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A Complete Guide to Nicotine Salts: What on Earth Are They?

4 Minute Read
A Complete Guide to Nicotine Salts: What on Earth Are They?

For beginners in the world of vaping, you’re faced with a lot of important decisions to start off your journey on the right foot. Aside from finding the right device for you, the first thing to look at is the nicotine strength of your e-liquid that will help you to curb your cravings, replicate the feeling of smoking and giving you the satisfaction you need to avoid returning to cigarettes. One type of e-liquid that has become increasingly popular over the last few years is nicotine salts - both smokers and vapers alike are flocking to it to quit cigarettes for good. So what on earth are nicotine salts?

Despite their name, nicotine salt e-liquids aren’t salty (we have been asked this before and it’s a totally valid question - not to be used on your Friday night fish and chips). The word “salt” comes from the type of nicotine used within the e-liquid. In your standard e-liquids, the nicotine within the formulation is termed freebase nicotine - nicotine in its purest form. In comparison, nicotine salts are derived from the natural salts found in tobacco plants, made up of (geek glasses on) positively charged, ionised nicotine modules bound to negatively charged organic conjugates. And breathe. Scientific jargon aside, how do they work within e-liquids, and why are they so useful to ex-smokers?

Welcome to the World of Nicotine Salts

Nicotine salts are the same form of nicotine found in traditional cigarettes, which are designed to provide a fast, powerful nicotine hit. Nicotine salt e-liquids (commonly known as nic salts) mimic a cigarette incredibly well by entering the bloodstream at a similar speed. On average, when smoking a cigarette, the nicotine hit arrives within 6-7 seconds, whereas freebase nicotine in standard nicotine-containing e-liquids tends to take a little longer for this effect to take hold. The nicotine hit you receive is faster and stays in the body longer, and the nicotine decrease is rapid too, just like a cigarette.

In addition, e-liquids containing nicotine salts allow you to vape at higher nicotine strengths without the rough throat hit you’ll experience from those strengths with standard e-liquids. Typically, the higher nicotine level you select, the throat hit you endure becomes much harsher, which can put off a lot of ex-smokers beginning their vaping journey. As such, nicotine salt e-liquids with a higher nicotine strength gives you a lot more bang for your buck, as you’ll end up vaping less because you get much more nicotine into your system for the level of buzz you’ll need to replicate cigarettes effectively. This is particularly useful for anyone looking for a quick nicotine fix throughout the day, such as workers who are used to nipping out for a cigarette break every few hours, rather than being able to vape all day.

An Overview of the Benefits of Nic Salts

So, let’s recap the benefits:

  • Higher nicotine levels: Providing an instant rush of nicotine just like a traditional cigarette, which works immensely well to fight cravings of returning to smoking
  • Smoother-tasting with reduced throat hit: For those seeking an e-liquid at a higher nicotine level, nic salts are nowhere near as harsh as freebase nicotine e-liquids at the same strengths
  • Bang for your buck: Because of the higher nicotine strengths and enhanced absorption into the bloodstream, you’ll notice that you need to vape less
  • Quick hits: If you need a quick fix of nicotine throughout your working day, nic salts can replicate the rush you experience on your usual cigarette break to last you longer into the day

What Device Should I Use With Nicotine Salt E-Liquids?

Nicotine salts are best used with lower-wattage or mouth-to-lung (MTL) devices, as they don’t require higher temperatures to vapourise, whilst utilising high-powered devices will give you an excessive amount of nicotine that can be fairly unpleasant. If you’d like total free range of the liquid flavours and brands you pick, an open system - where you refill the device manually by purchasing nicotine salt e-liquids separately - would be best for you. Searching for simplicity, ease-of-use and convenience? A closed pod system may be more suitable, which comes with cartridges or pods that are pre-filled with nicotine salts to avoid you having to complete any coil changes or messy refills.

Ready to Get Started?

At VapeHQ, we’re proud to offer a wide range of nicotine salt e-liquids to help our customers make the transition from smoking. Stocking all of your favourite brands, from Dinner Lady, IVG and Ohm Brew to our very own Pure Essentials and Pure Essentials Lite, we have a huge variety of flavours available to suit your needs from menthol and tobacco to delicious fruity and sweet-flavoured e-liquids. Browse our pod kits and low-wattage MTL kits to find the perfect device, too!

Need more help? The friendly VHQ team are always on hand to answer any questions. Get in touch today via our live chat system to find out more about nicotine salts.

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