Is Synthetic Nicotine The Future of Vaping?
There is a pretty big debate going on right now in the US, and it has to do with nicotine. Actually… it has nothing to do with actual nicotine, and everything to do with its synthetic counterpart.
Yes, synthetic nicotine is a thing – and there is a lot of discussion going on about it right now, especially in light of the recent Deeming rule set forth by the US Food and Drug Administration.
The situation, simply put, is this… under the deeming rule, Ecigs/E-liquids that utilize nicotine would be classified (and regulated) as tobacco products. There are also a host of other regulations that they would be subjected to, as the FDA has passed a lot of rules pertaining to E-cigs that are going to make them very difficult for modern vaping businesses to produce and sell.
Many people have been super-critical of the FDA’s recent rulings, saying that they will effectively kill the vaping industry in the US and take away a viable alternative to smoking that could save lives and help people to kick their cigarette habits.
But synthetic nicotine might offer a way around the deeming rule. During the NICOPURE vs. FDA lawsuit that has been making big waves recently, the agency did confirm that synthetic versions of the chemical might not be subject to the same rules and restrictions as actual nicotine – as they are not derived from tobacco plants at all.
So this could create a bit of an exemption, and offer some unforeseen hope for electronic cigarettes, the companies that produce them, and the Americans who use them.
In a response brief to the court back on November 1st, 2016, the FDA said the following…
“Not all nicotine-free e-liquids (NFLs) are subject to the deeming rule. Assuming an NFL is not made or derived from tobacco, it is subject to the rule only if it meets the definition of a ‘component or part’ – that is, if it is ‘intended or reasonably expected’ either…(1) To alter or affect [a] tobacco product’s performance, composition, constituents, or characteristics; or (2) To be used with or for the human consumption of a tobacco product; and is not an accessory.”
Synthetic nicotine is not actually made or derived from tobacco – which makes it exempt from the deeming rule (at least, that’s how it seems at the moment).
But it’s not just as simple as that, either. It is very important that the products are marketed appropriately as well. In order to completely escape the far-reaching power of the Deeming Rule, companies who use synthetic nicotine will need to market and distribute their products in a way that dissociates them completely from any sort of tobacco product or device.
What does this mean for the future of vaping?
It would seem that this is a fairly significant development in the long, drawn out saga that has been the US vaping scene over the course of the last year. It would appear that synthetic nicotine may, at least for the moment, provide a route out from under the Deeming Rule for US vaping companies – though it’s unsure as of yet exactly how things will play out.
It would seem that vaping may need to change its image a lot to stay alive, even if it can manage to leave all traces of its tobacco ties in the past. It also seems a bit like even synthetic nicotine may not be in the clear yet, as the FDA does have far reaching power that it could still try to use to stop this newfound ‘chink’ in their anti-vaping armor.
But is synthetic nicotine really the future of vaping?
As it turns out, it just might be – especially in the United States, where the challenges against electronic cigarettes continue to multiply.