A short while ago we looked at how people use nicotine in their vape to help quit smoking.
Since that time, another form of concentrated nicotine has hit the market, and many vapers are switching to it if they have not had success quitting smoking with regular nicotine. This new solution is known as nicotine salts.
Regular liquid nicotine – otherwise known as freebase nicotine – is a volatile non-bonded solution that registers about an 8 on the pH scale, indicating that it is slightly basic. Another example of an 8 on the pH scale would be the same kind of eggs you can buy at your local supermarket.
Nicotine from the tobacco plant, on the other hand, registers about a 5 on the pH scale and is therefore more acidic. Another example of a 5 on the pH scale would be bananas.
Nicotine salts derive their name from basic chemistry. A ‘salt’ is any neutral compound formed by the reaction between a base (over 7 on the pH scale) and an acid (under 7 on the pH scale). To create nicotine salts, then, freebase nicotine (the base) is compounded with benzoic acid (the acid).
As you can see, nicotine salts are not a salt as you’d typically think of them. It is formed, however, through the same process used to make regular table salt (in that case, it’s sodium and chlorine that are bonded).
What are the benefits of switching to nicotine salts?
The compounded nature of nicotine salts means that it is a less volatile solution, and vapers are finding that it produces a lower amount of throat hit.
If you were to vape at 50mg nicotine in a pod-style starter kit, the throat hit would be immense and the experience would be too uncomfortable to continue. Switch that regular nicotine to 50mg nicotine salts, though, and the throat hit is diminished and the liquid can be used comfortably.
For people who miss the nicotine rush provided by their first cigarette in the morning, taking a vape on a strong nicotine salt e-liquid will replicate it while not hurting your throat. Better still, nicotine salts are typically absorbed much quicker into the bloodstream and therefore vapers feel its effect almost immediately.
Nicotine salts are also available from the United States, New Zealand and elsewhere as concentrates which can be imported and mixed into any juices you purchase as Doublers within Australia.
The same laws that apply to supplying nicotine in Australia obviously apply to supplying nicotine salts, too, so until the law changes importation is the only way to go.
While they can be used in your high-wattage vapes, such as the Vaporesso Polar Kit and the Geekvape Aegis Legend Kit, nicotine salts are better suited to smaller pod systems such as the Smoant S8 Kit and Voopoo Panda Kit.
The benefit of these kits is that, for existing smokers, not only do they give you the immediate nicotine rush and a greater nicotine content, but they’re also small, stealthy and portable devices which are easy to carry around while you may be self-conscious about blowing a large cloud. If you’re a long-term vaper but looking for a smaller, strong alternative, this would also be a good option.
Nicotine salts are gaining in popularity and their availability will only increase in the near future. They’re strong and effective, and they’re here to stay.