Nicotine Salts Guide
What is nicotine salt?
Nicotine salts (also called nic salts or salt nicotine) are the most organically forming nicotine found in tobacco leaves. This doesn’t mean the nic is salty but describes it as a tiny white crystalline substance.
Nic Salt shots work in the same way as regular Nic Shots. They just hold a softer kind of nicotine.
As many people should know, nicotine is a stimulant alkaloid popularly included in cigarettes. It is a highly addictive substance, making it difficult for smokers to quit the habit. Interestingly, however, nicotine is also used in many food items like green peppers, tomatoes and potatoes.
Over the last few years, the compound has made its way into the ingredients of e-liquids. Vaping was created as a safer alternative for smoking cessation. Heavy smokers transitioning over to vaping may prefer zero-nicotine juices.
Can you quit smoking with nicotine salt?
Contrastingly, they might choose to incorporate nicotine salt. This substance can allow them to stop smoking while getting comparable sensations experienced in their previous habit.
Vaping simply offers an alternative method of ingesting nicotine (if preferred) without the tobacco and all the hundreds of other hazardous chemicals in traditional ciggies. Nic salt-based e-liquids will contain all the archetypal vaping juices like vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), and flavourings.
The additional content consists of several acids, most commonly benzoic, actic and levulinic. We should understand that vaping juices have always contained freebase nicotine. Yet, nicotine salt is different because it provides the chemical differently.
Thus, if you were a heavy smoker, you get the right hit in your juices without smoking relapse. So, let’s explore the two basic types of nicotine.
Nicotine salt vs freebase nicotine?
As previously mentioned, nic salt is the most organic, non-filtered form of nicotine. On the other hand, freebase nicotine involves a process of converting the compound into a base or pure non-salt state.
It is the most popular type of nicotine in cigarettes, originating in the 1960s during the early days of Marlboro. Tobacco manufacturers found that, by stripping away the salt protons, the nic was more potent than before.
It is for this reason that the substance is compulsive. Until the introduction of nic salts, vaping e-liquids contained only freebase nicotine. However, this type of nic is harsher in high dosages on the throat when vaped compared to cigarettes.
The problem is, of course, this results in the likelihood of previous smokers returning to smoking. So, the question was how could you deliver a strong enough dose of nicotine without the harshness; nic salts were the answer.
Compared to freebase nicotine, this nicotine is less raspy. This means that vapers can consume it at a greater strength while closely replicating the act of smoking. The line in the sand for most vapers in nicotine strength is 24mg.
However, you can go much higher with nic salt without dramatically affecting the vaping experience. The other difference is the delivery. Freebase nicotine takes longer to absorb in the body and more time to leave.
In contrast, you can absorb nic salts in a few seconds into the bloodstream, meaning that ex-smokers can alleviate their craving faster with fewer puffs.
How much salt do I add to 100ml shortfill?
We provide Salt shots in 10ml bottles containing 18 mg of Nicotine. Nic Salt gets absorbed quicker than freebase nicotine. So keep in mind that 6mg Nic Salt will be felt much stronger compared to 6 mg freebase vape juice. So, to use it safely for you, here is the simplest calculation to remember:
With our 18 mg & 10ml Nic Salt, with two shots you add to a 100ml Shortfill, you would end up with a 3mg strong 120ml e-liquid bottle.
Nicotine salt strength guide
Choosing the right strength boils down to your smoking habits. The more you smoke, the more nicotine you crave. Let’s review some interesting stats establishing how much nic is in a combustible cigarette.
This varies widely from one brand to the next. One cigarette might have around 6 milligrams (mg), while another could peak at 28mg. Experts generally agree the average is 10-12 mg. However, no one inhales every milligram as they puff.
In reality, it’s close to 1-1.8mg in a typical ciggie. So, a pack of 20 will see a smoker consuming between 20 and 36 mg of nic. It is difficult to determine a consensus on how much nicotine is ingested in vaping or whether this method drives the substance quicker into your body.
We could put forward many arguments based on your choice of vapeware, vaping style, e-liquid brands, etc.
However, the safest bet is to make a rough guide by classifying four types of smokers: heavy, average, light and occasional. Each range can provide clues on how much nic salt strength you should acquire.
This is even though you may receive less or more nicotine than a cigarette pack depending on the size of your e-liquid bottle.
- Heavy puffers will likely prefer strength above 20mg, roughly equivalent to a pack daily or higher.
- The average person smoking up to a pack daily should stick to levels between 12-20mg of nicotine.
- A light smoker puffing about five cigarettes daily may prefer 6-12mg of intensity.
- The occasional smoker who has a few ciggies weekly can go below 6mg.
Why choose nic salt e-liquids? What are the benefits of nicotine salts?
Let’s look at the reasons why vapers desire nicotine salts:
- Milder throat hit: As stated before, vaping too much nicotine is not the most pleasant thing. So, nic salts provide a softer throat hit while offering the most organic and quickest nicotine delivery without cigarettes.
Therefore, you can vape juices with nic salts at higher levels than e-liquids without nic salts at the same levels.
- Cost-saving: This aspect works in two ways. Although nic salts may cost slightly more than ordinary e-liquids (in some cases), it boils down to consumption. If you’re looking for the highest nicotine delivery to quit smoking, you would naturally vape less.
