WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.


Synthetic Nicotine Vs. Regular Nicotine: What’s Better?

December 28, 2021

Synthetic Nicotine Vs. Regular Nicotine: What’s Better?

Nicotine and Vaping

Nicotine is an addictive chemical. At eJuices.com, we have no interest in selling our products to adults who do not currently vape or smoketraditional nicotine consumption. From day one, we realized that underage vaping could pose an existential threat to our beloved vaping industry and someday deny adult vapers access to the characterizing flavors that the vast majority prefer over tobacco flavored e-liquids.

We have done everything in our power to curtail teenage vaping. We use industry leading age verification software and require adult signature upon delivery. We only market our products to adults. We carry the vape juices and hardware that adult vapers prefer. Minors are not welcome. If you do not smoke or vape, we encourage you not to start.  

Nicotine versus Smoking

Nicotine is often blamed for tobacco-related diseases, but it is the by-products of combustion that deserve special attention. Nicotine and smoking cannot be entirely separated. It is the addictive nature of nicotine that makes smoking cessation is so difficult.

Nicotine is often used as an anxiolytic drug even if studies have shown that it may fuel anxiety. Nicotine is also used as a stimulant. Whether it works or not, it is perceived as such.

We have never argued that nicotine is beneficial or even neutral. We offer a wide range of nicotine strengths in the hope that our customers will reduce their intake with an eye on a nicotine and vaping free lifestyle.

It is worth noting that Public Health England (PHE), an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care in England, estimates that e-cigarettes are around 95 percent less harmful than traditional nicotine. Their landmark study was first released in 2015.

This study is not a debunked piece of research still being cited because it fits our narrative, like the Orwellian-named Truth Initiative still touting their resident scientist Dr Stanton Glantz and his debunked vaping heart attack link.

The study was not a one-off effort to make waves. The UK is the shining beacon for a humane and science-based policy regarding tobacco control and vaping. Their research is updated annually, and as their offices promote vaping, they have access to far more data than any other entity in the world.

Here is the February 2021 version, which came to the same conclusion. If vaping proved ineffective, they would axe it immediately. In the same way that health modalities like herbal medicine, chiropractic care, homeopathy and supplements were all discarded by the NHS in recent years. They have skin in the game and money is an object. Healthcare isn’t for profit in the UK. Only the strongest treatment options survive.

UK Worried that Vaping has Plateaued

The UK does not pretend vaping and smoking are interchangeable evils to the win the favor of Michael Bloomberg and his anti-vaping largesse. They view the combustion of tobacco leaves rather than the ingestion of nicotine as the far graver threat to health.  

The UK’s dedicates time and energy to educate their citizens about the comparative risks of vaping and smoking. They host the website Using E-Cigarettes to Stop Smoking.

Currently, the NHS is worries that the concentrated efforts of anti-vaping lobbying groups have discouraged smokers from making the switch. The number of vapers has plateaued in the UK due to the flood of propaganda and misinformation that vilifies vaping. In their eyes, this has the makings of a public health crisis.

Prescription Vapes

The flattening out of vaping numbers is why the NHS plans to offer prescription vapes. In a single payer system, this means that marginalized and disadvantaged smokers in the UK can access traditional nicotine consumption without paying out of pocket.

During the same month (November 2021) that the UK explored innovative ways to get vaping products into the hands of smokers, President Biden proposed paying for part of his Build Back Better Plan with a purely regressive “Sin Tax” on vaping e-liquids. Sin taxes never work and punish the marginalized. Full stop.

The vape tax would be even worse than the typical sin tax on liquor, gambling, soda, or some other undesired purchase. The vape tax would disproportionately hit poorer Americans like a laser guided bomb.

While wealthy Americans still imbibe with great regularity and everyone has to purchase food, as a group the wealthiest gave up smoking several decades ago. Unlike other consumption taxes, it is hitting almost exclusively marginalized and disadvantaged Americans. It is not just regressive in the sense that everyone pays the same amount regardless of income. It hacks away at the disposable income of Americans least able to afford it.

Much more damningly, this tax would benefit Big Tobacco. There is no corresponding tax increase ontraditional nicotine consumption. Interestingly, this tax rise works hand in glove with the PACT ACT, which attacked online vape companies and furthered the business interests of Big Tobacco and their e-cigarette subsidiaries. Are you beginning to detect a pattern here?


Nicotine Replacement Therapy


To compare tobacco derived nicotine with synthetic nicotine, it is important to divorce nicotine from the specific harms caused bytraditional nicotine consumption. The context above is important but it is just as important to keep in mind that nicotine is still a highly addictive chemical.

Synthetic nicotine is not new. It has been around for decades, used in medical research and nicotine replacement therapies such as the patch and gums. These popular nicotine replacement therapies were destroyed by vaping in a smoking cessation study posted by the New England Journal of Medicine. The NHS readily advertises this fact and is a major reason that prescription vapes are on the horizon.

In the US, the goal posts were moved as soon as this ground-breaking study dropped. The rug had been pulled out from under the lie that vaping was a gateway to cigarette use. The NEJM study drove the final nail into the coffin of the dual use myth, a theory that argues vapers only vape when they can’t rip butts.

The new spin they created after their beloved nicotine replacement therapies were destroyed was this: Vapers stop smoking but they continue to vape. This argument fails to consider that even ex-FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, no fan of vaping, said it would be a net positive if all smokers switched to vaping.  


Synthetic Nicotine in Vaping


Purely synthetic nicotine was too expensive to be used in vape juices until recently. From a performance standpoint, tobacco derived nicotine has proven to be perfectly suitable. But a breakthrough by Next Generation Labs (NGL) has made non-tobacco nicotine affordable enough to be used in commercially available vape juices.

