What are Nic Salts? Everything You Need To Know
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.
REDUCING JUICE CONSUMPTION
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 buying standard vape liquid, 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.
IS IT SAFE TO USE NIC-SALTS
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.
CAN I SUB-OHM VAPE NIC SALTS?
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 salt based liquids within disposable puff bars or alternative 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”