Salt-based e-liquids make easy favorites for those looking for a more authentic tobacco experience
There's a new Next Big Thing every week in the world of vaping. Nicotine salts, or "nic salts" as they are commonly abbreviated, have come out of nowhere to be the talk of the vape community. But you might be surprised to learn that the salts themselves are nothing new. In fact, nicotine salt occurs naturally when nicotine binds to organic compounds in tobacco leaves. So what makes it such a hit among vapers? The answer is in their composition compared to freebase nicotine used in standard e-liquids.
How are Nic Salts Different?
As the vape industry matures, manufacturers are creating increasingly safe and consumer-friendly devices as well as e-liquids. Until recently, vapers and ex-smokers looking for high nicotine juice have had to use products containing high proportions of propylene glycol (PG). This is because PG is used as the carrier liquid for freebase nicotine in standard e-liquids. PG causes what is known among vapers as "throat hit," and can be uncomfortable to vape in higher doses over long periods of time. Moreover, the overall flavor experience from nicotine in juices with a high proportion of PG is more chemical than natural. Nicotine salt solves all of these problems.
Because nic salts naturally occur in tobacco plants, their chemical composition is more stable. Salt-based juices don't need carrier liquids like PG to produce bioavailable nicotine. Instead, benzoic acid is used as a modifier, effectively reducing both the pH levels and alkalinity of nicotine. This results in dramatically less vapor and a smoother hit, all while retaining ample nicotine content for vapers and ex-smokers.
Are Nicotine Salts Safe?
Freebase is isolated using PG to remove protons from nicotine, resulting in higher pH and alkalinity as well as a harsh throat hit. On the other hand, nicotine salt provides nicotine in what is basically an unaltered state with reduced pH and alkalinity. Additionally, nic salt is the result of natural binding (or crystallization) of nicotine with other compounds in tobacco leaves, providing an overall flavor profile that better replicates tobacco smoking.
While high nic/high PG juices could cause people to vape less than they actually need, nic salts provide smoother hits and better flavor while maintaining high nicotine content. In short, nic salts are just as safe (if not more so) as standard e-liquids.
Are There any Drawbacks?
Salt-based juices are an excellent choice for ex-smokers just getting started with vaping, as they provide good nicotine content without the PG issue in standard e-liquids. But given that they're still relatively new to the market, there are downsides:
- Availability most major e-liquid manufacturers are just getting around to creating salt-based versions of their existing products. As a result, vape shops don't readily stock nic salt juices in large amounts. If you're shopping for a refill, it might take longer to find one than it would with standard e-liquids. At MyFreedomSmokes, we are beating the competition and stock a very complete range of nicotine salts.
- Range of Flavors for the same reason as the above, the selection of salt-based juices is still a little underwhelming. While standard e-liquids come in thousands of flavors, you'll find considerably less variety among nic salt juices. Luckily this problem is likely to disappear as they become more popular.
- Compatibility because of the trace amounts of benzoic acid in nic salt juices, their pH levels and alkalinity are lower. This causes them to vaporize at lower temperatures, and makes them ideal for vaping on low-wattage devices. Of course, the ability to get more nicotine without having to own a high-power vape could be seen as a plus among users of pod mods, vape pens and low-power vapes like the Wismec Motive AIO. But limited usability is more con than pro, particularly when standard e-liquids can be used with anything.
Are Nic Salts Right for Me?
While salt-based e-liquids are a perfect solution to counter tobacco withdrawals in ex-smokers, not everyone vapes specifically to quit cigarettes. This could limit nicotine salts from attaining the same kind of broad appeal that standard e-liquids enjoy.
Because of their nicotine content and compound structure, nic salts leave vapers satisfied for much longer than they are with standard e-liquids. This means a bottle of salt-based juice can last up to twice as long as a bottle of concentrate.
At the end of the day, what matters is why you vape and what you're looking for in an e-liquid. If you think nic salts are right for you, grab a bottle today and fire it up.