WHAT ARE NIC-SALTS?
Posted at 5:00 • 30 Aug • Nicotine
Nicotine salt (or nic salt) is a type of naturally forming nicotine found in leaf tobacco. In a stupidly simple but chemically complex way, nic salt e-liquids are the most efficient way to deliver nicotine to your body. A large number of vapers say they find that nic salts deliver a more satisfying experience, saying e-liquid with nicotine salt is easier to inhale thanks to its bio-compatibility. Users have cited throat hits of reduced harshness and are able to use more powerful liquids, taking in more nicotine for each vape. Many users of lower-powered devices have started to embrace nic salts.
WHY SHOULD I TRY NIC SALTS?
A huge amount of advancement in vaping is geared towards the activity itself. Want beastly clouds or sensational flavour? Learn everything you need to know about cloud (or flavour) chasing here. Tired of hearing people rattle on about Sub-Ohm vaping while you stand there with no clue? Get clued up. From the summer juices that made our office physically giddy to the new wave of CBD liquids, the hashtags are focusing on one of two things- better gear or better juice. Until nic salts, nothing was really focusing on the nicotine itself.
NIC SALTS VERSUS FREEBASE NICOTINE
Conventional nicotine is also known as "freebase" nicotine. Nic salt is the kind of nicotine found in leaves of tobacco. The salts contain not only nicotine but various other organic components. Nic salt is a compound where the nicotine is bonded to other chemicals. This is not the case with freebase nicotine. Studies have been carried out which suggest nic salts were more efficient in delivering nicotine to users, including an experiment conducted by PAX Labs. The addition of benzoic acid to nic salts reduces the pH, which means vaping isn't as harsh. Many experiments have taken place with the aim of improving the efficiency of nic salts.
BENEFITS OF NIC SALTS
- Better, faster nicotine fixes that deliver in 6-7 seconds. Why? Freebase nicotine takes longer for the satisfaction feeling- it's absorbed by the body in a build-up way. If anyone can get crankier faster than a six week-old baby, it's a quitting smoker craving their hit. Nic salts allow the nicotine to enter the bloodstream at a similar speed to cigarettes- exactly what quitters are looking to replicate. Switch to nic salts and your nicotine is basically on demand. PAX labs proved it.
- It's technically cheaper. While nic salts themselves are a touch pricier, your e-cigarette will deliver nicotine more efficiently. That technically translates to vaping less, consuming less juice, and hey presto, more cash in the bank.
- Way better shelf life. Since nic salts are more chemically stable than conventional e-liquids, they store much better and longer. The quality of the nicotine never fades.
- Smooth, mild throat hit. It's unlikely you give two squats about pH levels. Honestly, you don't need to. The scientists did the work. They figured out that nic salts without the added food-grade benzoic acid actually absorb less efficiently. Chuck in the acid (little to no evidence to suggest it isn't safe) and the nicotine chemically "degrades" into the opposite word- an upgrade. Smooth hits, instant nic rush. Win-win.
NIC SALTS FOR EX-SMOKERS
Nic salts have also proved beneficial for new vapers who have just quit smoking. They enable them to absorb more nicotine without being forced to use particularly sophisticated equipment. Some new vapers find the throat hit provided by freebase nicotine harsh, whereas nicotine salts offer a smoother draw. If you are running a high-power device, you can purchase nic salt juice with a lower level of nicotine to avoid an unpleasantly strong hit. The USA was one of the first markets to see the growth of nic salts, and they are now starting to gain increased exposure in the UK.
The juice is designed to mirror the hit that you would achieve from a cigarette. The salts are absorbed into the bloodstream much faster, delivering an effect within around 6-7 seconds. They have also helped many vapers to reduce their liquid consumption thanks to the more powerful nicotine hit on offer. The first nic salts are said to have hit the market in summer 2015 when they were first introduced by PAX. The company's Juul device featured pods containing nic salts, though this device is now unavailable in the European Union as it contained nic salt content of 50mg, 30mg above current TDP restrictions.
Nonetheless, a wide range of nicotine salt e-liquids can be purchased in the UK and across the EU. There is a 20mg limit imposed due to TPD requirements, whilst more and more e-juice manufacturers are including nic salts in their catalogues.
The cost of these juices tends to be slightly higher than conventional liquids, though you should find that you use much lower levels thanks to the greater potency of nicotine. It seems certain that the range of nic salts available in the UK will continue to expand as more vapers learn about their uses.
If you have any concerns about the safety of nicotine salts, read on. In all likelihood, nic salts are probably no more dangerous than inhaling freebase nicotine. There have been some concerns about the benzoic acid used to power nic salts as there has been little conclusive research carried out on its effects on humans. Some suggest that the reduced level of vapour inhaled when nic salts are used could make nic salt juices safer than their more commonly-used counterparts, and certainly safer than smoking cigarettes.
Not advised. Nic salts aren't recommended for high-powered Sub-Ohm devices because of their high nicotine concentration. Some lower strengths have been formulated and geared towards RDA or Sub-Ohm vapers. For the most commonly found strengths though, stay away from the Sub-Ohm and enjoy the vapes that are perfect for nic salts. For a rule of thumb, remember this.
