What is nicotine salt? Even if you have tried it, learn more.

what is nicotine salt

Whether you’re new to vaping or not – find out if nicotine salt e-liquid is for you.

Nicotine salt, sometimes abbreviated to ‘nic salt’, has been used in e-liquid for a few years now. It’s growing in popularity, yet those new to vaping, and even seasoned vapers who use it, might not know what it is. Or how it compares to the form of nicotine commonly found in e-liquids.

Without getting too technical and sounding like a chemistry professor, this article gives you some background on nicotine salt, how it differs from the traditional type, the pluses and minuses, and whether it’s right for you.

Back to nicotine basics.

Nicotine is the addictive substance found in cigarettes. It is also in most e-liquids to help replicate the sensation of smoking, although you can get zero nicotine e-liquids. Despite being addictive, it’s not been found to increase the risk of serious health problems.

The level of nicotine in UK e-liquids ranges from 0 to 20mg/ml. Users can select a level that they are comfortable with, which is often reflective of how much they used to smoke (if they did). The type of nicotine found in most e-liquids is called ‘freebase nicotine’.

What is freebase nicotine?

Freebase nicotine goes through a process to change its naturally occurring ‘salt’ state into a ‘base’ pure form. This increases potency, without increasing the dose. However, this also makes it more alkaline. It was developed back in the 1960s by a cigarette company.  

Are there any downsides to freebase nicotine?

Due to it being more alkaline, it is very harsh in high doses. For most vapers, the throat hit from a high-strength freebase nicotine e-liquid is too severe to enjoy. As a result, some of those new to vaping drop the nicotine level to make it more palatable, but then they miss the nicotine hit they are used to. So they return to cigarettes to satisfy their craving.

What is nicotine salt?

Well, it’s got nothing to do with the salt you put on your chips. Nicotine salt forms naturally in leaf tobacco. However, in this natural state, it doesn’t travel easily to the nicotine receptors in our body (like the altered more potent ‘freebase nicotine’ does).

If pure nicotine salt is added straight to e-liquid, it would have to be vaped at an extremely high temperature for the nicotine to be effective. And even then, it wouldn’t do the same job as freebase nicotine.

So, the clever guys in white coats worked out, by increasing the acidity of nicotine salt, our bodies can absorb it more rapidly and it can vaporise at lower temperatures.   

The pluses and minuses of nicotine salt e-liquids?

Due to nicotine salt being less alkaline, you get a much smoother throat hit compared to freebase nicotine. It’s also absorbed into the bloodstream faster. Meaning you can use a higher concentration of nicotine to satisfy your craving, without the harshness.

But before you click the ‘buy now’ button or rush out to your local vape shop, there are a few other things to consider. Nicotine salt e-liquids can’t handle high flavour complexity or generate large clouds compared to freebase nicotine e-liquids.

Are nicotine salt e-liquids right for me?

As mentioned above, there are advantages and disadvantages to using them. It just depends on the style of vaping you prefer and where you are on your vaping journey. For example, if you are new to vaping and looking to quit smoking, then nicotine salt e-liquids could be for you. They’ll help relieve your nicotine craving but without a harsh hit.

Another thing to consider is the type of vape you use or are considering using. Nicotine salt e-liquids are better suited to pod vapes and lower power vape devices. High powered vapes and sub-ohm devices should be avoided.

If you would like more advice on nicotine salt, please get in touch with one of our advisers who will be more than happy to help you.

How long do vape coils last? And how to make them last longer.

how long do vape coils last

Learn more about coil replacement and maintenance.

There are two recurring costs for vapers – the e-liquid and the coil. However, some vapers aren’t always aware of the importance of the vape coil, or the need to replace it once it’s burnt out.  

We’ll explain how often you should replace a vape coil, as well as provide you with some background on coils, cover how to change them, and offer a few tips to help prolong the life of your vape coils.

What do vape coils do?

There are different types of coil depending on the vape device you use, but they all perform the same function. The vape coil is what turns the e-liquid into vapour. It does this when it is heated up by the battery in your vaping device

How do I tell if my vape coil needs changing?

There are a few signs. One of the most obvious is a burnt taste while you vape, or if your e-liquid stops tasting like it should. Other signs your vape coil needs replacing include your vape device leaking, if the vapour production is poor, if you get a gurgling sound when you inhale, or if your device stops working altogether.

So, how long do vape coils last?

That really depends on how often you vape. Basically, the more you vape, the more frequently you need to change the coil. This varies from about once a week for a heavy vaper to every fortnight for a light vaper. Those who only indulge occasionally could go a whole month before putting a new coil in.

Another thing that can affect a coil’s lifespan are flavourings. Heavy ones like coffee, custard and dessert types tend to stick to the coils and wicks more easily, so they gunk up quicker. 

However, as with anything, the better the quality the longer it will last. If you use a high-quality vape coil, even a heavy vaper could vape for weeks and weeks without the need to replace the coil.

How do you replace a vape coil?

It’s a fairly straightforward process, and once you’ve done it a few times, it will only take you a couple of minutes tops. Here are a few simple steps to follow:

  1. Separate the tank from the battery.
  2. Remove the tank cap.
  3. Unscrew the old coil from the tank cap and clean the cap to dry it.
  4. Screw the new coil in.
  5. Clean the tank, refill with fresh e-liquid and put the tank back together. It’s worth refilling as the old coil might have burnt some of the old e-liquid.

How do you make vape coils last longer?

As we’ve already mentioned, how frequently you vape and the quality of your vape coil will determine how long it lasts. But here are a few tips to save you money by making them last a bit longer:

  • Wet the wick. Once you’ve replaced the coil, leave your vape device in an upright position for a few minutes. This allows the wick to soak up some e-liquid. You can also drip some e-liquid into the holes on the coil head to help saturate the wick.
  • Wait between hits. Give your coil chance to reabsorb more e-liquid by waiting at least three to five seconds between each hit. Firing too quickly could dry out the coil.
  • Don’t run on empty. By always refilling your tank with e-liquid when it drops to a quarter full will minimise the risk of dry firing. 
  • Keep it clean. First, blow away any excess juice on the vape coil. Then rinse it under hot water. Leave it to dry fully, then replace it. Press the firing button until it’s fully heated up. Allow the coil to cool for four to five seconds, then heat it up again. Now you’re ready to re-build your vape and introduce e-liquid again.

Hopefully this has given you a better insight into vape coils, their importance, how often to change them and how to help prolong their life. Happy vaping.