Nicotine salts: what they are and how to use them

Nicotine salts: what they are and how to use them

Modified on: 27/05/2024

What are the main features of nicotine salts and why are they popular with vapers?

Vaping enthusiasts can easily get sucked into wanting to try new things. Novelty products are introduced to the vaping world every day and avid vapers look forward to any new product, eager to test it as soon as possible.

Nicotine salts have been on the market for several years now, but due to the controversy surrounding the company’s actions that have focused most on these products (Juul), many vapers have chosen not to try them.

It is why so many questions are still being asked about nicotine salts, starting with the most basic: what are they? What characteristics do they have? How do they differ from traditional liquids?

We will answer these questions in the following article.

What are nicotine salts?

What are nicotine salts?

The nicotine contained in tobacco leaves is found in the form of salt and has a low bioavailability. This means that the human body absorbs only a small fraction of the dose taken. In other words, natural nicotine is very ineffective.

Traditionally used vaping liquids contain a particular form of this substance, modified to improve its bioavailability. Unfortunately, this process substantially increases the pH of the nicotine, which becomes strongly alkaline. I don’t want to bore you with chemistry, but know that substances with a high pH can irritate body tissue. For this reason, vaping traditional liquids containing high concentrations of nicotine can cause a strong ‘hit’ on the throat.

On the other hand, Nicotine salts are the natural form of this molecule, which is mixed with other substances to produce a liquid suitable for vaping.

At this point, you might ask, “Didn’t you tell me that natural nicotine has a low bioavailability? So why would you create such liquids when you know they are not very effective? Here’s the answer: in 2015, a chemical process was developed to increase the effectiveness of natural nicotine without increasing its pH. In this way, the molecule retains the characteristics of salts.

Read also: Famous vapers: 10 VIPs who love electronic cigarettes!

Why do some vapers choose nicotine salts?

Nicotine salts are more easily absorbed into the bloodstream than nicotine in traditional e-cigarette liquids because their pH is more compatible with the physiological pH of the human body.

In addition, its low alkalinity means that the throat hit is significantly less than that caused by its counterpart. In other words, nicotine salts can be enjoyed in much higher concentrations than those typical of traditional liquids without risking excessive irritation of the pharynx.

If you are a vaper, one example will be worth a thousand words. First, you should know that nicotine salts have an active ingredient content between 15 and 20 mg/ml. Have you ever tried vaping a traditional liquid with a similar concentration? If you have, your throat will undoubtedly remember it!

This characteristic means that nicotine salts can satisfy vapers with less liquid consumption. They are often used in pod mods and small electronic cigarettes with a disposable tank that is not quite as large as traditional products. It is an excellent advantage for those who would like to save a little on their monthly e-liquid bill.

Bottle of nicotine tending to yellow

Nicotine salts: is there a downside?

Scientific research into e-cigarettes is still in its infancy, but it would appear that nicotine salts are no more dangerous than traditional liquids.

Doubts have arisen in the past about the harmfulness of benzoic acid, which is used as an additive in the chemical process of enhancing the bioavailability of natural nicotine, which we mentioned in connection with the salts. However, several studies suggest that this substance does not pose a health risk.

Apart from this, nicotine salts may not be suitable for many vapers due to their high concentration of the active ingredient. In addition, it makes them unsuitable for use with ‘sub-ohm’ electronic cigarettes, i.e. devices that produce more vapour. As we explained earlier, some vapers appreciate this property because it allows them to consume less liquid. However, many other vaping enthusiasts like to be able to exhale nice, full-bodied clouds!

If you also enjoy watching the vapour from your e-cig and not just inhaling it, you probably don’t like nicotine salts.

Read also: Refilling an electronic cigarette: what it is and how to do it best

In conclusion

We have explained what nicotine salts are and what their primary characteristics are.

These products allow you to consume less liquid than conventional ones. However, they are not ideal for vapers who like more powerful devices capable of producing real clouds. The choice is up to the consumer according to their preferences.

What kind of vaper are you? Do you prefer vaping with high-performance electronic cigarettes that produce large amounts of vapour, such as those for lung shots? Or are you more of a cheek device type? In any case, you can find your favourite products at, the number one shop!