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Is Nicotine Salt E-Liquid Right for You?

by Robert Reid 02 Nov 2023 0 Comments
Is Nicotine Salt E-Liquid Right for You?

You can tell from reading vaping forums or browsing the stock at your favorite online vape store or local vape shop: Nicotine salt e-liquids are the newest trend in vaping. Most vape shops carry nicotine salt e-liquid in bottles or prefilled pods, but the fact that a certain product is popular doesn't necessarily mean it's the best choice for everyone. It is important to note that nicotine salts fill a niche within the vaping industry, and they aren't the best e-liquid for everyone - particularly those who have already transitioned from smoking to vaping and no longer have cigarette cravings. 

Should your next e-liquid be nicotine salt e-liquid? That’s the question we'll answer today.

What Is Nicotine Salt E-Liquid?

E-liquids with nicotine salt start out as standard e-liquids. Due to the use of ammonia by the laboratories that extract nicotine from tobacco leaves to improve yields, nicotine in most e-liquid differs molecularly from nicotine in tobacco leaves. In addition to changing nicotine's structure, ammonia increases its pH and makes it a free base, increasing its free base properties. Tobacco companies added ammonia to tobacco cigarettes in the 1960s after studies showed people found ammoniated cigarettes more satisfying. Ammonia is the secret ingredient that made Marlboro the world's most popular cigarette brand.

Nicotine salt e-liquid is standard e-liquid with an added acid that lowers the pH of the nicotine and returns it to its original salt form. 

If Freebase Nicotine Is More Satisfying, Why Is Nicotine Salt E-Liquid So Popular?

ecigarette vapour feels similar to smoke, but not exactly the same. It might be more satisfying to inhale freebase nicotine, but some vapers who use small devices may have difficulty inhaling enough nicotine to achieve that level of satisfaction with it. If you want your small e-cigarette to be a full replacement for a tobacco cigarette, you need an e-liquid with a high nicotine strength. However, some people find that the high pH of freebase nicotine makes it irritating and harsh on their throats and lungs at high nicotine strengths. 

People report that nicotine salt e-liquid is much smoother and easier to inhale, so it allows them to use much higher nicotine strengths without irritation when vaped in vapour form. Using nicotine salt e-liquid with a high nicotine concentration allows a vaper with a small e-cigarette to mimic the nicotine rush of smoking, and mimicking that sensation helps long-term smokers make the transition to vaping easier. 

What Vaping Devices Do People Use With Nicotine Salt E-Liquids?

With nicotine salt e-liquids, people typically use pod vaping devices and small vape pens since they operate at low temperatures and produce modest vapour. Nicotine salt e-liquids are best used with mouth-to-lung devices that have a low vapour production and operate at low temperatures. Because nicotine salt e-liquids tend to come in very high nicotine strengths, people use smaller vaping devices with nicotine salt e-liquid. A nicotine strength of 25 mg is common for nicotine salt e-liquids. With anything but the most modest vaping device, the nicotine will overwhelm you.

What Are the Benefits of Nicotine Salt E-Liquid?

The primary selling point of nicotine salt e-liquid is that it makes it possible for long-term smokers to switch to vaping without cutting their nicotine intake. People find it difficult to inhale freebase nicotine e-liquid at higher nicotine strengths, as we mentioned above. Long-term smokers who switched to vaping were either forced to deal with irritation or adjust to a sudden decrease in blood-nicotine levels if they wanted to vape. Neither of these are particularly pleasant propositions, so many people who took up vaping never fully quit smoking. Nicotine salt e-liquid can make the transition to vaping easier for long-term smokers.

Should I Switch to a Nicotine Salt E-Liquid if I Already Vape?

If you’re a full-time vaper, you’ve already gotten used to a decreased nicotine intake compared to what you’d get from smoking. If you’re using 25 mg nicotine salt e-liquid, it’s likely to provide more nicotine than what you’re using now. If you are still smoking an occasional cigarette or feel tempted to smoke because vaping does not satisfy you completely, nicotine salt e-liquid may be worth your while. You should probably continue using what you're currently using if all else fails. 

It may be necessary for you to purchase a new vaping device if you decide to try nicotine salt e-liquid. Typically, nicotine salt e-liquids contain much too much nicotine for smaller vape pens and sub-ohm box mods. There are, however, nicotine salt e-liquids with lower strength nicotine salts, such as 3 mg, which are compatible with sub-ohm devices. However, you may find that a nicotine salt e-liquid with a low nicotine strength feels similar to your current liquid.

Does Nicotine Salt E-Liquid Have Other Benefits?

Nicotine salt e-liquid may have another benefit for vapers who already vape. A sub-ohm vaping device produces large vapour clouds, which consume a large amount of e-liquid. In some cases, people who use sub-ohm devices consume up to 30 ml of e-liquid a day. If you switch to nicotine salt e-liquid, you will also need a smaller vaping device. With a smaller device, you'll use less e-liquid. As a result, switching from freebase nicotine e-liquid to nicotine salt e-liquid can significantly reduce your vaping costs.

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