What is Nicotine Salt E-Liquid?

Found naturally in tobacco leaves, nicotine salt has risen in popularity due to various factors the first of which being it’s smoothness compared to freebase. Freebase Nicotine was the only available version of nicotine for use in E-liquid, but was quickly overtaken by nicotine salts in 2015. Today there are various versions of Nicotine Salt including:

  • Benzoate
  • Salicylate
  • Lactic Acid
  • Pyruvate

Nicotine salts are formed from Nicotine and an Acid. The above chemicals are all different acids used to create the final product which is then either mixed with flavourings to form what we commonly call nicotine salts, or mixed with VG/PG to create nicotine shots – which are then added to flavour by the end user.

The reason the Nicotine base is added to an acid is to reduce the PH of the solution, thereby mitigating the harshness no the throat as felt with Freebase Nicotine (which is higher in PH). It is also thought that Nicotine salts increase the rate at which nicotine is absorbed into the blood stream, providing a nicotine hit in a shorter time frame. Freebase Nicotine typically takes longer to be absorbed by the body, but the advent of salts in ejuice has increased this to a level found in smoking tobacco. The main advantage of vaping in a pod vape over smoking is the fact that nicotine uptake is essentially the same as with smoking but without so many of he negative health effects associated with smoking.

It is for these reasons that nicotine salts have become so commonly associated with pod style vapes. Elf Bars and other disposables have been the king of convenience in the vaping market for the past few years but the cost of living crisis has diverted people back to more traditional, reusable platforms hence the rise of pod vapes.

The markets use of the term Nicotine Salts refers to ready to use flavoured nicotine in 10ml bottles. These 10ml bottles contain the Nicotine Salt along with flavour and VG/PG to reach a ratio and strength suitable for use in most mods/pods.

Are Nicotine Salts Better?

As with almost all things it’s very much subjective but if the market demands are anything to go by then we can safely say nicotine salts are the more popular. Some individuals still prefer freebase nicotine over salts as they find the strong throat hit quite pleasant. The use of nicotine salts has become prolific due to their convenience besides elf bars and other disposable vapes. They are essentially the next best thing for a few reasons:

  • convenient, small size
  • ready to vape
  • always in the same format (bottle type)
  • huge range of brands
  • huge range of flavours
  • small volume meaning you can switch flavours easily

But besides the obvious, nicotine salts work well due to the rapid uptake by the body which mimics the sensation of smoking more closely than freebase. A smoker looking to quit would have an easier time using nicotine salts than freebase for this exact reason, and would be best to start with a high strength of 20mg/ml, steadily reducing it in order to near complete freedom from nicotine.


freebase vs nic salt pros and cons


What Vape Kits Can I Use Nic Salt Eliquid In?

Nicotine salts are typically sold in a vg/pg ratio of 50/50, making them very well suited to pod style vapes like the Xlim SE or the Argus Z as these are lower powered devices with small coils requiring a less viscous liquid to function properly. Most MTL kits are perfectly paired with nicotine salts and this is where the market is currently heading. Nicotine salt eliquids do not generally work very well with sub-ohm devices due to the ratio of vg/pg.

Which Flavour Nicotine Salt is best?

Some of the best Nicotine Salt flavours are simple, fruity vapes. Often the more complicated flavours become too difficult to discern any particular flavour and so they become a mish mash of various notes. This is partly the reason for the success of Elf Bars, their flavour are very simple and undiluted, very sweet and backed by smooth and strong nicotine. It’s true what they say; simple is often best and it appears to be tru in the case of vaping. If you’re new to nicotine salts and unsure of which flavours to go for, it’s worth trying the simple flavour like Strawberry Ice or Honey Melon Ice.

What is the best pod vape for Nicotine Salts?

In our last blog we explored the various types of pod vapes and even tried to answer this very question. Ultimately we chose the Oxva Xlim as it ticks all the boxes in such an aesthetic format. Ultimately any pod style vape will work well with nicotine salts provided you purchase them in 50/50 vg/pg. The Xros Mini and the Argus Z are also two exceptional pod vapes which pair well with nicotine salts, but you should do your research before you buy as there may be some features you want that these do not have etc.