All About Nicotine Salts: The What, Why, & How

Nicotine salts, more commonly called nic salts, are a recent addition to the ever-evolving world of vaping. While they’re not super complicated, it’s very likely that vapers of all experience levels will have questions about nic salts.

What are they? Are they safe? We’re here to answer some of the common questions about nic salts so you can better understand these products..

What is nicotine salt?

Nicotine salt is created by adding certain types of acids to freebase nicotine which creates a highly absorbable and smooth nicotine. Without the harsh throat hit you often get from vaping traditional freebase nicotine e-juice.

What type of devices can I use & why?

When you vape with traditional hardware and ejuice, you typically want higher wattage and lower coil resistance. With nic salts, the opposite is preferable, hence you’re going to need some different hardware.

Here’s why.

Traditional e-juice is most commonly available with 3mg to 12mg of nicotine, while nic salts are commonly available from 25mg up to 50mg. That’s a big difference, but there’s a reason for it. Nic salts are designed to give you the same effect as traditional ejuice while inhaling less vapor. Therefore, a low wattage device is perfect for nic salts because you don’t need to produce the large volume of vapor. So what type of devices can you use? Glad you asked!

Your best bet is to get a high-quality device at the start to ensure that you’re getting the best possible experience and a satisfying delivery of nicotine. You can go with an open system like the Suorin Air or Drop or the VooPoo Panda Vape Kit combined with VooPoo Panda Pod Replacements (1.2ohm is your best bet). Open system means you can use refillable pods with the nic salts of your choosing. There’s also a closed system, like the Kilo 1K Ultra, that requires you to purchase pre-filled replaceable cartridges.

The devices mentioned above are all considering mouth-to-lung (MTL) devices or pod vapes, which is the preferred method for vaping nic salts. MTL means pulling the vapor into your mouth from the device and then inhaling the vapor into your lungs. Direct-to-lung (DTL) -- inhaling the vapor straight from the device to your lungs -- is typically how you vape traditional e-juice, but it’s not the best idea for nic salts because a DTL nic salt hit can be very intense and uncomfortable.

What is the difference between freebase and salt nicotine?

Nicotine salt is nicotine chemically bonded with other organic compounds to create a more stable molecule. Freebase nicotine is unbonded nicotine, which means it’s a more “volatile” molecule and easier to vaporize.

Is there actually table salt in nic salt?

In chemistry, a salt is created when an acid reacts to a base (alkali). When freebase nicotine (base) is combined with acids, it creates nicotine salt.

Are nic salts harsh?

Nic salts are not harsh but the experience when vaping is definitely different than freebase nicotine e-juice. How? There are two big differences. The first is the throat hit. Vaping nic salts will give you a throat hit that is similar to the feeling of smoking a traditional cigarette. Second is the intensity of the nicotine. It may take some experimenting to find the right balance for you to avoid potentially getting lightheaded or a little sick to your stomach.

Is flavor compromised with nic salt?

While you will still get the flavors of the juice when vaping nic salts, they can be subdued compared to traditional vape juice.

Are nicotine salts dangerous?

Studies so far have shown that nicotine salts are just relatively similar to freebase nicotine. In order get the best results, manufacturers add acids like benzoic acid. Because studies on benzoic acid focus on its ingestion rather than inhalation, we don’t have data about the long-term effects of inhaling benzoic acid at the level found in nicotine salt e-liquid.

What are some other potential advantages of nic salts?

There are several reasons why nic salts might be a preferable option for vapers:

  • You can use a higher nicotine level juice thus allowing you to vape less liquid each day to get the same effect
  • Nicotine salt e-juice has a longer shelf life than juices made with freebase nicotine because the compound breaks down slower
  • You can use a less powerful mod that’s often more portable due to needing far less battery power

Which nic salt should I choose?

Ultimately, what the nic salt you should choose will be based on your flavor palette. Fortunately, there's a lot of good options out there.The extremely popular Naked 100 brand has a line of nic salt flavors, or you can try what Propaganda and Ruthless have to offer. Just like regular e-juice, it may take a few tries to find the right one.

Nic Salts aren't for everyone, they provide a different vaping experience from traditional e-juice. In some case, that can be a good thing for a vaper, so if nic salts sound like something that might help you have a better experience, check them out and give them a try!

Posted by Zach on Apr 30th 2018

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