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vaping e-liquid and the enviroment

E-Liquid, Vaping and the Environment

Alongside smoking’s abundant physical health risks, cigarettes are a bane to the environment.

It’s estimated that 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are deposited annually across the world, and of course, these are non-biodegradable and contain toxic chemicals.

But is vaping bad for the environment? How does it compare to the environmental impact of smoking?

In other words: would the planet be better off if the almost 1 billion daily smokers around the world made the switch to vaping?

Smoking and the Environment

As you may expect, the most widely-cited concern when it comes to the effect of smoking on the environment is the widespread littering of spent cigarette butts. They are the most widely-littered item in the world, with an estimated 135 million pounds of cigarette butts being dumped into the U.S. environment alone in 2005. A study from the California Department of Transportation found that they account for 34 percent of the total waste captured in the state, responsible for a substantial proportion of the over $41 million spent annually on waste cleanup.

The butts are primarily composed of cellulose acetate, a plastic that takes a long time to degrade, and they leach chemicals such as lead, arsenic and nicotine into the environment. This is a particular problem for aquatic ecosystems, with the leached chemicals making cigarette butts toxic to fish and freshwater micro-organisms. Butts are also the most commonly found item during the International Coastal Cleanup, an annual event put on by the Ocean Conservancy. It also goes without saying that any residual tobacco also has impacts on the marine environment, and when smoked, cigarettes release tons of toxic chemicals into the atmosphere.

Not all smokers toss their butts on the ground, but littering isn’t the whole story when it comes to the environmental impacts of smoking. One tree is destroyed for every 300 cigarettes produced, and with over 5 trillion cigarettes produced each year, this equates to a lot of trees – before you even consider the aluminum foil in and plastic wrap on each pack. There are also a multitude of environmental impacts resulting from the manufacture of cigarettes, including deforestation, transportation costs and the use of pesticides in the growing of tobacco. In a nutshell, smoking is an absolute nightmare for the environment.

Vaping and the Environment

For vaping, things are obviously quite different. There are no butts to dispose of, and only now-outdated models use disposable cartridges, with most using refillable clearomizers or tanks. This means that the core problem of littering is likely to be vastly reduced for every smoker switching to vaping: a consumption (and possible littering of) 20 cigarettes per day is reduced to virtually nothing, although after around a week there will be some waste (and potential litter) due to a spent atomizer head.

Similarly, vaping releases considerably smaller amounts of potentially harmful chemicals into the air, and even a spent cartridge or coil with a still-soaked wick has only nicotine that poses a potential threat to the environment, with the other ingredients (PG, VG and food flavorings) only being toxic in very substantial amounts. Of course, even the small amounts of nicotine present in a still-soaked wick (for around 1/4 of a ml, or less, contained in the soaked wick, a 1.8 % e-liquid would have 4.5 mg of nicotine) would become more and more significant as the number of vapers increases. This could be entirely placed with solid waste, though, and if the amount of remaining nicotine was minimized, the impact would be reduced.

Some of the environmental impacts will ultimately be the same – or at least pretty similar –from vaping and smoking, since the nicotine in e-liquid is still derived from tobacco and the devices still require manufacturing. This means that the deforestation, manufacturing and transportation will affect the environment in much the same way. However, this is pretty much the only area where the risks to the environment are equivalent.

There is one unique consideration for e-cigarettes, though, and that comes from the appropriately-named e-waste. E-cigarettes use lithium-based batteries, and like any batteries and electronic products in general, if disposed of incorrectly they end up on landfills and damage the developing world. E-cigarette batteries are recharged several hundred times before requiring disposal, of course, and although they may contaminate the environment with heavy metals, they can be recycled to minimize any impact.

One study has evaluated e-cigarettes’ potential as hazardous waste, looking specifically at disposable models, and found that the majority (13 of 15 tested) wouldn’t meet the classification. However, due to the nicotine present, unused cartridges (or, of course, liquids) would be classed as hazardous waste, and although relevant regulation doesn’t apply to households, manufacturers will have to ensure responsible disposal of any unused or expired e-liquids. The study also points out – fairly obviously – that disposable devices pose the most risk to the environment.

Overall, though, most of the environmental impacts of cigarettes are not present with e-cigarettes (aside from the possibility of residual nicotine in wicks or juice bottles), and the only unique consideration – the disposal of batteries – can be mitigated against with responsible disposal. It’s clear that if all the smokers in the world switched to vaping, the environment would be much better off, on the whole.

Minimizing the Environmental Impact of Vaping

Although it’s fairly unlikely that vaping will be as harmful to the environment as smoking, ecologically-conscious vapers can do quite a lot to minimize the effect it will have. First off, the best advice is to switch to re-usable components wherever possible, with clearomizers or tanks that use replaceable coils and in particular rebuildable atomizers being a fantastic way to minimize the environmental impact of your vaping.

