Nicotine salts are the hottest new thing going in the vape industry. While freebase nicotine has its place and will likely never fade away entirely, these new e-juices are definitely the latest trend. Just check out the e-liquid section on a website for instance. You’ll find almost as many nicotine salt juices as traditional nowadays. So what are they?
A Quick Rundown on Nicotine Salts
Nicotine salts are a newer formulation of nicotine suspended in a liquid. While freebase nicotine is just pure nicotine with flavorings, nicotine salts have an added acid (don’t worry, it’s safe!) which allows the nicotine to crystallize. Why go to all this trouble? While vaping anything higher than 18mg of nicotine in traditional freebase would scorch your throat, nicotine salts allow for much more concentrated e-liquids. With nicotine salts, you can go up to 50mg and even higher if you’re so inclined.
So why would you choose this over traditional vaping? It’s largely a matter of preference, but nicotine salts definitely provide a different experience. Freebase nicotine is much smoother and easier to vape, generally speaking. Nicotine salts provide more of a “throat hit” which more closely resembles the hit you get from smoking a cigarette. For this reason, it’s often recommended that those newer to vaping, especially those switching from cigarettes, opt for nicotine salts. If you’re able to replicate the punchiness of an analog cigarette, you’re far more likely to be successful in making the transition.
Now that you have a better understanding of nicotine salts, let’s talk about how to vape them. With most nicotine salt packaging, you’ll find the warning: “Not for sub-ohm vaping”. Why is that?
With sub-ohm vape devices, you’re running a fairly high amount of power through your coils, heating up the liquid quickly and releasing a lot of vapor. With lower nicotine percentages, this is totally fine. You get a bunch of flavors and a decent amount of nicotine – but not too much. When you run that kind of power through nicotine salts, you run the risk of getting a huge amount of nicotine and a painfully harsh throat hit. It’s just too much power.
That having been said, this long-time “rule” against sub-ohm vaping has run up against some challenges to its veracity lately. More and more companies are finding ways to vape nicotine salts at higher wattages and lower resistances, resulting in companies like Smok and Lost Vape releasing sub-ohm, MTL coils designed for use with nicotine salts. How is this possible? Typically, these coils are designed with smaller wicking ports and a much smaller vapor column. This reduces the amount of vapor which is produced in each hit and provides you with a nice smooth, sub-ohm MTL vape.
Only Compatible With Special Devices?
This discussion of sub-ohm compatibility brings us to our next point: it’s a common misconception that you need special devices for nicotine salts or that they only work in those super-small, ultra-portable devices a la the Juul.
This just isn’t true anymore at all. As nicotine salts increase in popularity and prevalence, more and more companies are hopping on the bandwagon – and this is great for consumers. As people start to demand higher performance from nicotine salt vape devices, companies continuously innovate new coils, mods, and tanks for use specifically with these higher nicotine e-juices.
Sure, resistances higher than 1.0ohms are usually for use with nicotine salts, but be sure to take a look through a reputable site to see all your options. Closed pod systems like the Juul are fine for what they are, but once you develop your palate a little bit more, it’s always nice to explore the market a little bit and find devices which more specifically suit your needs. From portable devices like the Lost Vape Orion to the full-sized Innokin Zenith or the Vandy Vape Berserker, there’s literally a nicotine salt-compatible device for everyone. Don’t limit yourself!
Salt Nicotine or Nah?
At the end of the day, nicotine salts are a great alternative to the vaping market. It’s always exciting when something this new and different breaks onto the scene and all vapers should definitely check it out. It may not be for you, but if it is, you should certainly be aware that you have almost as many options now as you do with freebase nicotine. Companies are always innovating and trying new things, as well, especially with something as new as nicotine salts, so be sure to keep an eye out for the latest devices. Time to retire that old Juul? Maybe!