What Are Nicotine Salts?

Nicotine salts are a relatively new topic in the vaping community, with many vapers still completely oblivious to what they are. After originally growing popular in the United States, nic salts are starting to pop up in the UK market, and look set to make quite an impact due to their apparent qualities.

myCigara stock some e-liquids with nic salt nicotine, and plan on exploring the avenues of this category further in the future. So keep your eyes peeled! Currently, our range includes the NS20 Salt Booster by e-juice giants Element.

Nic salts are different to the nicotine in e-liquids that you’re used to. Here is the myCigara guide to nicotine salts.

Freebase Nicotine vs Nic Salts

Extracted from natural nicotine salts in tobacco plants, nic salts contain positively charged ionized nicotine molecules bound to negatively charged organic conjugates. Traditional e-liquids that we vape day-to-day contains freebase nicotine, which is created by deriving salts from tobacco plants and utilising ammonia to up the pH level, so the nicotine is a neutrally charged substance.

Freebase nicotine has a high pH which leads to increased alkalinity, providing that harsh throat-hit that you'll be familiar with. Nicotine salts contain benzoic acid, which lowers the pH levels of nicotine to reduce alkalinity and provide a smoother vaping experience. This means that vapers can vape nic salts e-liquid with much higher nicotine content.

Where nicotine salts differ from freebase nicotine in e-liquids that you’re used to is in its delivery. Nicotine salts provide a nicotine hit more similar to that of a traditional cigarette, as nicotine salts are absorbed into the bloodstream far faster than freebase nicotine e-liquid which currently dominates the market.

This means that the vaper experiences the effect of the nicotine far quicker with e-liquids containing nic salts. Freebase nicotine e-liquids takes a lot longer than the 6-7 seconds in takes for a cigarette to deliver the nicotine hit, and nic salts bridge that gap.

Another advantage of nicotine salt-based e-liquids is that they can provide a smooth draw even with very highly concentrated nicotine content. So for those that depend on nicotine, nic salts e-liquid could be a preferable option to freebase nicotine, delivering more nicotine, faster. This also could be more cost effective and can reduce nicotine consumption.

Advantages of Nic Salts for Vape Beginners

Many vapers making to switch from cigarettes to vaping devices and e-cigarettes can struggle adjusting as freebase nicotine e-liquid doesn’t provide that nicotine hit that they’re used to. Moreover, e-liquid with high freebase nicotine content can be harsh on the throat, hard to get used to and off-putting at first.

Nicotine salts provide a new avenue for beginners, offering a vaping experience more similar to the smoking experience that they’re used to and crave. Providing that nicotine hit faster, the vaper feels the satisfaction quicker and with a few puffs, with a smoother throat hit than freebase nicotine e-liquid.

Due to the current 20mg nicotine restriction on e-liquids imposed by the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive, nic salt e-liquid will be bound to the same rules, which many will find disappointing due to their smoother nicotine delivery and how they can wean smokers to vaping.

Disadvantages of Nic Salts for Vape Beginners

Whilst many vapers may enjoy the nicotine-intense qualities of nic salts, some lighter smokers and vapers get their nicotine fix with minimal content. E-liquids with lower nicotine, high VG content are more popular among sub-ohm vapers, which is a huge proportion of users.

Nic salts can be more addictive than regular freebase e-liquids due to the higher concentration of nicotine. Moreover, there are still some questions surround benzoic acid, with some concerned about its safety. There have been reports of coughing and pseudoallergic reactions as the effects of benzoic acid remains under investigation.