Though synthetic in name, this type of nicotine isn’t as “manufactured” as the name makes it out to be.

In the past few years, vaping has been the subject of much debate due to the sanctions and regulations imposed upon vaping products by the Tobacco Products Directive Laws. As a nicotine containing product, and nicotine having come from tobacco plants, vape juice and its accessories have come under tight restrictions. With a 2 ml limit on vape tanks and 10 ml vape juice bottles only being allowed to have a maximum concentration of 20 mg, vape companies have begun to look at alternatives for their nicotine, to find loopholes in the restrictive TPD laws. That’s where synthetic nicotine comes in.

What is synthetic nicotine?

Synthetic nicotine is made from a range of molecules which can be arranged to form the chemical we know as nicotine. Although this comes from tobacco, the main source we get our nicotine from, we can also find nicotine in other products, such as potato, tomato and aubergines, which are plants and vegetables in the same family of nightshade plants. Although these plants produce the same type of nicotine, they are in much smaller qualities. However, with the use of acids such as sulphuric acid and niacin, you can create the same strength in nicotine but using other products and some great chemistry. The only problem is creating the right “type” of nicotine, the (S) type. Nicotine coming in two different forms which are often mixed together. This requires some extra finesse from scientists, but it is doable in creating nicotine with the same potency as that from tobacco.

How can it help vaping?

Creating synthetic nicotine would mean that you can find nicotine from other products other than tobacco, ensuring that you are instead using anything from tobacco. Seeing as the TPD laws only focus on Tobacco and related products, you could get around the laws through the loophole and technicality that synthetic nicotine has little to do with tobacco. This in theory means that you would be able to bypass the maximum tank laws and vape in a freer way, currently prohibited from even the best e liquid stores in London.

Do companies use it?

There are a few vape companies out there who use synthetic nicotine or have begun experimenting with it in their products. The problem is, it’s still quite expensive to develop, due to the chemical processes and extra work which needs to go into developing it.

What does it mean for vaping in the long run?

So, will vaping be transformed from the choke hold of the TPD laws? Sadly, the answer is probably not. Due to the expenses which must go into developing synthetic nicotine, it’s still out of the price range of most people, whilst if it did make its way into the mainstream due to cheaper production, then the Tobacco Products Directive could most likely find a way to incorporate it into their laws which are still being reassessed and developed.

There’s no point being cynical though, synthetic nicotine may still have a chance of at least helping the vape community to give a definitive alternative and a concrete counter argument to the restrictive laws.