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Nic Salt E-liquids - The Complete Guide

July 10, 2021 6 min read

If there’s one thing true about the vaping scene is that it’s always in a constant state of flux. Companies are constantly innovating and releasing what they hope is the next big thing to hit the vaping market. This has always been true of devices, but lately, there’s been a new product causing a stir in the vaping scene and that is the introduction of Nic Salt E-liquids.

This article will aim to tackle some of the most asked questions in regards to Nicotine Salts. Aiming to give the user all the information they would need to make an informed choice on whether or not to try them.

I myself have used Nic Salts exclusively for almost two years so alongside research from relevant parties, I will also intersperse my own user experience in hopes to provide a more accessible point of view in their day-to-day use.

What are Nic Salts?

Nic Salts are in fact E-liquid as users understand it but the form of nicotine used differs from the traditional form of freebase nicotine. Nicotine salt in a nutshell uses the same form of nicotine that comes from the tobacco plant. They enable a user to vape a higher concentration of nicotine without that nicotine feeling harsh on the throat.

This is probably the most asked question in regards to Nic Salts are what exactly are they? Whilst E-liquid is an easy enough concept to get your head around (Liquid for E-Cigarettes) there is some confusion when it comes to nicotine salts.

Are Nic Salts healthier?

Much the same as traditional nicotine e-liquid, as opposed to smoking cigarettes Nic salt, is also a healthier option. Research from the British Medical Association has shown that the use of e-cigarettes and by association nicotine salt is safer that traditional smoking. (A link to their findings will be provided at the end of this article.)

Nic Salts from personal experience.

As someone that works in a vape shop, I have found this particularly useful for heavy smokers, before nicotine salt, heavy smokers would be recommended 18mg traditional nicotine as that was the strength required to curb their nicotine cravings.

This would result in some customers complaining about the harshness of their e-liquid and diminishing their overall satisfaction.

Nicotine salt e-liquid offers a choice away from the traditional and has proven to be a positive change. Users can now get their required amount of nicotine to curb their cravings without having the harsh throat hit that accompanies traditional nicotine.

How do Nic salts differ from traditional nicotine?

One of the main differences in regards to Nic salt e-liquid vs traditional nicotine is the faster satisfaction you can get from them. Nicotine salts are quicker acting.

Research undertaken by Konstantinos E Farsalinos aimed to show the speed in which nicotine is absorbed into the bloodstream, both from smoking and the use of e-cigarettes. This graph below shows some interesting differences in the uptake rate of cigarettes vs e-cigarettes.

Graph for Nicotine uptake of e-liquid

This graph shows the nicotine concentration in an e-cigarette users' blood over time when using traditional nicotine. As can be seen to reach satisfaction, that being the time taken for a cigarette to hit peak levels of concentration, traditional e-liquid takes 35 minutes with a new generation e-cigarette.

This is interesting and relevant because the nicotine used in nic salt e-liquid is the same form of nicotine found in tobacco, salt nicotine act quicker to reach that peak level of concentration to achieve the curbing of cravings.

Much the same as traditional nicotine e-liquid, as opposed to smoking cigarettes nicotine salt, is also a healthier option. Research from the British Medical Association has shown that the use of e-cigarettes and by association Nic salt e-liquid is safer that traditional smoking. 

Are Nic Salt e-liquids a good choice for me?

To be perfectly honest they may not be, some people prefer traditional nicotine e-liquid and that’s fine as long as we as vapers aren’t smoking then we’re winning.

This article is to give those that may have heard of nicotine salt a decent bedrock of information to make an informed choice on whether or not to try them. A few points to consider if you’re looking to take the plunge.

· Nicotine salts are great for new vapers who require a higher nicotine dose, but don’t want the harsh throat hit that comes with traditional nicotine.

· They provide a faster acting and longer lasting nicotine hit. Perfect for those that have limited time to vape in work.

· Some users find that they vape less with nicotine salts, the longer satisfaction and faster uptake of nicotine dramatically lowers their e-liquid consumption.

