How nicotine salts became a vaping gamechanger
As the vaping industry has developed over the years, more innovative and efficient methods of nicotine use have been conceived alongside the devices themselves. With many devices on the market increasing the power of their circuits, the other side of the coin has seen e-liquids develop more complex mixtures as well. Both evolutions go hand in hand but neither is complete without the other. Another complexity comes in how the device and the liquid gel together. This is where questions surrounding e-liquid suitability come into play, none more current than the use of nicotine salts.
Nicotine salts were developed as a way to smooth out the palatability of high concentration nicotine but it’s far more complex than just a new balance of ingredients. Many companies are exploring and expanding on the nicotine salt revolution. Why is it so important, and is it right for you?
Freebase nicotine was conceived in the 1960s’ when tobacco giant Phillip Morris began researching ways to enhance the nicotine in their cigarettes. Freebasing is the name for the process in which nicotine is fused with ammonia to remove its positive charge, which technically makes it a salt particle. Making the base of nicotine negatively charged means that it is far more potent in it’s purest form. This means that less nicotine has more of an effect.
Freebased nicotine in e-liquids means that higher concentrations are stronger and often less palatable. In the UK you can’t get over 20 mg per 10 ml in pre-filled e-liquids.
Nicotine salt and It’s chemical complexities
Nicotine salts were introduced in 2016 by the JUUL pod mod company as a way of making higher concentrations of nicotine more palatable. The process involves recharging nicotine particles with benzoic acid to revert the nicotine back to its original form. This makes inhaling higher concentrations of nicotine far less intense and a lot smoother.
The limits of UK nicotine salt
As mentioned above, nicotine saltsare limited in their potential by the TPD caps and regulations surrounding nicotine concentrations. In the UK, you’re only allowed 20 mg per 10 ml bottle. Recently nicotine salt shots have become available, which are positively charged concentrated nicotine solutions which you can add to your short fill e-liquid to provide more of a kick.
Best nicotine salt balances
As salts are of high concentrations, nicotine salt e-liquids are best mixed at a 50/50 ratio.This means that they are equally balanced between PG/VG and are usually vaped on lower-powered devices such as pod mods and vape pens. These devices suit the mouth to lung vaping style, which is much more akin to smoking than cloud chasing and means you savour the taste of the e-liquid.