The Salt Works.  A Guide to Nicotine Salts

How the Salt Works... Nicotine Salts At a Glance

Nicotine salts are a very similar format to the nicotine found in traditional tobacco.

They are quickly and easily absorbed by the human body.

  • Most standard eliquid use freebase nicotine. Vaping in this way means the nicotine isn't as easily absorbed as smoking a cigarette.
  • Cigarettes are designed to create a fast nicotine hit and nic salts mimic this. The hit is faster, nic salts stay in the body longer, and the nicotine decrease is rapid too, just like a cigarette.
  • Traditional eliquid can’t contain the high strengths of nicotine needed to replicate cigarettes. If it did it may be too harsh to vape. So smokers making the switch from cigarettes might find it hard to adjust to eliquid, compared to smoking traditional cigarettes.
  • Additionally, in nic salts the PH level is reduced, giving a smoother throat hit.



The Chemistry Behind Nicotine Salts

Chemically speaking, nicotine is a base that reacts with an acid to form a more stable compound – a salt. Nicotine is negatively charged and is a weak base. In the tobacco leaf, it’s constantly seeking positively charged protons to stabilise itself, in the form of a salt.

This more stable form of nicotine found in the leaf doesn’t vaporise well and is less well absorbed by the body.  It would require huge amounts of heat, and the resulting vapour would be too harsh to vape.

Scientists have since discovered that by using Benzoic acid as the acid that nicotine reacts with to form a salt, the resulting compound is much more easily absorbed and the PH level is reduced, giving a smoother throat hit.

The nicotine in nic salts actually hits home in a very similar way to a cigarette.

And if you've just quit smoking that can be key.

Benzoic Acid

Most nic salt eliquids were (or still are depending on the country) created using Benzoic acid. But under EU classification, when inhaled, Benzoic acid targets the respiratory system and the lungs.  It’s prohibited in the EU.  Furthermore Benzoic acid is a key ingredient in some nic salt containing ecigarettes, outside the EU.


About Using Nic Salts


  • Higher nicotine levels mean hit from nic salts is faster than eliquid, closer to that of a cigarette.
  • Nic Salts are smooth to vape, despite having higher nicotine strength than traditional eliquid. Vapers tend to get better satisfaction from nic salts too, than from traditional eliquids.  The higher strength nicotine is combined with a lower output device to create a more satisfying experience.
  • Higher nicotine strengths and better absorption into the body also mean you’ll use less eliquid.
  • Nic salts should be vaped in lower-powered devices, which are often user-friendly and simple to operate.