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Transitioning from JUUL Pods to Natural E-Liquids: A Smoker’s Guide

Naturally, people transitioning from smoking to vaping purchase big-name brands. This strategy often pays off, but not for tobacco-flavored vape juice. In fact, most new vapers are disappointed to find that tobacco-flavored JUUL pods don’t taste like cigarettes at all. 

Flavors make all the difference. Naturally extracted tobacco e-liquid (N.E.T. e-liquid) is the newest, most impressive alternative to synthetic tobacco flavors. If you want to ditch ashy, unpleasant flavors for rich, intricate tobacco blends, you need to switch to N.E.T. e-liquids. 

Let’s dive deeper into the battle of N.E.T. e-liquids vs. JUUL. 

Introduction to JUUL

JUUL was founded in 2015. At the time, Adam Bowen and James Monsees were working on Pax Labs, another e-cigarette company that was founded in 2007. By 2017, Bowen and Monsees had taken over JUUL Labs. 

This e-cigarette brand specializes in super simple, sleek devices. JUUL devices are hybrids of disposables and pod systems. The characteristic click-in pod system allows vapers to choose from a wide range of fruit, mint, and tobacco flavors. 

To boost their new business into the limelight, Bowen and Monsees invested in a large social media marketing campaign, ad space in Seventeen magazine, and ads on the Nick Jr. Channel. By the end of 2018, JUUL had officially established a place for itself in mainstream media and investors valued the brand at $15 billion

Natural E-Liquid vs. JUUL: What’s the Difference?

There is a lot more to the debate over natural e-liquid vs. JUUL than meets the eye.   

Understanding E-Liquids

Every brand is different, but all e-liquids have a combination of Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG). 

Propylene Glycol – PG is a colorless, odorless liquid that is made from petroleum. It is used as an additive in cosmetics, hygiene products, salad dressings, and more. In e-liquids, PG carries flavors and dictates the intensity of the throat hit. 

Vegetable Glycerin – VG is a sweet liquid that comes from vegetable oils. It is found in cosmetics, food, and even candles. In e-liquids, VG thickens the consistency and produces dense vapor. 

In most cases, the amount of VG outweighs the amount of PG in an e-liquid. High PG e-liquids are less common because the more PG is in a mixture, the harsher the throat hit. 

Once manufacturers have settled on a VG/PG ratio, they add nicotine and flavorings. 

Freebase vs. Salt Nic E-Liquids

Before you decide on N.E.T. e-liquid vs. JUUL pods, you need to know the difference between freebase nicotine and salt nicotine. 

Nicotine salts are absorbed into the body approximately 30-40% faster than freebase nicotine, offering a smoother, less harsh throat hit and a more satisfying experience.

— Black Note

Freebase nicotine has been the most common form of nicotine for decades. It rose to popularity in the 1960s when Phillip Morris conducted research and discovered that freebase nicotine makes cigarettes stronger. 

To create freebase nicotine, manufacturers extract pure nicotine from tobacco leaves and add ammonia. Ammonia makes nicotine more bioavailable, meaning we can absorb it more effectively. 

  • Nicotine strengths. 0mg, 3mg, 6mg, 9mg, 12mg, 18mg, 20mg 
  • Throat hit. Intense
  • Flavor. Medium 
  • Vaping style. MTL or DTL

Nic salts have a much more recent history. They were invented in the mid-2010s for vapers who need higher nicotine strengths. 

Nicotine salts are not chemically altered, making them more stable than the freebase alternative. Manufacturers only add benzoic or other types of acid to lower the pH of the e-liquid and lessen the throat hit. 

  • Nicotine strengths. 10mg, 20mg, 30mg, 40mg, 50mg
  • Throat hit. Mild
  • Flavor. Medium to intense
  • Vaping style. MTL 

JUUL pods only contain nic salts, but our N.E.T e-liquids are available as both freebase nicotine and salt nic liquids. 

To learn more, read our Ultimate Guide to Salt Nics.

Natural vs. Artificial E-liquids

When we talk about natural e-liquid vs. JUUL pods, we are actually talking about the difference between natural and artificial flavorings

Manufacturers often opt for artificial flavorings, which are far cheaper to mass produce than authentic flavors. This is especially true for tobacco flavorings. Unfortunately, many manufacturers trade money for flavor. If you have ever tried e-liquid that is enhanced with artificial tobacco flavorings, you know that it is a pale imitation of the real thing. 

