There has been a lot of talk about nicotine salts (or nic salts as they are commonly referred to) in the vaping industry recently and with so much varying information around, I decided to find out more about nic salts and if they really are any good.
What are nicotine salts?
Let's start from the top; nic salt e-liquid is essentially the same as regular e-liquid, the main difference comes from the nicotine itself, which is designed to mimic the natural nicotine 'salts' found within tobacco leaves, rather than freebase form. This type of nicotine is supposed to provide a much smoother 'hit' from your e-cig, meaning you can vape a higher nicotine strength that might otherwise be uncomfortably strong compared with standard e-liquid.
Another big difference between nic salt and freebase nicotine, is how your body absorbs it. With standard nicotine you would generally get an instant satisfaction, with just a few inhalations you can feel the nicotine begin to have an effect, however this is usually short lived and goes away in about 15 minutes, although with nic salts this is not the case. Nic salt e-liquids tend to take a few minutes to really kick in, and maintain a level of nicotine satisfaction which can last a lot longer than regular freebase nicotine. It's not for everyone, but for those vapers who swear by them, it's hard to beat.
My thoughts on nicotine salts
I decided to take the plunge and bought some Dr Salt e-liquid, as I had read some good reviews and thought I would give it a go. Now let me say now that if you decide to vape 20mg (like I did) I would not advise to use it in a sub-ohm e-cig, and certainly not an RDA, as it could be uncomfortably harsh.
Pod systems have been on the rise and are widely recommended to be used with nic salt e-liquids, so I decided to use the Joyetech TEROS with mine, as it was ideal for my nic salt experience! After filling it up and waiting like an impatient child for it to prime, it was finally ready to vape...
Now despite all the reviews and feedback from vapers about nic salts being smooth, even at higher strengths, I was a little wary taking my first draw, I mean I find vaping 10mg harsh with regular e-liquid, I couldn't possibly vape 20mg surely? I was pleasantly surprised, and wrong. It didn't feel like I was inhaling anything more than a 6mg e-liquid, and it had really good flavour and vapour to boot. The strangest thing was the fact that the nicotine effect wasn't immediate, and took about 5 minutes to 'hit' me. I remembered some sage advice given to me, which said to take only a few inhalations, as if you chain vape 20mg you really are going to feel it once it kicks in!
The feeling of being satisfied admittedly lasted longer than my ordinary e-liquids, and I was genuinely surprised at how smooth it really was, I could never vape 20mg with regular e-liquid and the fact that I wasn't reaching for my e-cig after 10 minutes was the realisation that 'this actually works!' which I wasn't expecting. Now don't get me wrong I love to cloud chase, I like my powerful tanks and mods, and here I was sat with a pod device, loving every vape.
Vapers opinions on nicotine salt
I excitedly went round the office asking people to try this nic salt e-liquid to see what they thought to it, and it was here that I discovered that not everyone shared my enthusiasm about how good they were. One colleague in particular did not like the experience that nic salt e-liquids provided, whilst others were somewhat indifferent, saying that they weren't going to give up their favourite all day vaping e-liquid to start vaping nic salts.
After listening to the varied feedback from my colleagues, I decided to take a look online to see what the wider vaping community had to say about nic salts, were they really a game changer? Or would there be many people who would simply stick to what they know and love rather than trying something new? The answer I got was mixed.
There were some vapers who swore by nic salts and their new found favourite pod systems, whilst others preferred to stick with their mods and sub-ohm tanks instead. There seemed to be no clear winner either in favour, or of indifference towards them.
I think that given the time, once nicotine salt e-liquids become a little more mainstream, there will undoubtedly be more people taking a punt on this new vaping experience. After my own trial with nic salts, I can say that for me at least, I certainly noticed a difference. Would I give up my larger mods and abandon cloud chasing to pursue that perfect nic salt experience with a pod device? Probably not, but for vapers who are looking for a genuinely different way to vape, nic salt e-liquids could just be the thing you were waiting for.