Is this alternative form of nicotine just a fad, or a legitimate way to improve the smoking cessation value of e-cigarettes?
There is a new wave of e-liquid products that are touted as the next big thing by certain circles. They are made using the salt-based form of nicotine. This form of nicotine is found in actual tobacco leaves. Back in the 1960s the tobacco industry first started to “freebase” nicotine for their cigarettes. This refers to how it is not chemically bonded to any other substance, as it is in nicotine salts. For a long time it has been assumed that this type of nicotine is preferable due it being tolerable in larger hits. But several companies who specialize in nicotine salt based e-liquids swear it’s much more than just a gimmick. Those claims were backed up by statistics out of Pax Labs, creators of the JUUL.
Nicotine Salt Study
The companies who sell salt based e-liquids claim they offer a much more satisfying vape than the common “freebase” style of e-liquid. The tobacco industry has long operated under completely opposite premises, by opting for increased levels of freebase nicotine to increase the addictivity. So the question is who’s wrong? Turns out they’re both kind of right according to Pax Labs. Research by the creators of the JUUL indicated that certain kinds of nicotine salts were more efficiently absorbed into the system than “freebase” nicotine. This is not what they were expecting to find, but the blood tests verified their results. They attribute its success this to the addition of benzoic acid to the solution. According to the team, this lowers the pH of the e-liquid enough that it stays a smooth vape even at even 10 times the active nicotine. If this holds true, it could have an extremely positive impact on the effectiveness of vaping as a smoking cessation tool.
Risk and Benefits
There are several reasons why salt based nicotine could potentially be the superior product for vaping, especially in smoking cessation. First and foremost you’ll be getting more nicotine into your system while actually inhaling less vapor. For some people this would not be a benefit, but rather a drawback of nicotine salt. But for many people who are looking to quit, this may be the very thing that allows them to get over the hump and finally do it. Also, because of the higher strength liquid you don’t need a powerful mod to get a full and satisfying vape. In fact, using a high powered mod with nicotine salt e-liquid will likely result in a very harsh vape. But this stronger form of nicotine favors beginners by allowing simpler vaporizers, like pens, to become viable for getting heavy smokers to quit. In addition to that, nicotine salt is the form of nicotine found in nature, which means it’s much more stable and longer lasting in storage.
That being said, there are still a couple of serious questions that need to be answered before we can be totally sure about their safe use in vaporizers. First of all, being a just a different form of nicotine, salt based nicotine is subject to all of the same health risks that “freebased” nicotine does. This includes increased heart rate and release of adrenaline. If the statistics from Pax Lab are to be believed, nicotine salts could even be potentially more addictive than normal e-cigarette juice. But the biggest question mark for the long term safety of nicotine salt based e-liquids, is how the increased levels of benzoic acid being inhaled may affect the human body over time. The research we have on benzoic acid is mostly concerned with it being ingested as opposed to inhaled, but it has been found mostly harmless in this context. However, It is possible that it could be detrimental when inhaled everyday for extended periods of time. It may also be the case that since less is needed to be inhaled in the first place, it may actually be safer overall. But let’s be clear, that no matter the risks are it is nowhere near as harmful to your health as smoking cigarettes. Therefore, like most vaping products, they ought to be leveraged in order to compel the largest amount of people to begin a quitting attempt.
Where To Start?
There are more and more manufacturers making nicotine salt based e-liquids everyday, with even more retailers carrying them in stock. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best places to start your search.
- Airship Nicsalt offers 18 flavors with five strengths ranging from 3 to 40mg/ml
- Mr. Salt E has 24 different flavors at 25 and 45 mg/ml of nicotine salt
- Nude Nicotine is a nicotine salt base e-liquid at 72mg/ml and 100mg/ml. It comes in three types, hit is designed for throat hit, smooth for a smooth hit, and signature for a balance between the two
The bottom line is that not everything is going to be right for everyone. So the only way to know what is right for you is to give things a try. That being said, if you’re mostly into vaping for blowing huge clouds, then nicotine salt is probably not for you. But then again most professional cloud chasers use nicotine free liquids anyway. But given5 its potential to greatly increase the effectiveness of smoking cessation attempts, nicotine salt based e-liquids could become a very successful alternative form of e-liquid.
What do you think about salt based nicotine? Have you ever tried it before? Do you think that it could actually increase the amount of people who successfully quit? Let us know what you think in the comments.