The T-MAX effect: “It’s true. It vapes just like a cigarette”

The T-MAX effect: “It’s true. It vapes just like a cigarette”

In late 2022, we started field testing with the patented NicSelect™ T-MAX formula developed by Natural Academy, the University of Milan Bicocca and Alchem NicSelect™. This was the first time that Alchem NicSelect™ had developed a product with these research partners, and it was fascinating to see what had been created and if we had a game-changer. Straight out of the box, the reaction was off the scale!

So, what is T-MAX? Well, put simply, T-MAX is a novel nicotine base, a clever, patented formulation that exploits the specific properties of ingredients already commonly used in the vaping industry. And what exactly does T-Max do? T-Max optimises the speed of delivery of nicotine and the nicotine hit without increasing the nicotine dosage; and remarkably, it can also do this with a reduced nicotine dosage. NicSelect™ T-MAX is also fully compliant with European TPD legislation, which means that it is suitable for vaping worldwide.

A game-changing technology

“Vapes just like a cigarette” is important and a game-changer. According to the scientific literature, the most frequent reason for vapers to return to traditional smoking lies in an unsatisfying perception of the nicotine hit; the hit is defined as the speed at which nicotine activates the receptors and the perceived strength of the hit. Traditionally, smokers have learned to associate the act of smoking a traditional cigarette with an almost immediate physical perception of nicotine, a perception which, with the classic electronic cigarette, nicotine bases, or nicotine salts, is delayed and less satisfactory. The 20 mg/ml limit defined by the EU TPD-II is restrictive and can lead to low satisfaction among traditional smokers trying to switch to e-cigarettes or encourage the use of non-compliant products with nicotine levels well above the EU TPD-II and potentially harmful to health.

NicSelect™ T-MAX is formulated within the nicotine dosage limits set by the EU TPD-II (at 20mg/ml maximum) it activates the nicotine receptors within seconds and with a higher perceived strength. Typically, NicSelect™ T-MAX at 8 mg/ml or 14 mg/ml seems to be ideal for most vapers, being perceived as 20 mg/ml or 40 mg/ml respectively. NicSelect T-Max at 20 mg/ml is perceived as 60 mg/ml or more, equally idea for the USA or Russia where higher nicotine levels are common.

The T-MAX solution for a changing regulatory environment

With an increasing number of countries restricting flavours and nicotine levels, NicSelect™ T-MAX provides a new option. NicSelect™ T-MAX is well appreciated by cigarette smokers and vapers alike as a flavourless e-liquid or with a light tobacco flavour. NicSelect™ T-MAX also solves the dilemma with restriction on nicotine levels with a far higher perceived nicotine strength, 14 mg vapes like 40 mg and 20 mg like 60 mg.

“Vapes just like a cigarette”, hype or fact?

The first indications that NicSelect™ T-MAX was not hype came from an observational study we conducted in spring 2022 with 17 volunteers, dual users of traditional cigarettes and vaping products, comparing traditional e-liquids with different nicotine concentrations, finished e-liquids manufactured from NicSelect™ T-MAX with different nicotine concentrations, and traditional cigarette.  The results showed that NicSelect™ T-MAX and cigarette were perceived as essentially similar in terms of nicotine intensity and speed of nicotine delivery compared to traditional vaping e-liquids. These results have been confirmed with testing days and demonstrations at Vape Expos and with one-on-one meetings with customers around the globe, T-MAX truly “vapes just like a cigarette”.

Study results

Both traditional e-liquids and the e-liquids manufactured from NicSelect T-Max DbM have been proposed in the following nicotine concentrations: 4 mg/ml, 6 mg/ml, 8 mg/ml, 9 mg/ml, and 12 mg/ml. The primary endpoints of the study involve the perception of nicotine (intensity, speed, throat hit, satisfaction), in the three tested products and the participants have been asked to report their feedback on a questionnaire (Table 6).

The data obtained from the questionnaire was processed and statistically analysed using Student’s t-test: the following figures show the results obtained in terms of Nicotine Intensity (Fig. 1), Throat Hit (Fig. 2), Speed of Perception (Fig. 3) and Overall Satisfaction (Fig. 4).

Fig. 1 – Nicotine intensity

Nicotine intensity is perceived as not significantly different in the traditional cigarette (dark grey) and in the T-MAX e-liquids (green) and significantly less in traditional e-liquids (light grey), when compared to traditional cigarette and T-MAX e-liquids.

*p<0,05; **p<0,01; ***p<0,001 vs traditional cigarette – °p<0,05; °°p<0,01; °°°p<0,001 vs “traditional e-liquids”

Fig. 2 – Throat Hit

Throat hit is perceived as reduced in traditional e-liquid (light grey) and T-MAX e-liquid (green) compared with traditional cigarette (dark grey). Traditional e-liquids and T-MAX e-liquids show no significant differences.

*p<0,05; **p<0,01; ***p<0,001 vs traditional cigarette – °p<0,05; °°p<0,01; °°°p<0,001 vs “traditional e-liquids”

Fig. 3 – Speed

The speed of nicotine perception is non significantly different in the traditional cigarette (dark grey) and T-MAX e-liquids (green), while it is significantly lower in traditional e-liquids (light grey), when compared to traditional cigarette and T-Max e-liquid.

*p<0,05; **p<0,01; ***p<0,001 vs traditional cigarette – °p<0,05; °°p<0,01; °°°p<0,001 vs “traditional e-liquids”

Fig. 4 – Overall satisfaction

The overall satisfaction is significantly higher in the traditional cigarette (dark grey) compared the other two products, but the T-MAX e-liquids (green) show a level of satisfaction significantly higher than traditional e-liquids (light grey).

*p<0,05; **p<0,01; ***p<0,001 vs traditional cigarette – °p<0,05; °°p<0,01; °°°p<0,001 vs “traditional e-liquids”