Poor Quality Nicotine’s Negative Effects on E-juice

Poor Quality Nicotine's Negative Effects on E-juice

Liquid nicotine is available from countless sources across the globe. It is the main ingredient in all kinds of e-juice. Whether that’s at home or commercially. A simple google search will turn up endless results for companies selling the purest and cleanest nicotine.

The problem is, sometimes it is not as clean or pure as advertised. Poor quality nicotine can cause a wide range of negative effects. Some vapers may dismiss this as something else. Experienced vapers are usually very good at determining poor quality nicotine but for the newer people out there, they may miss it.

The Origin Of Liquid Nicotine

Firstly we must look at the origin of liquid nicotine. Believe it or not, liquid nicotine was not created for vaping. It existed for a lot longer than that. Liquid nicotine has always been used in pharmaceutical NRT aids such as nicotine gum, nicotine patches and other items like those.

Poor Quality Nicotine's Negative Effects on E-juice
Nicotine Gum

Nicotine for pharmaceutical purposes as well as e-juice manufacturing does not come from the same tobacco plant as the stuff used in cigarettes. Instead, a Rustica plant is used for liquid nicotine as it contains much more nicotine than the traditional plant.

The tobacco leaves are placed in a heated solution that over time will extract the nicotine from the leaves.

Poor Quality Nicotine Negative Effects and Things to Consider

As with any product, there is always going to be a difference between brands. Some nicotine makers produce a really clean and smooth solution that suits DIY E-juice making very well.

Poor Quality Nicotine's Negative Effects on E-juice
DIY E-juice

There are a few indicators of a bad round of nicotine. The first and most noticeable is any spicy taste. Vapers will refer to this as being “peppery”. This taste or sensation usually lingers on the tongue and mouth. Also, when inhaling and exhaling it will feel like you’ve just eaten hot sauce, minus a slight burn.

This can be caused by a number of things. Oxidation will cause nicotine to become peppery because the nicotine has essentially gone bad. The solution will usually turn a dark brown and develop a nasty odor.

Poor Quality Nicotine's Negative Effects on E-juiceOxidization can occur when the e-juice is left with a cap off, in direct sunlight or exposed to high heat. Usually, this does not occur until after it is in the user’s possession. However, the odd times’ manufacturers will still use oxidized nicotine in the mixing process.

Poor Quality Nicotine Negative Effects and Things to Consider Continued

Another factor of bad nicotine is the source of the solution. Just like anything else, if the source isn’t great, the product won’t be either. Examining the conditions that the plant is grown in, the curing process and everything in between we can sometimes assume that the nicotine is just, not good.

The most frequent effect of poor quality nicotine is what happens to the user. This would be similar to sub-ohm vaping high PG e-liquid. It will feel very heavy in the throat and probably cause a coughing fit.

It is advisable to notify the e-juice maker if there is bad nicotine. Sometimes, they can trace the nicotine batch back to the company that made it for a further investigation.

Poor Quality Nicotine's Negative Effects on E-juice
Nicotine River

Sadly, there are still plenty of companies out there turning out cheap, poor quality nicotine. Key nicotine companies like NicSelect, Nicotine River and Amerinic are some of the best available and are very clean, tasteless and odorless.

These are the two main factors that are most common. Another less common side effect would be feeling ill. It would take a very bad batch of nicotine to cause a feeling like this.

Alternative Nicotine Sources

With the developments in vaping and DIY e-juice, nicotine has changed shape over the years. There are many options for high-quality nicotine but in the last two years, a new form of nicotine has arisen.

Nicotine Salts are the best solution for vaping. They have taken off big time across the globe and for good reason. Nic Salts are very, very smooth even at high concentration levels.

Poor Quality Nicotine's Negative Effects on E-juice
Nicotine Salt E-juice

Many DIY users have replaced traditional freebase nicotine with Salt Nics.

Salt Nic is also flavorless and odorless. While it can sometimes carry a brownish color, it is very normal for NicSalts to change to a dark amber over a period of time. Even with the color change, it is still very smooth.

Nicotine Salts have also taken over as the main form of nicotine used in starter systems. This is fantastic for new vapers as it gives them a better chance of quitting.

Notify, Notify, Notify

When you encounter poor quality nicotine it is important to do a little digging. If you are a DIY individual, you will likely know the brand of nicotine you are buying. Look it up on google and see if other users have reported similar issues. Also, if you buy pre-made e-juice that turns out to be plagued with poor quality nicotine, let the e-juice maker know right away so they can contact or change suppliers.


Nicotine is essential to the creation of e-juice for those who still demand it. This is one ingredient that can really make or break a vaping experience. Usually, most big name e-juice makers or DIY companies will sell the best quality products with the best nicotine. Sadly, some smaller companies cut corners when it comes to products and nicotine can sometimes be that corner.

John Pietersma

I am John Pietersma, a 30-year-old husband and father of three children who lives in Nova Scotia, Canada. Having vaped and built coils for four years, I am very passionate about vaping and writing product reviews for everyone to read.