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Is synthetic nicotine the secret weapon against the FDA e-cig regulations?

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As the vaping industry faces ongoing legal challenges regarding the recently announced FDA e-cig regulations of May 5, a prominent retailer is leading the charge towards substituting synthetic nicotine in e-liquids as a possible secret weapon to avoid federal oversight. Next Generation Labs has been perfecting the artificial version for over a year now and has even shown some level of success by including it in three product lines in the recent past.

According to customer surveys, the synthetic-infused e-liquids lack the often harsh aftertaste of natural nicotine while providing a significantly smoother vaping experience. Next Generation Labs is so impressed with the results that the company is now transitioning its entire line of e-juices to synthetic nicotine. As the vaping industry continues to fight over the new FDA e-cig regulations which now classify all electronic cigarettes as “tobacco products,” many in the industry are beginning to wonder if tobacco-free nicotine is the way to go.

Synthetic nicotine and the FDA e-cig regulations

The FDA e-cig regulations get their presumed authority from the Tobacco Control Act of 2009, which defines tobacco products as “any product made or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption, including any component, part, or accessory of a tobacco product.” Representatives of Next Generation Labs firmly believe that e-juices using synthetic nicotine would not legally fall under this very restrictive definition and would, therefore, be immune to government regulation.

While this argument seems to make sense from a very basic standpoint, many in the vaping industry are not immediately convinced. A recent lawsuit filed by eleven of the top e-cig advocacy groups in the country argue that tobacco and nicotine are two very different things entirely. Nicotine is a nutrient found in many types of plants other than tobacco leaves, including bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant. Yet the FDA does not choose to regulate nicotine-infused spaghetti sauce with the same enthusiasm as electronic cigarettes, for example.

Following this line of thought, e-juices are already 100% tobacco-free and should not fall under the regulatory jurisdiction of the FDA. As a result, many fear that the FDA could very easily re-write the deeming regulations to include synthetic nicotine at some point in the future.

The costs of synthetic nicotine

Another point of consideration is that synthetic nicotine currently costs about 13-times more than the natural form. But because the artificial version does not have the harsh aftertaste of natural nicotine, manufacturers can save a bit of money by reducing the amounts of flavorings in each brand of e-juice. Next Generation Labs also predicts that the price of artificial nicotine will likely continue to drop over time as more and more retailers begin to jump on board. While synthetic nicotine many not be a guaranteed secret weapon to avoiding the FDA e-cig regulations completely, it may buy the vaping industry enough time to win these pending court cases that might takes years if not decades to finalize.

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