Therefore, the vaper wouldn’t buy as much juice to satisfy their craving. The second factor concerns the wattage. Experts do not recommend using high-powered devices that produce massive clouds for nic salts (unless the nicotine strength is relatively low).
This production inherently consumes more juice. Conversely, if your vaping is more low profile with less pronounced clouds, you won’t ‘guzzle’ as much e-liquid; and voila, more cash in the bank.
- Better shelf life: Vaping enthusiasts also believe nicotine salts can last longer. They are considered more chemically stable due to being in a natural form, hence degrading and oxidising at a slower rate.
Devices nic salts can be used with
The device plays less of a role than the power behind it. It ultimately depends on how much nicotine you’re looking to inhale. You can use most vaping devices with nic salt e-liquids, cigalike pens and pod systems.
Yet, the higher the nicotine strength, the less wattage you should vape with. High-wattage vapeware like sub-ohm devices won’t suit the most potent nic salts. The delivery may not be as pleasant if you vaporise the substance at high temperatures.
Alternatively, you may use nic salt juice with less intensity. For the nicotine junkies, you’ll want something low-profile and sleek, like a pod system. These are lean, small devices, usually with a mouthpiece-like function and rectangular design.
Pods generally don’t peak above 15W in power generation. You can find them in closed or open systems. The former means that you refill the nic salt juices manually, while the latter means that you buy disposable cartridges.
Another point worth mentioning is the style of vaping. Pods are generally designed for mouth-to-lung or MTL, which is essentially like smoking. MTL means inhaling and holding the vapour for a short while before breathing it into your lungs and exhaling.
Combined with the low power of pods, this technique results in cooler, thinner vapour with a similar density to cigarette smoke. This is unlike direct-to-lung or DTL, where you naturally produce massive clouds.
Overall, it’s best to start cheaply and see if it’s worth experimenting with the different techniques, devices, nicotine strengths, and so on.
Side effects of vaping nicotine salts
Let’s first mention that neither freebase nicotine nor nic salt is safer than the other. Also, the substance isn’t entirely harmful. But, as with anything, too much (especially when inhaled) can produce various side effects depending on the individual.
These may be compounded further considering that vaping any liquid can produce undesired carryovers like dizziness, dry mouth/throat, and shortness of breath. Let’s look at the potential side effects of nicotine salts:
- Risk of heart attacks and strokes: Scientists have found that nicotine can constrain and damage blood vessels, resulting in potential hypertension. This may further lead to strokes and heart attacks.
- Loss of skin elasticity: Also, restricted blood flow can cause a person’s skin to age prematurely.
- Poorer hearing and sight: Again, if your blood is not flowing as it should, nicotine can also affect how you hear and see.
- Persistent coughing: Any inhaled chemical that shouldn’t be in the body will inevitably cause a blockage in your airways.
Something also worth mentioning is nicotine addiction. Some people strongly depend on the substance, which can dramatically impact their daily lives. Intense cravings can lead to lack of concentration, sweating, headaches, anxiety, irritability, weight gain, and the list goes on.
Nicotine salt e-liquids compared to other smoking methods
The whole point of vaping is that it’s a healthier substitute for smoking. It has been widely confirmed for years now that this practice is up to 95% safer than the latter. But why? It comes down to chemical makeup.
Nicotine and tobacco are the two most prominently cited ingredients in a cigarette. However, what makes smoking more dangerous is the hundreds of other harmful chemicals you don’t find in e-liquids.
These include several carcinogens (or substances capable of developing some cancer) like tar, benzene, arsenic, lead, carbon monoxide, acetone, ammonia and butane, among others. The ingredients in nicotine salt e-liquids or any vaping juices are significantly stripped-down.
So, you are inhaling far less toxic chemicals. However, this doesn’t mean vaping doesn’t carry inherent health risks because there’s more to the juice than nic, PG, VG and flavourings. There have also been many debates on whether nicotine itself causes cancer.
As we know, this lung disease kills most smokers, and it’s feared by many who attempt the practice. Technically, nicotine is not carcinogenic. Yet, this doesn’t mean that vaping cannot cause any respiratory problems.
Despite this, nicotine salt e-liquids may be considered superior to traditional cigarettes in terms of smell. Any vaping enthusiast will tell you that e-liquids do not produce any odour, which cannot be said for combustible cigarettes.
When you vape, you can get pleasant smells emanating from the countless flavourings in the juices. Also, these will not linger outside, in a room, clothes or car for a long time, unlike tobacco products.
Furthermore, vaping is technically cheaper than smoking in the long run (without considering the extra bits you need in e-cigarettes). So, ultimately, nicotine e-liquids are cleaner, more affordable and produce a barely noticeable smell after a short while.
All in all, salt nicotine allows users to vape at higher strengths without the rough throat hit commonly associated with e-liquids of the same intensity. So, you can get your nicotine hit while enjoying the vaping experience.
These juices are unlikely to turn off previous smokers transitioning to e-cigarettes. However, even vapers can experiment with nic salts and experience comparable benefits.
This type of nicotine is best inhaled with a lower-powered device built for mouth-to-lung inhaling and thin vapour density. When done correctly, nic salts may leave more money in your pocket and last longer due to their better shelf life.