“Nicotine salts” or “salt nic”; chances are you’ve heard about these new products in recent months if you pay attention to new vape industry developments. Like many aspects of vaping, the name doesn’t reveal too much about the substance itself, so here at MIST we’d like to take some time to answer some of the most common questions regarding nicotine salts and whether they’re a good choice for you!
Introduction To Nicotine Salts
Nicotine salts are an alternative to the default nicotine solution added to e liquid, often referred to as “freebase”. There’s a bit of complex science involved, but we’ll do our best to keep things simple - ordinary “freebase” nicotine solution has a rather high pH level, which if you recall your science homework means that it has a lot of alkalinity. High alkaline e liquid, when vaped, can be quite harsh on the throat; it’s generally what gives 50/50 or high-PG e liquid the characteristic throat and chest ‘hit’ upon each inhalation.
While this ‘hit’ is pleasant to some, others find it a bit too rough to enjoy, particularly those just coming off of a strong smoking habit. Many recent smokers complain about e cigarettes being harsh in comparison to smoking, and they aren’t wrong; while smoke briefly paralyses the lungs (ever noticed that smoking a cigarette when you’ve got a cough actually makes it go away for a few minutes?), heated vapour will generally agitate the nerves in the lungs. Some come to enjoy that ‘lung punch’, but those who find it disagreeable are often forced to use larger, more powerful machines designed to use the smoother high-VG e liquids (Note: high-VG e liquid is generally smoother to inhale because of its vegetable glycerine - VG - content; VG is the primary ingredient in many cough syrups).
The problem with going the high-VG sub-ohm route when vaping is that nicotine delivery becomes less of a focus; cloud chasing is mostly associated with flavour, fun and recreation, with less of a ‘quit smoking’ mission statement behind it. Often high-VG e liquid will only come in very low nicotine strength, because the assumption is a sub-ohming vaper considers nicotine delivery to be a secondary concern.
So what are you to do if you dislike the harshness of high-PG e liquid but want more nicotine than a lot of high-VG e juices are able to provide? The answer is nicotine salts.
What Are Nicotine Salts?
Put simply, nicotine salts are comprised of a nicotine solution to which benzoic acid is applied. This drastically lowers the pH level of the fluid, reducing its alkalinity and making it far smoother to inhale.
This means that you can get high doses of nicotine in a relatively simple e cigarette that won’t put out vast, anti-social clouds and is as comforting to the lungs as a traditional cigarette. There’s no need to worry about inhaling trace amounts of benzoic acid either; it is primarily used as a food preservative, so you’ve already been consuming it for years already!
How Do I Use Nicotine Salts?
Nicotine salts, while a relatively new development in e liquid, aren’t going to cause a huge shift in vaping hardware. A simple mouth-to-lung kit like the T-18 II or a pod-system like the SMOK Nord are all you will need to utilise e juice which is loaded with nicotine salts. Most mouth-to-lung tanks are already perfectly ready for use, you may simply find that your coil’s lifespan is reduced by a day or two.
We do not recommend using a sub-ohming kit for nicotine salts as the units generally use a lot more power and produce a lot more vapour, which may result in a painful overload of nicotine. Also of note, most salt-nic e juices are relatively ‘thin’, and may fail to stay securely within a tank designed for thicker, gloopier e liquid.
Can I Sub-Ohm Nicotine Salts?
Technically you can; salted nic-shots by Zap! can be purchased at a low price of £1.99 in our stores, and come as a free addition when purchasing Zap! or Aisu short fill bottles. As of yet we do not provide any 10ml bottles of high-VG e liquid pre-mixed with nicotine salts, but you will find that purchasing a short fill bottle is generally cheaper in the long run than frequently buying smaller doses.
Are Nicotine Salts Less Safe Or More Addictive Than Regular E Liquid?
Absolutely not! There have been no toxicology reports indicating that inhaling benzoic acid is any more harmful to you than regular freebase nicotine. Regarding addiction, nicotine salts are more likely to help you regulate the amount of vapour you’re inhaling, due to the often high strength of nicotine within.
Do Nicotine Salts Taste Salty?
Don’t let the name fool you! Fact is, nicotine salts are actually even MORE flavoursome than many traditional e liquids. Freebase nicotine solution is known to have a slight dampening effect on e liquid flavourings; this is why people often let their short fill bottles ‘breathe’ when adding a lot of nicotine - the flavour concentrates need a little time to counteract the freebase and return to full flavour. Nicotine salts have zero effect on the flavour of e liquid, and so what you’ll be getting is a smooth, strong and sumptuous e juice. Many go as far as to champion nicotine salts as being far more natural in their composition than traditional e liquids.
Should I Use Nicotine Salts? Are Nicotine Salts Right For Me?
Nicotine salts are a fantastic new development but this isn’t to say they’re necessarily for everyone. There are some out there who report feeling frustrated by the lack of physical “hit” you get from nic salts, and some who have been vaping high-PG e liquid for some time already may find transitioning to nic salts a little uncomfortable.
Consider these questions…
- Are you a recent smoker?
- Were you a heavy smoker (15-20+ cigarettes per day)?
- Does vaping make you cough to the extent you’re put off trying it?
- Are you a bit embarrassed by the idea of ‘big clouds’?
- Do you want vaping to feel as similar to smoking as possible?
If you answered ‘yes’ to several of these questions then we definitely suggest that you give nicotine salts a try. They’ve convinced many vape skeptics about the pleasant and satisfying effects of vaping and may just be what it takes for you to finally put down the cigarettes, with Public Health England still recommending electronic cigarettes as the best way to quit smoking.
How Do I Try Nicotine Salts?
Any decent vape vendor is likely to stock nicotine salt e liquids. Here at MIST we keep some delicious examples in stock such as the MIST Nic Salt Range for just £3.99 per bottle, or 5 for £12.50