Naturally extracted tobacco e-liquid is the more time-intensive (but infinitely tastier) alternative. As the name suggests, all the flavorings come from the original source. For Black Note, this means an extensive extraction process that utilizes different tobacco leaves, curing methods, and climates. 

Transitioning to Natural E-Liquid

Are you considering transitioning to N.E.T. e-liquids? Black Note is the home of the most authentic, natural, and organic tobacco-flavored e-liquids on the market. 

How N.E.T E-Liquid Is Made

At Black Note, we focus on one of the most time and labor-intensive types of e-liquid because we believe that tobacco flavorings should only ever come from the source. 

We have developed a nine-step creation process that curates and extracts the best possible flavors from a variety of tobacco leaves. 

Here is how we create award-winning N.E.T. e-liquids. 

  1. Breed the best tobacco seeds
  2. Create the best environment for our seeds
  3. Sun, air, flue, and fire cure different varieties of tobacco leaves to evoke unique flavors 
  4. Moisten the leaves in moistening chambers 
  5. Condition and age the leaves
  6. Combine leaves from different growing areas, climate zones, and stalk positions to create unique blends 
  7. Macerate the leaves to extract the flavor 
  8. Filter out any impurities 
  9. Package the e-liquid for customers across the globe 

Our process follows the principles of the Italian Slow Food Movement, which believes that natural products should never be rushed. 

Pros of Natural E-Liquid

  • Unbeatable flavors. Artificial flavorings don’t come close to the taste of N.E.T. e-liquids. Smokers who want to transition to vaping love this kind of e-liquid because it is the closest they can get to a traditional cigarette. Our N.E.T. e-liquids are comparable to Marlboro, Newport, and American Spirit cigarettes. 
  • Streamlines the switch. New vapers who immediately start using N.E.T. e-liquids find it much easier to kick the habit for good. 
  • Fewer harmful chemicals. Many vape brands use dangerous chemicals to artificially replicate the taste of your favorite flavors. When you choose N.E.T. e-liquids, you don’t have to worry about hidden chemical compounds. 

Cons of Natural E-Liquid

  • Fewer brands to choose from. Very few vape manufacturers are willing to spend more time producing N.E.T. e-liquids. Unfortunately, health-conscious vapers who want to consume natural, authentic flavors can only choose from a handful of vape brands. 

Opinions On N.E.T. E-Liquid

Not convinced that N.E.T. e-liquids are the way forward? Don’t just take our word for it. Vaping 360 and Ecigclick have written extensive reviews about Black Note’s e-liquids. 

Natural E-Liquid vs. JUUL: Health Considerations

Conversations about natural e-liquid vs. JUUL pods typically focus on the flavors, but what about the health implications? 

Health Risks of JUUL

Various studies emphasize the health issues associated with long-term e-liquid use, but very few focus on the dangers of artificial flavors. Apart from the well-documented dangers of nicotine, what other health problems can JUUL users expect? 

JUUL claims that its pods do not contain diacetyl, but research suggests otherwise. A group of researchers analyzed chemical emissions from 13 JUUL pod flavors and found diacetyl and methylglyoxal in 100% of the samples

One study found diacetyl in 39 of the 51 e-liquid flavors tested. Diacetyl is a staple in fruit, candy, and dessert flavors. It is a naturally occurring compound, but it can also be created synthetically. Either way, it is classed as a hazardous substance. 

In the short term, diacetyl can cause skin irritation and eye damage. In the long term, diacetyl is the leading cause of popcorn lung, medically known as bronchiolitis obliterans. The condition gained its name when workers in a microwave popcorn factory breathed in diacetyl over a decade ago. Diacetyl was once the buttery-flavored chemical in foods like popcorn but, due to the demand for flavored e-liquids, it is now found in popular vape brands across the U.S. 


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One study analyzed the impact of the popcorn lung outbreak in the original factory. It found that workers experienced normal rates of all-cause mortality but higher rates of COPD-associated mortality.  

As for methylglyoxal, the health implications aren’t much better. In the long term, methylglyoxal has detrimental effects on the brain and causes an inflammatory-like response in vitro. 