What I enjoy about Nic Salts

As someone who works in a vape shop, I’ve had many devices and tried hundreds if not thousands of liquids. My transition to nicotine salt flavours came at the point I was vaping easily 40ml of 3mg nicotine a day. Ever since I started vaping, I always disliked the harsh throat hit of traditional nicotine, so I opted for high VG 3mg as my choice of liquid. However, it got to the point I was just tired of continually puffing my e-cigarette and getting no satisfaction despite it being forever in my mouth.

I made the switch to nicotine salts in March 2019. Salts, I always thought before were something of a gimmick, we didn’t actually stock a lot of salt brands because we thought they’d be a fad and disappear in a few months. Since using them however that opinion has changed, I’ve found myself more satisfied with my e-liquid and I use so much less e-liquid than before.

What choices do I have with Nic Salts?

More and more companies now are noticing the rising popularity of nic salt and as such are developing their own lines. Rest assured there is a multitude of choice for those that want to give Nic salt a try. As somewhat of a new addition to the vaping market, you might be worried that there isn’t a lot of choice. Some of your favourite brands might not have jumped to making salts yet, and those that have cost more than normal because of development costs.

What do I need to consider before switching to Salts?

Here are a few things to take into consideration when looking at buying nic salt flavours.

· They generally come in 10mg or 20mg strength. Something I’ve noticed is that customers can sometimes be afraid of such a high number in regards to nicotine concentration. Don’t be, believe it or not, that 20mg will be smoother on your throat than the traditional 12mg you’re currently using.

· Something to looking out for is hybrid nicotine. Brands such as Riot Squad use something known as hybrid nicotine. This is where if you bought a 20mg for example, 10 mg would be salt based nicotine 10mg would be traditional freebase nicotine.

Whilst this doesn’t impact its performance in any way and Riot Squad Nic Salts is a popular brand. It can be surprising if you’re expecting a smooth nicotine throat hit. This is because its harsher than usual owing to the addition of traditional nicotine.

Rest assured though, the list of e-liquid manufacturers embracing Nic Salt e liquids is ever growing, you’re sure to find something you will enjoy. 

What’s the best way to use Nic salt?

Anything that isn’t too powerful will couple together with nic salts just fine. A question we get a lot, “Do I need one of those Pod Vape Kits to use nic salt?” To that, whilst pod devices have become the go to kind of device to enjoy Nic Salt e liquids, they aren’t a requirement. Pod devices are small form factor e-cigarettes containing a refillable pod with a replaceable coil.

Why are pod devices so popular with Nic Salt ?

Owing to their small size they generally have a small battery life. This couples well with nic salt because the longer satisfaction and quicker uptake time of nic salt enables long use from a small battery. Because of this pod devices have become a popular pairing alongside nicotine salts.

Can I use my current device with Nic Salts?

If you already have a vape kit or don’t like the small form factor of pod devices however, rest assured you can still enjoy nic salt. As a general rule of thumb, any coil higher than 1.0ohms is sufficient for using salt e-liquids. The lower wattage of these coils is perfect for vaping nic salt. It should be noted though, with newer devices and vape coils a popular choice of ohmage for salt nicotine has become 0.6.

 

Can I sub-ohm Nicotine Salts?

Nicotine salt e-liquid should not be used with sub ohm devices, that kind of power and vapour production coupled with the high nicotine content of nic salts is the perfect recipe for an upset stomach. Keep it subtle cloud bros.

Should I switch to Nic salts?

Finally, we come to the most important question, should you switch from freebase nicotine to nic salts. Personally, if you’re happy with your vaping experience and you wouldn’t change anything about it. If what you are using has kept you from smoking this far then no, you should not. Don’t mess with your own personal recipe for success.

If though, like me you are dissatisfied with, the amount of liquid you consume, the amount of time your device is in use or that you want a nicotine hit that gives instant satisfaction then a switch might be beneficial.

Rhys James
Rhys James


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