With tanks and clearomizers, the main body can be cleaned and re-used, and the only waste generated is atomizer heads. These can be rinsed (to remove any residual e-liquid), and then wrapped in a scrap of biodegradable material (or just a piece of paper towel) before disposing of in the trash. If you want to minimize the impact even further, you can disassemble the coil and recycle the plastic and metal housing (after rinsing), meaning only the wick and coil need to be placed in the ordinary trash. For rebuildable atomizers, wicks and coils are the only disposable parts, so there is hardly any waste at all.

E-liquid bottles are either composed of plastic or glass, and of course both can be easily recycled. Again, it’s better to rinse the bottles out to remove any residual e-liquid before placing the bottles in the recycling. Ideally, you should try to get as much e-liquid as possible out of the bottle before disposing of it, too (after all, you paid for it).

For batteries, there are several options for battery recycling, and you can use Call2Recycle’s battery and cell-phone recycling locator to find something suitable in your area. This is the most important part of minimizing the environmental impact of your vaping, so make sure you find a responsible way to dispose of your batteries.

Conclusion – If We’re Responsible, Vaping Can Help Protect the Environment

The key lesson here is that as well as reducing the risk associated with your nicotine addiction, switching to vaping will also almost certainly reduce the damage you’re doing to the environment too. There may be some unavoidable issues with obtaining the nicotine for e-liquid from tobacco and manufacturing devices, but as long as you recycle your used batteries and opt for re-usable components wherever possible, the impact on the environment will be absolutely minimal.

E-Liquid, Vaping and the Environment [Infographic]



  1. Call2Recycle: Battery and Cellphone Recycling Locations
  2. EPA: Batteries
  3. Hazardous waste status of discarded electronic cigarettes (2015) Krause, M. J. and Townsend, T. G.
  4. Toxicity of cigarette butts, and their chemical components, to marine and freshwater fish (2011) Slaughter, E. et. al.
  5. Longwood University: Cigarette Butts as Litter – Toxic as Well as Ugly
  6. TreeHugger: Smoking: Environmental and Social Impacts
Michael Grey
Find Me Here

Michael Grey

With a passion to educate through my writings and a passion to help others, I found my place here at Black Note. Being that I am a former smoker who quit smoking because of vaping, I knew I could help others do the same. Working for Black Note is a true blessing. Not only do I help educate vapers on a daily basis through my writings, but I am also enjoying the benefits of working with an amazing team and sharing an authentic tobacco solution with the vaping community.
Michael Grey
Find Me Here

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What is Naturally Extracted Tobacco E-Liquid?

E-juice, also known as e-liquid or vaping liquid, is the liquid that’s placed in the vaping device and subsequently atomized into vapor. When you go to buy e-juice, you’ll notice it contains a mix of several ingredients. These typically include vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), some type of flavoring, and nicotine.

VG and PG form the base of the e-liquid. VG is a component used in food and personal care products; its role in e-liquid is to create a thick, dense vapor. PG is another popular solvent used in a variety of everyday items. It carries the e-liquid flavor, provides the “throat hit,” and enhances the vaping liquid’s ability to soak into wicks or cartomizer materials.

Nicotine is an optional ingredient, often available in different levels. E-juice also contains some type of flavoring.

Black Note leads the pack of tobacco vaping liquid by using only natural flavoring – extract from real tobacco leaves to produce real tobacco taste. When you go to buy e-juice from other companies, you may find any number of chemicals used to create synthetic flavors that include fake strawberry, manufactured vanilla, and even man-made tobacco flavors.

If your aim when you buy e-liquid is to experience the subtle nuances, genuine flair and authentic taste of real tobacco, then you’ll be on the mark if you buy e-juice from the Black Note lineup.

Best E-Juice

When you’re going to buy e-liquid, it’s only natural you’ll want the best e-liquid. But what, exactly, does it “best e-juice” mean? We’ll tell you.

For starters, you’ll want an e-juice that doesn’t contain all kinds of strange chemicals and concoctions that you can’t even pronounce. True, even the best e-liquid will contain vegetable glycerin (VG) and proplene glycol (PG), which serve as the base of e-juice, but you don’t necessarily need a host of other chemical compounds.

The best e-juice will stick to natural ingredients, like real tobacco extract, rather than rely on synthetic flavorings, colorings and other additives. Diacetyl is one of those synthetic ingredients that has gotten a pretty bad rap, although its use is not all that uncommon for producing sweet e juice flavors.

Definitely read the ingredient list before you buy e-juice to ensure you recognize what’s on it. Better yet, see if the e-juice company offers a lab report to confirm what’s actually inside the e-liquid.

In addition to having as few chemical ingredients as possible, the best e-juice will have an amazing taste. For those who enjoy authenticity over imitation, the most amazing taste is the most natural taste, especially when it comes to tobacco. Since Black Note uses real extract from tobacco leaves, we not only avoid all those weird chemical flavorings, but we also produce the most authentic experience: tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like tobacco.

Best E-Liquid on the Market

Anyone looking for the best e-liquid on the market need look no further than Black Note. Black Note tobacco vaping liquid ranks as the best e-juice across the board in every category, starting with the taste.

