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TFN eLiquid and the FDA

Can TFN in eJuice Make a Difference?

TFN – Tobacco Free Nicotine 

TFN – Tobacco Free Nicotine and the FDA – Spinfuel eMagazine

 The use  a TFN (tobacco free nicotine) in ejuice was only a matter of time, most likely arriving sooner rather than later because of ill-informed deeming regulations slapped on virtually all vaping products by the FDA. (FDA Deeming Regulations), TFN’s are nicotine that is not derived by tobacco plants.

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 What Is Tobacco Free Nicotine Exactly?

 Simply put, tobacco free nicotine is essentially nicotine that is obtained from any source other than the tobacco plant. Nicotine is not an exclusive chemical of the tobacco plant, it is found in tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, Goji berries, peppers and other plants.  These plants are members of the Nightshade family, which belong to the Solanaceae family, and includes more than 2000 species. In addition, nicotine can now be created in a lab.

Natural and Synthetic Nicotine

 Nicotine is engineered by certain plants in the Nightshade family as a natural insecticide. Nicotine has also been concocted by scientists who had figured out the illusive chemical formula. These scientists created a ‘synthetic nicotine’ that is identical to natural nicotine in every way, right down to the individual molecules.

While the tobacco plant produces the more nicotine than any other plant in ‘plant kingdom’, there are alternative eliquids on the market now because TFN’s have become affordable (though still more expensive than nicotine from tobacco) to use in eliquid.

Whether TFN’s are made by plants or in a lab, they are identical in its chemical structure. Natural or synthetic, nicotine is nicotine.

Does TFN’s Matter?

TFN – Tobacco Free Nicotine and the FDA – Spinfuel eMagazine
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The Spinfuel eLiquid Review Team conducted their first ever review recently with a TFN eliquid line called SUA Vapors. The brand began offering its eliquid in August 2016, with just three eliquid flavors as of the date of this primer.

But here’s the catch; had the team not known ahead of time that they were vaping ejuice with nicotine that was not sourced from tobacco, they would not have known. TFN Nicotine and tobacco-sourced nicotine is tasteless, and odorless. To top it all off, the TFN nicotine is just as effective at curbing nicotine cravings as tobacco nicotine.

What About The FDA?

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 The FDA has recently asserted that it can regulate vaping liquids that contain no nicotine, so we shouldn’t expect the FDA to turn a blind eye at either synthetic nicotine or nicotine made from other plants, at least not yet. The fact is, the FDA is out to destroy the vaping industry and could very well see TFN’s a way to purposefully get around the regulations. The FDA wouldn’t be wrong in this assertion since both natural and synthetic nicotine are indistinguishable, even under a microscope, and because tobacco sourced nicotine is easier to get, moving to a TFN would only make sense as a way to attempt a way around the regulations.

Still, you would think that nicotine’s origin would have to give eliquid manufacturers some sort of edge on the

TFN – Tobacco Free Nicotine and the FDA – Spinfuel eMagazine
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regulations. After all, the so-called aim of these FDA regulations is to safe guard the public from tobacco, not nicotine. Nicotine has been shown to be about as addictive as caffeine, and about as harmful as caffeine, and you don’t see the FDA regulating the amount of caffeine in coffee, energy drinks, or any other product containing it.

 Question: If e-liquid has no tobacco based nicotine in it can it, should it, still be labeled by the FDA as a tobacco product?

Answer: As far as the FDA is concerned, as soon as eliquid is placed in a vaping device, no matter where it comes from, natural or synthetic, it is deemed… 

“to be used for the human consumption of tobacco or a tobacco product” it becomes a tobacco product. Absolutely insane!  The intended use language in the FDA deeming regulations is written in such a way so that every time someone or some company claims they have found a way to skirt the regulations, the FDA have the innate power to shut them down.

TFN as Drug Delivery System?

We here at Spinfuel VAPE Magazine strongly believe the FDA has overreached so much that the ‘deeming regulations’ violate its own mandate, but if we, the vape community, cannot effectively work to change these awful regulations then we must continue to try to find ways to get around them if its possible.

Sadly, even if the FDA bought into the whole TFN eliquid movement, this new nicotine could easily be classified as a drug delivery system instead, something we do not want to see happen. Overloading the finite number of doctors in order to get a prescription for this drug delivery system would wreck the already stressed out medical community. Who wants that?

The Recap

TFN nicotine IS nicotine. Chemically and otherwise, TFN’s are identical in every way to tobacco sourced nicotine. So if you are inclined to purchase eliquids made with TFN’s you won’t notice anything different.

If your favorite eliquid brand switched to a TFN tomorrow you’d never know, and if a certain brand used TFN nicotine and didn’t say so, you’d also never know.

Even under a powerful microscope TFN looks and behaves no different than tobacco based nicotine. Rightly or wrongly, if the FDA claims jurisdiction over eliquids, even zero-nicotine eliquid. So, whether the nicotine is tobacco based, synthetic or “other plant” based nicotine, there isn’t much we can do. While we applaud the TFN brands, we’re fairly sure it won’t matter to the FDA. However, it could matter to you; vaping ejuice with nicotine that was never a part of the tobacco plant means you are not sending any business to tobacco companies, or tobacco farms. That’s a good thing.

Dave Foster

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About The Author

All original content is written and produced for our readers by the Spinfuel Staff. The writing staff includes Julia Hartley-Barnes, Keira Hartley-Barnes, Tom McBride, Jason Little, Melanie Hendrix, and Dave Foster. Spinfuel also publishes guest contributors on occasion. All original content is protected by US copyright laws.

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