In recent years, more and more e-liquids containing nicotine salts have been present on the electronic cigarette market.

Through this article, we will try to present this particular nicotine and unknown to some people, what it is really about, what are its benefits and for whom it is intended. Testimonials from specialists in support.

Classic nicotine and nicotine salts: what are the differences?

Indeed, we all know the “classic” nicotine used for the manufacture of an e-liquid. It is an alkaloid that comes in salt form.

Nicotine is purified to pharmaceutical grade and extracted through a process of chemically treating the leaves of tobacco plants before being directed to an extraction and filtering process to rid it of impurities.

Nicotine salts, on the other hand, are said to be the closest to the natural form of nicotine.

“We use a base, nicotine-based, to which we add an acid, to release the nicotine salts,” emphasizes Jacques Le Houezec.

The base is, therefore, more acidic than that of “classic” nicotine. The pH thus obtained is between 5 and 6, which we usually find in cigarette smoke.

To create a chemical reaction with nicotine base, various acids are used by manufacturers, including benzoic acid, which gradually begins to give way to lactic acid. Naturally present in the body, the lactic acid does not present any danger and only slightly modifies the organoleptic properties of the e-liquid.

“Classic” nicotine base has the disadvantage of degrading quickly and being much less effective than in its saline form, even if it is easily assimilated by the body.

Indeed, we need to vape for a long enough time to be able to obtain a dose of nicotine equivalent to that provided by the cigarette during its combustion.

To overcome this, the manufacturers of liquids had the idea of ​​re-ionizing the nicotine-based by acid-base reaction, to give it a molecular form close to the substance present in the plant.

At high dosage, the vapour does not have the acrid taste that it can have with the base nicotine and the flavours of the e-liquid are perfectly respected.

Nicotine salts, therefore, allow a faster rise to saturate your nicotinic receptors in the brain more quickly.

Nicotine salts for which vapers?

Ghyslain Armand, from the Vaping Post, explains to us that “nicotine salts make it possible to have e-liquids containing the highest possible rate of nicotine (46-56 mg of nicotine per millilitre in the United States or maximum 20mg of nicotine authorized in Europe) but without having a hit.

The latter adds: “There is a real advantage for vapers who have a strong need for nicotine to be able to do without cigarettes”.

“In addition, this has an impact on the behavioural aspect: vapers can vape as they smoked and not always have an electronic cigarette in their mouths” he adds.

We can therefore say that nicotine salts are interesting for beginners, but also for those suffering from a pathology such as emphysema, COPD or even very heavy smokers who have their throats very irritated over the years of smoking. ..

Professor Jacques Le Houezec specifies that “nicotine salts allow them to vape something effective without having irritation”.

“Then they can go back to traditional vaping. This helps them get through quitting smoking.

Nicotine salts are also great for those who vape a lot because they have a strong nicotine craving.

“Those who consume, for example, 30 ml per day can have a small e-cigarette system producing a less “airy” aerosol that delivers larger doses of nicotine. This will allow them to reduce the quantity of vapour inhaled each day,” says Jacques le Houezec.

For some vapers, it may be necessary to have a small setup containing an e-liquid with nicotine salts, to counteract sudden cravings, or to have a good dose when you wake up (the famous morning coffee cigarette, sometimes difficult to zap for some), even at work, when some have only a small break in their day and where it is impossible to slip away for a few minutes to make your clouds. 

Which electronic cigarette to vape nicotine salts?

To avoid too sudden and strong rises of nicotine, it will be necessary to use them on materials with a tight draw, known as MTL (Mouth To Lung)

In addition, it will prevent damage to the molecule of nicotine salts.

Insofar as the hit is softened and the nicotine is absorbed in the lungs, vaping nicotine salts in sub-ohm and direct inhaling (DTL, or “Direct To Lung”) is useless and could even sometimes lead to an overdose (not dangerous it is true, but having nausea and headaches is never very pleasant)…

We will therefore move towards MTL atomizers or clearomizers , or even MTL pods , which all use high resistances (over 1 ohm) in order to vape at low power and take full advantage of these nicotine salts.