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Why Nicotine Salts are a Choice Alternative for Smokers

August 13, 2018

Why Nicotine Salts are a Choice Alternative for Smokers

It’s easy to say that it is preferable for smokers to switch to e-cigarettes because they have fewer drawbacks than traditional cigarettes. However, making that transition is not as simple as it seems because e-cigarettes do not always impart the same sensation that smokers get from using conventional cigarettes. Namely, the nicotine high and throat hit to which smokers are accustomed. Element e-liquids’ line of Ns20 designer nicotine salts is a viable solution to these problems.


The NS20 comes highly recommended by The Vape Guide as a choice nic salt eliquid to check out if you haven’t already—keep reading to find out why.

E-liquids with high nicotine levels tend to produce a throat hit that is harsher and more severe than smokers would receive from a traditional cigarette with a comparable nicotine level. So smokers have to choose either a high nicotine level with a harsh throat hit or a smooth throat hit at lower, less satisfying nicotine levels. The former choice is uncomfortable while the latter choice could lead to users having to vape more often, which is expensive and inconvenient. Those limited choices could lead many to continue smoking. That is, until nicotine salts came along.

The Different Types of Nicotine

Freebase Nicotine

The nicotine used in regular e-liquids is the same kind used in conventional cigarettes; it is called freebase nicotine and has been used since the 1960s.

Freebase nicotine is more volatile than nic salts, which means that it is more easily vaporized.

It also becomes bioavailable when heated, which means that it is easily absorbed into the lungs and bloodstream.

This makes freebase nicotine a good choice for vaping—but not the best choice.

Nicotine Salts

Nicotine salts are the natural state of nicotine in the tobacco plant leaves and are a more stable form of nicotine.

E-liquids that use nicotine salts allow users to have a high level of nicotine with a smooth throat hit.

This makes nicotine salts the best way for smokers to transition to e-cigarettes since nicotine salts provide the closest experience to smoking a cigarette.

In their natural state they are actually less bioavailable than freebase nicotine. So why are nicotine salts the next big thing?


The Difference Between Nicotine Salts and Freebase Nicotine

To keep the science behind this somewhat simple, the high pH level of freebase nicotine affects its alkalinity. This means that the higher the nicotine level, the harsher the e-liquid tastes. The use of benzoic acid in nicotine salts enables liquids with a high nicotine content to be vaporized at lower temperatures at a lower alkalinity. This eliminates the harsh throat hit produced by high nicotine e-liquids.

Overall, this means e-cigarette users can vape high nicotine e-liquids more comfortably. This is more attractive to smokers because it is the closest they can get to the sensation of smoking a conventional cigarette.

The Chemistry of Freebase Nicotine

Nicotine salts have the chemical composition of a salt.

In chemical terms, a salt is an ionic compound composed of a positively charged acid and a negatively charged base.

Nicotine salts are the natural form of nicotine but this means that it is harder for nicotine to be absorbed by the body.

Nicotine is a composed of negatively charged particles, they seek out positively charged particles---protons---to become ionized.

The formation of these ions is not ideal for smoking because ions have difficulty moving across organic membranes, this makes them hard for the body to absorb.

Ions also have a low volatility which means that it is difficult to vaporize.

Cigarette companies overcame this problem by adding ammonia to the nicotine.

Ammonia deprotonates the nicotine, removing the positive charge and making it easier for the body to absorb.

This deprotonated nicotine is called freebase nicotine.

The Chemistry of Nicotine Salts

The high pH level of ammonia in the creation of freebase nicotine is responsible for the harsh feeling produced when high nicotine e-liquids are vaped.

Instead of ammonia, nicotine salts use benzoic acid to make nicotine more bioavailable and more volatile.

This makes it easier to vaporize and cross the blood brain barrier to be absorbed by the body.

Benzoic acid is fairly non-toxic and occurs naturally in many plants and animals.

In addition to making nicotine salts more easily absorbed into the bloodstream, it also lowers the pH level of the nicotine.

The lower pH level of nicotine salts results in a less harsh sensation when vaping.

e-liquids with similar levels of nicotine as nicotine salts have a much rougher, more uncomfortable throat hit.

The Benefits of Nicotine Salts

You save more money - if you don’t like the harshness of high nicotine e-liquids, then your options are either to use a lot of low nicotine e-liquid to get your fix or to use nicotine salts. Needless to say, nic salts are the cheaper, more efficient option.

You get a faster nicotine fix - research suggests that nicotine salts are absorbed into the bloodstream faster than freebase nicotine. Possibly because nicotine salts are a more natural form of nicotine. So you get a big nicotine hit more quickly.

Nicotine salts have a longer shelf life - since nicotine salts are more chemically stable than freebase nicotine, they will last longer.

Nicotine salts are easy to use - nicotine salts work best with lower power devices. Low power = less complication = simple to use.


Final Thoughts on Nic Salt eLiquids

Nicotine salts are one of the best innovations in the vaping industry because they offer a variety of options and are a preferable alternative to the inconvenience of smoking cigarettes. E-Cigs help people to save money because they no longer need to vape as often to get their nicotine fix. Users who prefer to vape at high nicotine levels no longer need to worry about the harsh throat hit that accompanies high nicotine e-liquids.

These attributes make nicotine salts the best way for smokers to transition from---and possibly quit---conventional cigarettes and be introduced to the cleaner, more convenient world of e-cigarettes and e-liquids. Element’s line of Ns20 Designer Nicotine salts is the best nic salt solution. If you’re a former smoker who is ready to make the jump to e-cigarettes then the Ns20 line of nicotine salts is the perfect place to start.


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