Nicotine salts are getting a lot of attention from vapers in the UK as people look to find more effective ways to replace tobacco in their lives.
If you haven’t heard of it before, nicotine salt basically allows you to vape at higher nicotine strengths without getting the rough throat hit that usually comes with high nic liquids. They’re popular because this increased efficiency means you vape less.
Differences between nic salts and your current e-liquid.
So, what’s the difference between salt nicotine and what the majority of people are vaping now? The nicotine in your conventional e-liquid is freebase nicotine. Freebase means that the nicotine is in its purest form compared to the other nicotine derivatives. In turn, the nicotine is much more potent when heated and it can be absorbed much faster in your lungs and in your brain.
This method was found in the 1960s by Phillip Morris, the company that owns Marlboro. What they found is that if they manipulate the pH levels in nicotine, it can provide more of a kick than the previous cigarettes in the 1950s without increasing the dose, making Marlboro cigarettes more addictive.
How does nicotine move around the body?
Nicotine in tobacco leaves has the chemical composition of a salt. A salt is made up of a chemical reaction that has a positive charge (Acid) and negative charge (Base). Nicotine’s chemical nature is a weak base and made up of negatively charged particles.
Nicotine in tobacco leaves or ions is not the most effective way of delivering nicotine into our bodies because ions have a harder time moving across organic membranes and are not easily vaporized.
Phillip Morris found that if the nicotine was de-protonated (via ammonia) or to remove its positive charge, it can go back to its free state where it will be much easier to travel across membranes in our bodies.
Research has offered new ways to take in nicotine
The tobacco company also found that impregnating tobacco with a salt like diammonium phosphate releases ammonium when the cigarette is combusted thereby freeing the nicotine into free base form. This is the most effective way for us to take on nicotine.
Meanwhile, nicotine salt is the natural state of nicotine in tobacco leaves. The companies promoting nicotine salt as an alternative to smoking have managed to make taking on the chemical palatable while still being more bioavailable than what we have now. The secret ingredient that makes all of the magic happen is benzoic acid.
This makes nicotine salt vaporize at lower temperatures and lowers the pH levels in the salt nicotine to offer a smoother throat hit. Overall, nicotine salt offers a high nicotine hit at lower temperatures, in a format that’s easy for your body to absorb. It’s also used in its natural state so has a long shelf life.
The Pros and Cons of Nicotine Salts
Nic Salts are available in a few variations, some are flavoured and delivered from pod styled systems where you buy pre-filled pods just like your normal e-liquid. You can also purchase unflavoured nicotine salts similar to a regular freebase nicotine shot. In the UK nicotine salts are limited to 20mg due to the TPD but even higher levels are available in countries like the USA where there are fewer limitations on nicotine intake. These higher, faster nicotine hits could really help if you’re quitting smoking and also reduce the amount you vape in general.
On the other side, nicotine salts don’t work for everyone. We don’t know what it is that makes some people find nicotine salts more satisfying – it may simply be a result of the higher nicotine level. It’s also worth mentioning that although they do work in any e-cigarette they are not ideal for those intended for maximum vapour production as the nicotine can be overwhelming. They work best with e-cigarettes and pod systems designed for low-wattage and high-resistance vaping.
Were can I buy Nicotine Salts?
We have a wide selection of Nicotine Salt products arriving very soon and we will provide updates here and in our weekly newsletters once they arrive.
Further advice about vaping
We can offer experienced support and advice on any aspect of your electronic cigarette needs, from which type of unit or liquid will suit you, through to important safety tips. We stock a wide range of vape kits and accessories and look forward to discussing your needs with you. Get in touch today.