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E Juice: Tobacco Free Nicotine – The Lowdown

Tobacco Free Nicotine – The Lowdown

Tobacco Free Nicotine – The Lowdown

You may have heard some of the buzz lately about products that use "tobacco-free nicotine" or "TFN," and if so you're probably wondering what the big deal is. Let's dive in and take a look.

First, the name pretty much describes the product – it's nicotine synthesized in a laboratory without using actual tobacco plants for extraction. While it's not exactly new, since the first synthetic nicotine was created over 100 years ago, it's recently garnered a lot of attention in the vape industry, particularly considering the confusion that seems to abound now that the FDA's deeming regulations against vaping products are starting to become common knowledge.

Why would you want TFN liquid? The biggest answer is the clean taste – while there's a big difference in quality in various nicotine extracted in the traditional manner, even the best will retain a tiny bit of a plant-like taste that requires extra sweeteners or artificial flavors to mask. TFN is virtually flavorless, allowing delicate flavors or complex mixes to really shine, and for mixers to use less PG-based flavoring in the first place, meaning max-VG liquids increasingly preferred today can contain an even higher percentage of vegetable glycerin.

There's a drawback, though – synthetic nicotine can cost up to 13 times as much to produce as the plant-based stuff (in part because it can take as long as a week to make a single batch), so it's not likely to start working its way into budget juice lines, at least at first. Expect your top-shelf bottlers to be early adopters, especially ones that mix clean, crisp fruits rather than heavy, sweet candies and desserts.

But what about the FDA? Since this nicotine has absolutely nothing to do with tobacco, does that mean that TFN juices fall outside the scope of the dreaded deeming regulations?

There are people who buy into this argument, for sure, though it's not likely to hold much sway with the decision makers in the federal government. Remember, they've already decided that your metal vape mod, your metal-and-glass tanks, and even 100% nicotine-free e-liquid are all considered tobacco products. Still, TFN opens another front on the battle to keep vaping legal and keep converting ex-smokers (or preventing potential future smokers) from picking up what everyone knows is a deadly habit, so if you're one of the vast majority of vapers who doesn't belong to CASAA or another vaping advocacy organization, now is the time to sign up and add your voice to the chorus demanding freedom.