We're excited to announce an upcoming change to the ejuice lineup at Hometown Hero. As of July 1st, all vape juice that we offer will be made with non-tobacco-derived nicotine instead of tobacco-derived nicotine. Non-tobacco-derived nicotine, also called synthetic nicotine, has the same effects as tobacco-derived nicotine. The flavor of our products will remain exactly the same, but you might notice they are a bit smoother than they were before.
If you would like to know more about our switch to plant-derived nicotine, keep reading! We'll discuss why we're making this change, what plant-derived nicotine is, and its benefits over nicotine made from tobacco.
What is Non-Tobacco-Derived Nicotine?
When vapor products first started hitting the market, the only type of nicotine offered was derived from tobacco. This process takes raw tobacco leaves and puts them through a chemical process that removes the nicotine from the plant matter. After the nicotine is extracted, it is mixed with PG or VG and then used by vapor companies in their products.
Synthetic nicotine is extracted much the same way as tobacco-derived nicotine, but without tobacco. Many plants, such as nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, etc.), contain nicotine but in lower concentrations. This nicotine can be extracted and isolated in the same way that it can be from tobacco leaves from these plants. The nicotine chemical found in tobacco is the same as that found in other plants.
Why Non-Tobacco-Derived Nicotine?
Even before 2021, synthetic nicotine was being produced and sold. However, the synthetic nicotine of 2021 is much different than it was a few years ago.
When plant derived-nicotine first starting making its way into the vapor market, it was much more expensive—about 10 to 20 times more costly than tobacco-derived nicotine. The early iterations of synthetic nicotine also didn't taste the same as the nicotine that was industry standard for vapor products.
Fast forward to 2021, and the companies making non-tobacco-derived nicotine perfected the process to create a product that not only tastes just like tobacco-derived nicotine but was affordable as well. This new nicotine tastes just as great, has the same effects, and is now in line with the price of tobacco-derived nicotine.
FDA and Tobacco-Derived Nicotine
There is one more aspect to non-tobacco-derived nicotine that makes it an easy choice for the next generation of our products.
In 2016 the FDA deemed all vapor and related products to be tobacco products. This action dictated that vapor companies would have to submit PMTAs (pre-market tobacco applications) for their products to be approved to sell. Unless the products were on the market, or there were substantially equivalent products on the market, on or before February 15th, 2007, all vapor companies would have to submit PMTAs for each product they sold.
The FDA set a deadline of September 9th, 2020, to give vapor companies the time to prepare their PMTAs and submit them. Once submitted, the FDA reviews the applications, requests more information if necessary, and either authorizes the products to remain on the market or be removed from commerce.
Hometown Hero submitted all PMTAs to the FDA on September 8th, 2020, before the deadline. At the time of this writing, the FDA has not approved or denied any vapor company's PMTAs. However, the prospect of any vapor company getting approved (outside of big tobacco) is slim to none.
The FDA has not asserted jurisdiction over non-tobacco-based nicotine products, so by switching, at least for the foreseeable future, the FDA will not have regulatory authority over the products that we produce.
Hometown Hero Vape Juice in The Future
At this time, we don't know if the FDA will authorize our tobacco-derived nicotine products. If they do, we'll be sure to offer those products to our customers.
However, our vapor products are helping too many people to take a chance with the FDA. If non-tobacco-derived nicotine keeps us in the hands of the people that need them, it's a switch that we have to make.
The FDA regulations have already put many vapor companies out of business. We will keep fighting and make sure that the ejuice products you've grown to love are still offered to you.
In the coming weeks, you may see some of our products go out of stock. This is because we're in the process of making the switch to the new non-tobacco-derived nicotine. Making the switch should only take 2-4 weeks, and we will have everything in stock after the process is complete.
Thank you for your support over the years! If you have any questions, please reach out, and we'll be happy to help.