In a study entitled “An Unrecognized Hazard in E-Cigarette Vapor”, researchers found that concentrations of methylglyoxal are much higher in fruit and cucumber flavors and lowest in Classic Tobacco and Virginia Tobacco flavors. Vapers who exclusively use tobacco-flavored liquids might be less at risk than those who choose fruity flavors, but they should still avoid methylglyoxal altogether. 

Health Risks of N.E.T. E-Liquid

When we talk about N.E.T. e-liquid vs JUUL e-liquids, we are careful not to demonize artificial flavors entirely. Just like any other e-liquids, N.E.T. e-liquids come with their fair share of health concerns. 

  • PG. Despite being one of the base ingredients for every kind of e-liquid, PG is known to cause health problems. It is estimated that around 10% of new vapers are allergic to PG, which often manifests as a rash. Wheezing, nausea, and eczema are also symptoms. 
  • Nicotine. Remember, N.E.T. e-liquids still contain nicotine. This highly addictive substance can harm the adolescent brain and reduce fertility, among other things. Nicotine is so addictive that many smokers attempt to quit eight or more times before succeeding. 

Of course, N.E.T. e-liquids are less harmful than liquids that contain artificial flavors. By choosing our e-liquids over JUUL, you are eliminating diacetyl, methylglyoxal, and a whole host of other dangerous chemical compounds from your life.

While naturally extracted tobacco (N.E.T.) e-liquids offer a more authentic tobacco flavor, it’s important to understand the health implications of any form of nicotine consumption and consult healthcare professionals for advice.

— Derek Rieger


What are the main differences between JUUL pods and N.E.T. e-liquids?

JUUL pods typically contain nicotine salts and artificial flavors, offering a convenient vaping experience with a variety of flavors. N.E.T. e-liquids are made from naturally extracted tobacco, providing a more authentic tobacco taste without synthetic additives.

Why do N.E.T. e-liquids taste more like traditional tobacco?

N.E.T. e-liquids are crafted from real tobacco leaves, capturing the complex flavors and nuances of the tobacco plant. This natural extraction process ensures a genuine tobacco flavor, unlike the artificial tastes found in many JUUL pods.

Can I use N.E.T. e-liquids in my JUUL device?

No, JUUL devices are designed to work with their own pods. However, there are many other types of vape devices compatible with N.E.T. e-liquids, including pod systems that allow for refillable cartridges.

Are N.E.T. e-liquids safer than JUUL pods?

While both products contain nicotine, which is addictive, N.E.T. e-liquids often lack the artificial flavors and additives found in JUUL pods. However, it’s important to note that all forms of vaping carry some level of risk, and the best option for health is not to vape at all.

Can switching to N.E.T. e-liquids help me quit smoking?

Many smokers find N.E.T. e-liquids to be a helpful tool in transitioning away from traditional cigarettes due to their authentic tobacco flavor and the ability to gradually reduce nicotine intake. However, success varies from person to person, and quitting smoking often requires a combination of methods.

Do N.E.T. e-liquids come in different nicotine strengths?

Yes, N.E.T. e-liquids are available in various nicotine strengths, allowing users to choose according to their preference and needs. This flexibility helps individuals manage their nicotine intake more effectively compared to the fixed strengths in JUUL pods.

Natural E-Liquid vs. JUUL: Which Will You Choose?

N.E.T. e-liquids vs. JUUL pods, which will you choose?

Choose N.E.T. e-liquids and say goodbye to ashy, bitter tobacco tastes. N.E.T. e-liquids allow you to experience the full flavor profile of your preferred tobacco blend. Not only that, but N.E.T. vape juice also protects you from harmful chemicals. 

The second best alternative to artificial tobacco flavors is to quit vaping entirely. If that’s not possible, N.E.T. e-liquids bridge the gap. 

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The information provided in this blog post is for educational and informational purposes only. This information is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company, including Black Note and its affiliates. The author, who is not a medical professional, writes this blog post without intending to offer medical advice or replace advice or treatment from a personal physician.

This blog post discusses tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and related substances, intended solely for adult use and potentially harmful to health. We advise all readers/users of this content to quit smoking and/or vaping, or to consult a doctor before starting or continuing to smoke and/or vape.

The author, the blog, Black Note, and its affiliates assume no responsibility for any actions or inaction a reader takes based on the information presented in this blog. We do not intend this content to promote smoking or vaping, and readers should interpret it accordingly.

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