“Any equipment designed for MTL (mouth to lung) vaping and above 1.0 Ohm resistance is good for nic salts. MTL vaping is what you want to be doing if you're quitting smoking”
NIC SALTS FROM VAPE SUPERSTORE
One product currently available for those wishing to experiment with nic salts is the salt based nicotine shot from the ever-popular Elements E-Liquids. This 20mg booster shot is designed for use with shortfill e-liquids to enhance nicotine levels and can create a 60ml e-liquid with a 3.3mg base when added to a shortfill bottle of 50ml nicotine-free juice.
- Element NS20- Not rocket science. The "NS" stands for nic salts and the "20" is the max nicotine strength as compliant with EU TPD laws. This stuff is serious quality. You're looking at a dominant VG to PG ratio of 65%, five strengths, 14 flavours, and a superior flavour range like the Watermelon Chill, Crema and Key Lime Cookie. The Tobacco 555 is hugely popular with smokersmaking the switch.
- Dinner Lady- This Brit favourite is already adored for dishing out old-skool dessert flavours like Cornflake Tart, Rice Pudding,Strawberry Custard, plus their epically named summer range (if Flip Flop Lychee or Sun Tan Mango isn't doing it for you, you need to get yourself checked out). Dinner Lady went with their most popular Lemon Tart for a nic salt variety. You still get the same sweet lemon curd and creamy meringue mash-up. Consider the buttery pastry base a vehicle for faster nic rushes.
- SMPO Pods-This is literally handing you top-performing convenience on a plate. The SMPO Pod Kit is a pop-in, use, throw out pod design that's itsy bitsy enough to fit in your pocket and powerful enough to deliver solid flavour, vapour and of course, nicotine. Doing away with all of the fiddling of bottles and tanks, you get an all-in-one experience from a reliable device with good battery life, great taste and a range of flavours from Classic Tobacco to the rich-bodied Full Fruit. For the lowdown on Pod kits, click here.
We're also giving My Vapery's Nic Nic Salt Nicotine Shot a special mention for being specially designed for shortfill use (that's the larger bottle that saves you cash).
WHICH DEVICES ARE BEST FOR NIC SALTS?
- Aspire Gusto Mini- For many vapers, the Aspire Gusto Mini is a clear winner. You're looking at a closed pod system for throwaway convenience. Coils aren't something you have to deal with- just pop the e-liquid pod in and you're good to go. Two drip tips, smooth airflow, a powerful device that fits in your hand- oh, and that slick anodised sleeve. The most you have to wait is 5 minutes to let the wick absorb the e-liquid. Packs a real punch with insane nicotine hits- all for under £20. Takes Element NS20 pods.
- Aspire Breeze 2- This is one of Aspire's newer releases. Much like the Gusto, a simple fire button and draw mouthpiece deliver the cigalike experience. Users like the visible e-liquid tank which lights up during use, so you can see how much is left. You'll need to install your own coils, but this device has huge pros. It's got great battery life, a reliable build and a great stealth feel.
- SMPO Pod Kit- We covered this one earlier, but oh my. What a beauty. Ultra-compact, ultra-reliable, ultra-powerful and all the kickass magnetic fittings in the world make this pod kit as simple as it is #wow worthy. Pre-filled cartridges are the kind where "walking to the bin" is an effort. Comes with its own SMPO nic salt pods.
- Eleaf iCare 2- Yes, when the first version is so popular, you get to bring out a 2.0. The iCare 2 Starter Kit by Eleaf is a compact, beginner-friendly device that comes with a top-fill tank, a simple fire button and a surprisingly intuitive four-colour LED light system. This is a great MTL device that comes with a pre-installed tank and a 1.3 Ohm coil- perfect for higher strength nicotine.
- Suorin Air/Drop- Since you'll get an equally reliable and satisfactory experience from either the Suorin Air or Suorin Drop, it's about the little customisations when it comes to picking between the two. The Air is rectangular, super-slim and made by the same people who knocked out the iPhone. Think credit card-like. It's a portable, MTL kit that's only overshadowed by the Drop for people who rank teardrop design highly. The Drop is somewhat iconic with its futuristic silhouette. If carrying a powerful water drop in your hand (and no more than 45 minutes charging time) sounds good, check it out.
- Joytech Exceed Edge- This racing car-inspired vape pen has state-of-the-art curves that are streamlined, sleek and perfect for the on-the-go vaper wanting their fix in any situation. The EX head is optimised for nic salts, and the refillable pods do away with the hassle of e-liquid bottles. Special props for being designed to accommodate nic salts and high nicotine e-liquids.
FIND OUT MORE TODAY
At Vape Superstore, we are seeing more and more popular e-liquids being given the nicotine salt treatment. We can come to your assistance at any point if you are interested in using nic salts and need help with selecting the right products for your needs, so don't hesitate to get in touch if you do need to find out more, whether you're an experienced vaper or new to the world of vaping. Check out our top 10 nic salt e-liquids here.
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