How & Why Sucralose is RUINING Your Vape Juice

By Drake Equation •  Updated: 06/16/20 •  6 min read

Do you love fruity and candy-flavored Vape Juice? Does your e-liquid leave a sweet coating on your lips every time you vape?

Does the taste of burned sugar overpower the delicious flavor of your e-liquid within just a few hours after you’ve changed your coil?



If you answered “yes” to the above questions, you use e-liquid that’s sweetened with sucralose.

How Sucralose Became the Most Important Vape Juice Ingredient After Nicotine

You’re not the only one using vape juice with sucralose; practically every mainstream e-liquid these days is sweetened – but it wasn’t always that way.

The change happened gradually as the vape juice market has shifted over the years. When the vaping industry was new, you got your e-liquid in one of two places. Either you bought it in the form of pre-filled cartridges for your e-cigarette, or you bought it from a vape juice brand that made its own e-liquids in house and sold them directly to the public.

In the beginning, almost all vaping products were sold online.

Over the years, though, the market began to shift. More entrepreneurs began to enter the vape market, not by creating their own vape juice brands, but by starting brick-and-mortar stores and selling e-liquids made by other companies.

The final nail in the coffin for boutique e-liquid brands came in 2016 when the FDA announced its regulations for the vaping industry. From that point forward, it would no longer be possible for small-time e-liquid makers to launch vape juice brands out of their homes. Those who wanted to enter the vaping industry would need to do so by opening vape shops. Meanwhile, the e-liquid industry coalesced around a few major brands that secured nationwide distribution.

Those major brands got big because their e-liquids were delicious – and their e-liquids were delicious because they were sweetened with sucralose.

Look around your local vape shops today, and you’ll find that sweetened e-liquid has become practically inescapable. You almost have no choice but to buy your e-liquid online if you want something that’s not loaded with sweetener.



So, what’s the problem with sucralose in vape juice?

What’s Wrong With Sweetened Vape Juice?

You’re probably wondering at this point why you should care if your e-liquid is sweetened or not. You probably like sweet flavor profiles. That’s true of almost everyone who vapes. If sweet flavors keep you off of cigarettes, why should you consider doing anything differently?

Here’s why.

This video shows what happens when you drop a glowing hot metal ball into a bowl of sucralose (also known as Splenda). The sucralose doesn’t vaporize; it smokes, burns, and turns into sticky black goop.

Does that black goop look familiar?

It’s exactly the same as the black goop that you see on your coil after a day of using sweetened e-liquid. You taste a little of that sweetness when you vape, but a significant portion of the sucralose in your e-liquid sticks to your coil and forms a black crust.

The more e-liquid you use, the more sucralose you burn through. That’s why sucralose is even more problematic today than it was in the past. Modern vaping equipment produces enormous clouds, so it can go through a massive amount of vape juice.

If you use sweetened e-liquid, you’ll begin to notice a change in the e-liquid’s flavor after just an hour or two; the e-liquid will start to taste like caramelized sugar. Eventually, the burned flavor becomes so pronounced that it’s practically all you can taste. You may even feel a harsh, burning sensation in your throat – and at that point, you really have no option except to replace your coil.

Unsweetened E-Liquid Can Change the Way You Vape

We’ve established that, no matter how delicious sweetened e-liquid can be, you pay a big price for it in the form of constant coil replacements. That’s the case, anyway, if you care about flavor at all and don’t like to vape burned sugar.

Think about how much coil replacements cost these days. If you use a high-end mesh coil tank – or anything similar – you get two coils in a box at the most. That’s a cost of around $6.00 per coil, so if you need a new coil every day, the price that you’re paying each day to vape is absolutely insane.

If you’re not using a tank with pre-made coils, you’re building your coils yourself. In that case, you might not be paying a lot of money, but you are putting a ton of time into coil building – time that would be much better spent, you know, vaping – and no matter what anyone says, dry burning the coil and replacing the wick does not fix a gunky coil.

So, what do you do? If you’re tired of vaping burned sugar and replacing your coil constantly, the only thing that makes sense is switching to unsweetened e-liquid.

Unsweetened Vape Juice Is Sweeter Than You Think

Your initial reaction might be that you can’t imagine using unsweetened e-liquid because you love your sweet flavors too much. What you might not realize, though, is that sweetened vape juice can actually still taste sweet. That’s because many flavoring elements – such as ethyl maltol, which gives cotton candy its characteristic flavor – actually taste quite sweet even though they aren’t technically sweeteners. Unsweetened e-liquid may not leave a candy coating on your lips, but sweet flavor profiles definitely do still taste sweet.

The second thing you need to know about unsweetened vape juice is that it often has some of the most interesting flavor profiles you’ll ever experience. Think about it; imagine you’re an e-liquid maker. If you know that you’re going to sweeten an e-liquid, how much effort do you really put into developing the flavor? If you’re using sucralose, no one will be able to taste the subtle nuances. If you’re creating an unsweetened e-liquid, on the other hand, you’re likely to put a lot more effort into it because people will be able to detect every detail.

Drake Equation

Co-founder and Editor of VapeBeat. I make the words.
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