Black Note’s main claim to fame is producing a tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like real tobacco. That because we use real tobacco extract, not chemicals, to create the best e-juice tobacco flavor. Using extract from real tobacco leaves retains tobacco’s nuances and flavor notes, giving you the most authentic and multi-faceted tobacco experience.

In addition to being the best e-juice for tobacco taste, Black Note also has the best e-liquid manufacturing process. We spent years researching and testing various production methods, and finally landed on one that we believe is absolutely perfect.

It starts with growing carefully selected tobacco seeds, followed by an equally precise of steps that include an extensive natural extraction process. Even our bottling and packaging is done with the utmost care, using recycled and recyclable packaging materials to ensure our products are as earth-friendly as they are vapor-friendly.

One more category where Black Note ranks as the best e-liquid is with the value. Every order comes with free domestic shipping, one-to-three day domestic shipping guarantee, and a 90-day, money-back satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy for any reason, or don’t agree we’re the best e-juice on the market, send it back on us and we’ll refund your money.

Vape Juice Ingredients

Vape juice ingredients can be pretty straightforward – or not. At the very least, most vape juice contains propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), and some type of flavoring. Nicotine has largely become an optional ingredient that can be included at varying levels or left out altogether.

Vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG) are usually the two main ingredients that make up the base of most vape juice.

VG is a plant-based substance with the ability to produce a dense, thick vapor. PG is an additive found in many food items and certain medicines. It carries the flavoring, provides the “throat hit” and enhances the vape juice’s ability to soak into the wicking materials.

Nicotine levels can vary, as can ingredients that make up the flavorings. The components that make up vape juice flavoring are where ingredients can get rather complicated.

Vape juice that relies on artificial flavorings can contain any number of extraneous chemicals and other additives, whatever it takes to recreate the flavor the ecig juice is going for.

Black Note uses only natural flavorings: extract from real tobacco leaves. That keeps our ingredient list incredibly simple, backed by a lab report to prove it. You won’t find any strange chemical concoctions used to produce our tobacco flavor, just real tobacco extract that delivers a real tobacco experience.

What is the Best Flavor for Ecig Juice?

From strawberry shortcake to banana rum, ecig juice comes in tons of flavors. While folks can debate and discuss all the fruity, sweet or food-like flavors all day long, the best flavor for e-cig liquid is straight-up tobacco.

Why? Vaping was originally created as an alternative for traditional cigarettes, mainly for those who enjoy the taste of tobacco. And when you can find an e-cig liquid that is able to recreate tobacco’s full-bodied yet delicate flavor notes and nuances, but without the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes, then you’ve found the best ecig juice.

Recreating tobacco’s complex flavor isn’t easy, especially when it’s attempted with artificial ingredients. That’s why Black Note sticks to the real thing, extracting the essence of real tobacco leaves to flavor our vaping liquid. Not only does this avoid the harmful chemicals in cigarettes, but it also eliminates the flavoring chemicals found in many ecig juices. The end result is real tobacco taste, an authentic tobacco experience and the best flavor for ecig juice you can find.

Notice also we said the best e-cig flavor was straight-up tobacco, not plain old tobacco. Black Note’s real tobacco vaping liquid happens to come in a variety of different blends, from the light and airy to the peppery and robust. Not all tobacco is created equal, and different blends capture the specialized subtleties that make each tobacco unique.

Best Sweet Tobacco E-Juice

When it comes to sweet tobacco e-juice, your options can be broken down into two categories.

The first category contains tobacco e-juice that overlays the tobacco flavor with artificial chocolate, caramel, vanilla, fruity or other dessert-like flavorings. We wouldn’t classify any such flavors as the best tobacco e liquid, simply because they typically use chemicals and other artificial ingredients to create the tobacco taste, the sweet taste, or both.

The second category of sweet tobacco e-juice is where you’ll find the best tobacco e-liquid, sweet or otherwise. This category contains vaping liquid created using only natural flavorings, which is exactly where Black Note fits in. Instead of concocting flavors using synthetic ingredients, Black Note uses an extensive extraction process that slowly and deliberately extracts the tobacco essence from real tobacco leaves.

The result is the best tobacco e-juice: tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like real tobacco. And if you’re going for the best sweet tobacco e liquid, we have a few tobacco blends that offer varying levels of sweetness.

Prelude is our sweetest tobacco e-liquid, containing golden Virginia tobacco. Made from fire-cured dark Virginia tobacco, Sonata is our Cavendish blend with a mildly sweet and nutty flavor. Solo is our menthol blend, giving you a semi-sweet minty taste created from natural menthol crystals extract from dried mint leaves.

For the best tobacco e-liquid that’s naturally sweet and remarkably delicious, Black Note is at your service.

WARNING: Black Note products are not smoking cessation products and have not been tested as such. Black Note products are intended for use by adults of legal smoking age (21 or older in California), and not by children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Black Note products contain nicotine, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. Ingestion of the non-vaporized concentrated ingredients can be poisonous. Keep out of reach of children and pets.

WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.