NGL’s non-tobacco nicotine product has the trademarked name Tobacco Free Nicotine (TFN). It is the primary non-tobacco nicotine used in most synthetic nicotine vape juices.  

NGL is not some fly by night operation, but a respectable scientific lab and manufacturing facility. Their process is patented, and they have no intention of losing a competitive edge worked tirelessly to achieve.

Unless you have lived under a rock for the last five years, you can probably guess how well synthetic nicotine was greeted by our ruling class. It is viewed as a big problem that must be suppressed.




The molecular formula for nicotine is C10 H14 N2. It does not matter whether it comes from the tobacco leaf, another nightshade plant that contains nicotine like a tomato, or from a laboratory. It is a nicotine molecule and identical under a microscope.

Nicotine is a chiral molecule, meaning that it is not superimposable as a mirror image. There are two variations of the nicotine molecule: S-isomer and an R-isomer. In plant nicotine, R-isomer is only present in small quantities. It is much cheaper to manufacture nicotine that is 50 percent R-isomer and 50 percent S-isomer due to the manufacturing process.

The R-isomer is found in small amounts in whole leaf tobacco and is considered biologically inert. S-Isomer has the biological effects associated with nicotine consumption.  It would take twice the volume of a nicotine which is half R and half S-isomer to match the potency of pure S-Isomer. 

R-Isomer Nicotine


Ron Tully, a founding member of Next Generation Labs, is not so quick to dismiss R-Isomer as a dead end.

“Nicotine has been studied extensively in its naturally derived tobacco form, which includes the naturally occurring S and R isomers, which are metabolized in the consumption of current cigarette, vape and smokeless tobacco products. There is nothing to indicate that the R isomer is anything other than a positive attribute to the nicotine molecule.”

A July 2021  press release by Next Generation Labs announced a had been granted patent for the use of TFN Combinational R- and S-Isomer synthetic nicotine in tobacco cessation products. In this release, NGL elaborated on their vision of a future that heavily features R-isomer nicotine. 

“Next Generation Labs believes future combinational R- and S-isomer nicotine formulations may prove to be less addictive than natural or biosimilar standalone S-isomer nicotine and could potentially help achieve the broader public health goal of providing adult consumers with a satisfying, but non-addictive form of nicotine to replace current products. These new variable isomeric ratios of synthetic nicotine products may ultimately assist adults in quitting or reducing their overall dependence on current tobacco, vape and nicotine products.”

“We are at an early stage in the evolution of isomeric nicotine and its utility. NGL is trying to ensure that companies have the option based on their evaluation of the utility and safety of synthetic nicotine in their products.”


Manufacturing Nicotine


The most common form of extracting nicotine from the tobacco plant is solvent extraction. This method utilizes organic solvents to retrieve phytochemicals like alkaloids from crushed plant matter. The final nicotine distillate is pharmaceutical nicotine because it is 99.9% pure, like any pharmaceutical-grade chemical.

Synthetic nicotine production occurs in certified labs and uses proprietary processes. Niacin is among the chemicals used in the process, which yields 100% pure nicotine. Considering that R and S Isomer levels can be manipulated in both non-tobacco and tobacco derived nicotine, the main difference between is purity. The processes for making synthetic, non-tobacco, and Tobacco Free Nicotine are closely guarded trade secrets. 

Synthetic Nicotine versus Regular Nicotine


Synthetic nicotine and natural nicotine share the exact molecular structure; therefore, they also have the same stimulant effect on the body.

One difference between the two is flavor. There are trace impurities in tobacco derived nicotine and therefore synthetic nicotine has a more neutral flavor.

This difference is subtle. The characterizing flavors included in the e-liquid shine a bit brighter with TFN and there are no traces of tobacco that muddy the notes.

The difference is not so great that it is easily discerned. Coil life, wattage, device being used, which flavor you are vaping, nicotine strength and even how long you have been vaping a specific flavor will have a much bigger impact on your vaping experience than the type of nicotine used.  

The largest difference between synthetic and regular nicotine can be found in their respective origins.  


Environmental Impact of Tobacco


Tobacco-derived nicotine is grown by the tobacco industry. Rather than being replicated using scientific processes in a lab like synthetic nicotine, industrial scale agriculture provides the tobacco that is converted into e-liquid nicotine. It may not be much, but a portion of the cost of every bottle goes back to the tobacco growers and nicotine producers.

And who are these tobacco growers? Could it be Farmer Brown, in a straw hat tending his bucolic pastures, admiring his red barn, and riding a tractor through a sylvan glade on the way to milk his cow Bessy? Or might this tobacco have been grown by a dominant industrial cabal referred to as Big Tobacco.  You get two guesses.

Even if you are a vaper who has no issue putting more money into Big Tobacco’s hands, consider the destructive role the tobacco farming has on our environment. A World Health Organization Study took aim at the environmental impact of tobacco. They found that commercial tobacco agriculture degrades soil, exposes workers to hazardous pesticides and nicotine poisoning, and contributes to food insecurity. It relies heavily on fossil fuel inputs to manage crop yields and operate the massive infrastructure.

Whether it is the growing, curing, transporting, hiring lawyers to manipulate regulations, disposal of waste, pesticides, or the destructive impact of the actual plant when smoked, any effort by the independent vaping industry to cut all ties with the tobacco industry is a step in the right direction.

Synthetic nicotine and non-tobacco nicotine are important steps towards a carbon neutral industry that is not reliant on Big Tobacco for raw materials. The production capacity of synthetic and Tobacco Free Nicotine can be expanded without increasing the carbon footprint or acreage dedicated to the cultivation of tobacco.










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