What are Nicotine Salts? Beginner’s Guide to Salt E-Liquid

Like almost any technology, trend, or hobby, vaping has very basic roots. We’ve come a long way since the days of cheap gas station cig-a-likes and vape pens that were feeding us crude, PG-laden e-liquids.

However, bigger isn’t always better. Sure, a lot of us love the feeling, flavor, and cloud production of a high VG e-juice in a sub-ohm tank. But for those, us that are only interested in nicotine consumption, using high VG-based e-liquids is kind of like owning a Ferrari—flashy for most, but not practical for all.

Virtually everyone that vapes started vaping as a means of quitting smoking. Graduating to the big leagues of 100-watt devices and 5mL tanks should be a choice, not a necessity. Sadly, this means that people who prefer a smaller, cheaper, and a more discreet vaporizer will have to settle for a vape pen that is unpleasant overall—or fork over tons of cash and navigate a tiny supercomputer.

Nicotine salts, however, seem to be a magic solution – the veritable penicillin to cure some of the ailing vapers out there. That said, let’s have a look at this brand-new innovation and see where – and who – it fits in the vaping world.

What are Nicotine Salts?

At its core, nicotine salts are comprised of the same exact nicotine that’s found in its natural state within the tobacco leaf. If this form of nicotine was added to the liquid that we vape, we’d need to vape it at extremely high temperatures for the nicotine solution to be effective, and it still wouldn’t be as easily absorbed (bioavailable) as freebase nicotine. Similarly, like freebase, salts need some modification too. The key here is benzoic acid.

Are Nicotine Salts Right for You?

This is where things get tricky, and only you will know the answer. So when you’re deciding what to do, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I a heavy smoker (one or more packs a day)?
  • Do I want a more genuine smoking experience, or am I looking for something new?
  • Will I want smooth vapor and high nicotine?
  • Do I need a stronger or more subtle nicotine “punch” (buzz)?
  • Is discretion important, or are massive clouds my thing?
  • How much money do I initially want to spend?

These are just guidelines. Starting off with a small device and using nicotine salts is a good approach, and you can always switch to high-VG/lower-nicotine sub-ohm setups as you wean yourself off and start to branch out. In fact – salt or no salt – it’s better to grasp the basics with a simple vaporizer before navigating through the different types of coils, tanks, and settings.

The safest bet is to ask a knowledgeable vape shop owner. Remember, he or she was once in the same boat – a smoker looking for a better way out.

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