Nicotine Salts Vs Nicotine Shots: What’s The Difference?
Nicotine salts have become increasingly popular in recent years as vapers are presented with an ever-increasing choice of nicotine boosters, flavoured nic salts and regular freebase nic shots to choose from to fully customise their vaping experience.
In this blog, we will attempt to explain the subtle, but important differences between Nic Salts and Nic Shots and hopefully help you decide which is the right choice for you and your vape kit.
Perhaps the best way to start is with a brief recap of those long-forgotten school Chemistry lessons: Nicotine is a base. So freebase nicotine, that is, the kind you find in cigarettes, standard e-liquids and conventional nic shots, is the purest form of the two. Freebase nicotine is extracted from the tobacco leaf and is a colourless alkaline liquid. Nicotine salt is created by adding benzoic acid to freebase nicotine and the laws of chemistry dictate that acid added to a base produces a salt – that’s ‘salt’ in the chemical sense of the word - it’s probably worth pointing out that there are no salt crystals in nic salt. It too, is a colourless and flavourless liquid virtually indistinguishable by eye from freebase nicotine.
So; back to vaping. Adding another substance to something that is already pure seems counterintuitive, right? Why dilute or pollute freebase nicotine with an acid?
By adding acid to an alkali to produce a salt, the pH is lowered and for vaping purposes, this means that the resultant e-liquid is much smoother and causes less irritation to the throat.
This makes it possible to vape high nicotine e-liquids in low-wattage devices and easier to vape high nicotine strength liquids without the harsh throat hit. Both of these qualities make the use of nicotine salts an obvious choice for people who are trying to quit cigarettes by switching to vaping.
Can Nicotine Salt Help You Quit Smoking?
Well, switching to any form of vaping is obviously a great start to kicking the cigarettes. However, long-term and heavy smokers often find that vaping doesn’t quite give the same instant nicotine hit and satisfaction that tobacco does. This can be because it is uncomfortable and unpleasant for new vapers to vape high nicotine liquids. It could be because the chosen liquid does not contain enough nicotine to satisfy the ex-smoker or, most likely, it’s because the freebase nicotine in regular e-liquid is simply not absorbed quickly enough into the body, so the new vaper still craves a hit.
These issues are all avoidable obstacles that if ignored can lead ex-smokers to return to cigarettes or, worse still, continue to smoke whilst vaping as well.
Combusted nicotine – i.e. nicotine from cigarettes – is absorbed by the body rapidly and using nic salts for vaping is the closest way to replicate that instant hit.
Vaping a nic salt e-liquid will give you a nicotine hit in around 15 seconds as opposed to the much slower release of freebase nicotine. Of course, this itself is a double-edged sword; some ex-smokers will prefer to replicate the stronger throat hit using freebase nicotine, whilst others will prefer the faster nicotine absorption that nic salts offer.
Is Nicotine Salt Safe?
All forms of nicotine are addictive and nic salt is no different. Neither nic salt or freebase nicotine are carcinogenic and current evidence suggests that both are relatively harmless. The NHS have said on record that vaping is a much safer alternative to smoking, so if using nic salts helps kick the dirty cigs then you’re already ahead, right?
That said, here at LondonVape we would not recommend using nic salts with high-powered, sub-Ohm devices; once the nicotine salt strength is increased, a high-output vape kit will give too large a nicotine hit which is obviously not desirable.
As long as you stick to shortfill e-liquids with 6mg of nic salt or less, you’ll be fine with a sub-Ohm kit, but any higher nicotine strength than that and we’d recommend either using freebase or using a low wattage setup and a high Ohm coil.
Flavoured Nic Salts
As well as the clear, flavourless nic salts used for boosting shortfill e-liquids, LondonVape also stock a range of 10ml flavoured e-liquids which contain nic salts instead of freebase nicotine.
LondonVape favourites, Ohm Brew have produced a superb range of flavoured nic salts e-liquid formulated at 50% VG content and available in 3mg, 6mg, 12mg and 18mg nic salt strengths.
For smokers looking to quit, these are a great place to start as they involve no mixing of shortfills and nic shots and the higher PG content gives a satisfying throat hit that mimics cigarettes. The nic salt is rapidly absorbed, meaning you’ll never be caught out by your cravings again.
The full range of nic shots, nic salts and flavoured nic salt e-liquids are available now from LondonVape with our usual great offers of SAME-DAY DESPATCH on orders placed before 1pm and FREE UK DELIVERY on all orders over £30.