor and anchor, in New York. Jordan Parker Erb, editor, in New York. Hallam Bullock, senior editor, in London. George Glover, reporter, in London.

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