October 15, 2021
What is tobacco free nicotine?
Tobacco-free nicotine (TFN) is nicotine that is made in a lab instead of extracted from tobacco plants. It can also be called synthetic nicotine. Most of the nicotine used in eliquids was made by growing tobacco and extracting the nicotine from the plants.
Although it is all nicotine, there are a few small differences. Due to the synthetic nature of TFN, there is no chance of any part of a tobacco plant ending up in the final product. That can result in a cleaner taste than tobacco derived nicotine.
Are there tobacco free nicotine salts?
Yes. Nicotine salts are basically pure nicotine treated so that it is more similar to the nicotine in tobacco plants. The same process can be applied to tobacco derived nicotine and tobacco free nicotine, so tobacco free nicotine salts do exist.
Why didn’t companies use tobacco free nicotine before?
The simplest reason vape companies did not use synthetic nicotine was that tobacco-free nicotine tends to be more expensive than tobacco derived nicotine. Synthetic nicotine is relatively new. There is not nearly as much infrastructure to create nicotine from scratch, compared to existing facilities that harvest and process tobacco plants.
Why are vape companies switching to synthetic nicotine now?
Currently, the FDA defines “any product made or derived from tobacco and intended for human consumption, including any component, part, or accessory of a tobacco product” as a tobacco product. The reason electronic cigarettes and mods are subject to the PMTA is because they are meant to be used with vape liquids that have nicotine derived from tobacco plants.
However, vape liquids that have nicotine that is not derived from tobacco doesn’t quite fit in that definition. While the vape liquids are most likely under FDA jurisdiction, they seem to view synthetic nicotine as separate and something to be regulated on a “case-by-case basis.”
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