Nicotine Salts – What Are They And How Do They Work?

Nicotine Salts – What Are They And How Do They Work?

When you work in the e-liquid industry, you realise that there are always lots of changes. New products emerge, new types of electronic cigarettes are created and those who aren’t in favour of vaping find new ways to demonise it. One of the big discussion topics at the moment is about nicotine salts but what are they and how do they work?

E-liquids And Nicotine Salts

There’s little doubt that e-liquids are now widely accepted as being a great way to stop smoking tobacco cigarettes and reduce the possible health risks. Public Health England has said that it is 95% safer than smoking and are recommending it as a way to stop smoking entirely.

One of the reasons that some people don’t make the switch is because they don’t feel like they get a big enough hit from the vaping liquid to satisfy their nicotine needs. That’s where nicotine salts have come in.

Understanding Nicotine

To understand nicotine salts, here’s a quick lesson on nicotine itself.  It is found in tobacco leaves amongst other sources and it comes in the form of salts. But the salts aren’t pure nicotine – they contain other compounds too.

In order to make freebase nicotine that is used in cigarettes and in e-liquids, salts are stripped down by soaking them in ammonia. They then turn into gas-phase nicotine which is deposited into the lungs and travels to the brain quickly for that nicotine hit.

At first, it was thought that nicotine salts wouldn’t work with e-liquids but some companies in the US have found a way by adding Benzoic acid. This lets the salts vaporise at a lower temperature and makes them more absorbable. This means they get into the blood quicker.

Pros And Cons Of Nicotine Salts

At the moment, there is limited research that has been carried out on vaping with nicotine salts liquids. That means most wholesale suppliers are a little cautious about offering these products until more tests have been done. But what are the pros and cons if you are considering using them?


  • Nicotine salts are stronger so if you find you don’t get the nicotine hit you need from normal e-liquids, you might want to consider them – but they are still generally said to be safer than tobacco smoking

  • You need to spend less time vaping due to the higher nicotine content so if you work somewhere where it is difficult to vape, this might be a solution

  • Nicotine salts are said to be smoother on the throat so if you are finding you get a sore throat with vaping, this might be a solution


  • Nicotine salts can be too strong for many users

  • They aren’t ideal for frequent vapers who enjoy the process of vaping as much as the nicotine because they are so strong

  • Lack of research means there is still some caution around them


At the moment, there is interest in the concept of nicotine salts but also some caution. Suppliers are looking to do more testing to ensure they are safe before offering to customers, so we will let you know what we find out.

New call-to-action