Nicotine Salt E-Liquids: Are They Right for Your Vaping Setup?
Surveying the landscape of the e-liquid industry, it becomes clear that one trend above all others will come to dominate vaping in 2018. That trend is nicotine salt e-liquids. More vapers than ever are demanding them, and the e-liquid companies of the world are happy to satisfy the demand. You’ve probably noticed that the Smokly store now carries several nicotine salt e-liquids. You can expect to see more in the future. So, what are nicotine salt e-liquids, and what are the benefits of using them? Are nicotine salts the right choice for your vaping setup? In this article, we’ll clear up the mystery.
What Are Nicotine Salts?
In the world of tobacco, nicotine salts begin with the tobacco leaf. That’s nicotine’s natural state – it’s a salt. When laboratories extract the nicotine from tobacco leaves, though, they use ammonia as a solvent. The ammonia both maximizes the extraction yield and increases the pH of the nicotine. Freed of the acid that binds it as a salt, the nicotine becomes a free base. You’ll find free base nicotine in smoking cessation products and in all standard e-liquids.
In the world of vaping, nicotine salts began with the Juul e-cigarette. Pax Labs – the manufacturer of the Juul vaping system – conducted research while developing the Juul. Attempting to find a more satisfying e-liquid formulation for users of smaller e-cigarettes, Pax Labs experimented with adding acid to lower the pH of an e-liquid and convert the nicotine within it back into a salt. The company found that an e-liquid with nicotine salts – and a high nicotine strength – may greatly increase the blood-nicotine levels that a vaper can achieve with a low-wattage e-cigarette. The blood-nicotine levels achieved in testing were, in fact, almost the same as what one would achieve when smoking a cigarette.
The Juul e-cigarette became extremely popular following its release in 2015. It wasn’t long before competing pod-based e-cigarettes appeared. With members of the vaping community suddenly very interested in smaller e-cigarettes and nicotine salts, companies around the world scrambled to release nicotine salt e-liquids – and that’s where we are today.
What Are the Benefits of Nicotine Salts?
The greatest potential benefit of nicotine salt e-liquids is that you may find them more satisfying than standard e-liquids. It’s difficult to say whether Pax Labs achieved the result it did because of nicotine salts or because the Juul uses an e-liquid with an extremely high nicotine concentration. During the two years in which nicotine salt e-liquids have been on the market, though, plenty of people have had the opportunity to try nicotine salts. Many of those people credit nicotine salts for helping them feel satisfied during the switch from smoking to vaping.
Nicotine salts are slightly acidic, and acidic nicotine produces less “throat hit” than free base nicotine. As a result, many people have noticed that switching to nicotine salts has allowed them to use higher-nicotine e-liquids without throat irritation and coughing. If you prefer higher-nicotine e-liquids but find them too harsh to use consistently – maybe you even still smoke sometimes because you find it difficult to get as much nicotine as you need from vaping alone – you will probably be very happy with the much smoother throat hit of nicotine salt e-liquids.
Are Nicotine Salts Right for My Vaping Setup?
If you’re considering switching to nicotine salts, the first thing you need to know is that nicotine salt e-liquids have very high nicotine strengths. A nicotine salt e-liquid usually has a nicotine strength of 20 mg or higher. If you currently use a sub-ohm vaping device, that’s a big difference from the 3 mg or 6 mg e-liquid you’re probably using now. Unless lower-nicotine e-liquids with nicotine salts become more common, you most likely won’t have any reason to switch to nicotine salts.
So, who needs an e-liquid with a nicotine strength of 20 mg or higher? Nicotine salt e-liquids are ideal for lower-wattage devices such as smaller vape pens and pod-based vaping systems. Nearly any vaping device designed for mouth-to-lung inhaling will work well with nicotine salts. If you use a pod vaping system already or have thought about giving a pod system a try, you definitely want to buy an e-liquid with nicotine salts. Whether nicotine salts are actually more satisfying or not is irrelevant; nicotine salts make it possible to inhale the vapor of a high-nicotine e-liquid without irritation – and if you use a smaller e-cigarette, you need a higher-nicotine e-liquid.
Who Should Buy Nicotine Salt E-Liquids?
The first type of person who should buy nicotine salt e-liquids is a person who still smokes and has not tried vaping yet. Research suggests that typical small e-cigarettes – like the ones you can find in your local convenience stores – don’t contain enough nicotine to help you build up a significant blood-nicotine level. Nicotine salt e-liquids may help you maintain your current blood-nicotine level as a smoker, and that may make switching to vaping easier for you.
The second type of person who should buy nicotine salt e-liquids is a person who only vapes part of the time. If you vape sometimes but still smoke because vaping doesn’t satisfy your cigarette cravings, you probably aren’t getting enough nicotine from your e-cigarette. Since nicotine salt e-liquids are smoother and easier to inhale than standard e-liquids, they can make it possible for you to increase the nicotine strength that you use when vaping. The extra nicotine may provide the satisfaction that you need to switch fully from smoking to vaping.
The final type of person who should buy nicotine salt e-liquids is a person who has already switched fully to vaping but would like to use less e-liquid. Switching to nicotine salts may mean that you’ll need to purchase a pod vaping system or other small vaping device. That device may actually produce less vapor than the device you use now. You may find, though, that you feel just as satisfied – maybe even more satisfied – with a smaller device using nicotine salts. Switching to a device that produces less vapor means that you’ll use less e-liquid – and using less e-liquid will make vaping much less expensive.