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by Blake Brown September 09, 2020

As the vapor products industry continues to move forward, Tobacco Free Nicotine (TFN) has come back into focus once again just on the brink of the PMTA (Premarket Tobacco Application) deadline. It has many still wondering if it is a viable option, what are the benefits of using it, and whether it falls under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) jurisdiction or not, could it be the future of vape juice? These are all very valid concerns that we plan to answer so that you not only learn more about Tobacco Free Nicotine, but how it will affect you as a vaping consumer.

What many of us find interesting is that up until salt nicotine was introduced and the PMTA became a burden to both manufacturers and consumers, not many people put much thought into the very ingredient that fueled vape juice, nicotine. Consumers automatically assume what they’re vaping is the best and only option available, and that has become the norm. Today marks the PMTA submission deadline, and after today, the industry will never be the same… or so we thought. Allow us to introduce you to Tobacco Free Nicotine!

Tobacco Free Nicotine NKTR Vape Juice

What Is Tobacco Free Nicotine?

Tobacco Free Nicotine, commonly referred to in its abbreviated form as TFN, is synthetic (man-made) nicotine that does not use any part of the tobacco plant. It is an extract replica of tobacco-derived nicotine, maintaining the same molecular structure and many of the same characteristics, such as being odorless and tasteless. Scientists have constructed TFN on a micro molecular scale, allowing them to develop the nicotine molecule without using the leaf, dust, or any part of tobacco.

How Is TFN Different From Tobacco-Derived Nicotine?

Though some would assume that Tobacco Free Nicotine is different from tobacco-derived nicotine, it isn’t. For instance, salt nicotine is different because it is a modified version of freebase nicotine. However, TFN is synthetic nicotine and is an exact replica of tobacco-derived nicotine, except that it is even purer and offers even better quality. In fact, up until now, freebase nicotine was the purest form of nicotine compared to other nicotine derivatives and is a method that tobacco companies have used since as far back as the 1960s.

Tobacco Free Nicotine

In reality, there is no real difference between the synthetic version and the natural version, other than the best quality, purity, and potency. TFN does not contain any of the impurities that tobacco-derived nicotine contains and maintains the same biological impact that tobacco-derived nicotine offers. In other words, you will never know the difference between a vape juice that uses Tobacco Free Nicotine and one that uses tobacco-derived nicotine. The difference in quality, purity, and potency would not show in the final product.

What Are The Benefits of Tobacco Free Nicotine?

Right now, there is only one company that controls the landscape of Tobacco Free Nicotine, and that is Next Generation Labs, which has a patent pending on the unique chemical. The company claims the following benefits:

  • TFN “is devoid of many of the impurities that tobacco-derived nicotine contains, which in some cases could be using kerosene to extract nicotine which may not fully clear out during purification.”
  • TFN “is virtually tasteless and odorless, providing a purer flavor and less of a need for added sweeteners or artificial flavors.”
  • TFN “provides the same biological impact as tobacco-derived nicotine.”

Does The FDA Have Control Over Tobacco Free Nicotine?

Food and Drug Administration

While the PMTA deadline is among us, many people are wondering how the FDA will handle it or if they will be handling it at all. The question is, does the FDA have control over Tobacco Free Nicotine? The answer is, no. According to CStore Decisions, the FDA has addressed the question of Tobacco Free Nicotine or synthetic nicotine, and they’ve confirmed that e-liquids made with synthetic nicotine will not be regulated.

All indications from the FDA confirm our long-held position: TFN Nicotine products cannot be regulated under the Deeming Rule as they are not tobacco products, and we continue to believe that an open or closed system device for use with a choice of synthetic nicotine products will qualify as a non-tobacco product.

Vincent Schuman, Next Generation Labs CEO

This ultimately means that vape juice using TFN is not bound to the PMTA deadline, process, or any involvement with the Food and Drug Administration.

Why Aren’t More Vape Juice Companies Using TFN?

At the time of writing this article, there are very few vape juice companies that use Tobacco Free Nicotine. There were some early adopters, such as NKTR, however, that didn’t motivate many to flock in the same direction. The higher price tag is the main part that continues to hold vape juice companies back from adding it to their recipes, along with not wanting to lose the database of repeat customers that prefer natural, tobacco-derived nicotine. We’re sure that there are many reasons why manufacturers haven’t adopted TFN, however, we believe some of them may have a change of heart in the coming months.

While some vape juice companies can muster up the millions of dollars that are required from the PMTA process, there are many that cannot, or simply refuse it. With that said, we believe that we will see many of those who did not undergo the burden to jump on the TFN wagon.

Is TFN The Future of Vape Juice?

When you think back years ago when the vapor products industry was still in its infancy, we were all asking if advanced vape mods would be the future of devices as we slowly transitioned from cig-a-likes to big battery devices. Years later when Juul released its devices, which used Salt Nicotine Vape Juice, we were asking if Salt Nicotine would be the future of vape juice. To answer the question many wonders, if Tobacco Free Nicotine is the future of vape juice, the answer is yes.

Just like our large mods, our small mods, and salt nicotine, the vapor products industry is being built to become a large ecosystem of vaping options. After all, isn’t that what has propelled the industry since its birth, the innovation and motivation to create less harmful nicotine products? Tobacco Free Nicotine is just the next big innovation and another stepping stone for consumers.

Blake Brown
Blake Brown


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