The 'What?' and 'Why?' of Nic salts

The 'What?' and 'Why?' of Nic salts

Hi guys, here’s hoping you’ve all been well since my last post.

This time I want to discuss something that is (relatively) new in the vaping industry, and is making big waves everywhere I turn.

You may have heard the term ‘nic salts’, or ‘nicotine salts’. This is referring to a new application of nicotine that is growing in popularity in the vaping industry.

For us to understand what nic salts are, and why they would be used, we first need to understand how it differs from the nicotine usually used in e-juice. For the most part, e-liquid manufacturers have been utilising ‘freebase’ nicotine, nicotine in its ‘purest’ form.

The method of freebasing nicotine has been employed since the 60s, when it was discovered by the owners of Marlboro. They found that this freebase nicotine was much more readily absorbed, and made their cigarettes much more addictive. The freebasing of nicotine is a process involving tobacco leaves, ammonia and lots of pressure.

In this process, the ammonia removes the positive charge from nicotine, bringing its pH lower.

In short: nicotine salt is the natural state of nicotine in tobacco, and it is not as readily vapourised by heat or absorbed by the body, while freebasing makes the nicotine more easily vaped and absorbed.

So, armed with this knowledge, we must ask: Why use nicotine salts e-juice over regular freebase juice?

The secret of nic salts in vaping is the use of benzoic acid, which (again) lowers the pH of the solution, smoothing out the throat hit. Use of benzoic acid in these juices also makes the nicotine more easily absorbed by the body.

More or less, this means we can create juices at much higher mg levels (as high as 50mg), without them being absolutely awful to vape, and without the expected drawbacks of nicotine salts.

Along with these chemical differences, we also feel a different kind of hit from nic salts. Most vapers are used to the slow, ‘building’ feeling of vaped freebase nicotine, whereas most people looking to get into vaping are more looking for something that fills the gap of a cigarette. These nic salts juices, paired with a small, low-power atomiser, will provide the closest experience to a cigarette that one can gain from anything other than the real deal, due to the speed and level of absorption that comes with nic salt e-juice.

Also, vaping a higher concentration of nicotine will mean you’ll likely vape less e-liquid, saving you money.

As for the bad side of nic salts e-liquid, the only real downsides would be that some people might find the nic levels to be too much or them (easily solved by not buying salts liquids), or that, due to the relatively recent emergence of these liquids, there is not as much variety available as of yet.

In short, nic salts let you vape higher concentrations of nicotine, at lower wattages, and will hit you faster than regular ejuice.


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