The Future of Nicotine in Vaping: Nicotine Salt vs. Freebase

The Future of Nicotine in Vaping: Nicotine Salt vs. Freebase

Posted by ART / ITM on Dec 31st 1969

The Future of Nicotine in Vaping: Nicotine Salt vs. Freebase

With the rising popularity of vaping as a potential alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, an important conversation has emerged around the type of nicotine used in e-liquids. Specifically, the vaping community has been comparing and contrasting two forms of nicotine: freebase nicotine and nicotine salts. Both have unique properties, advantages, and disadvantages, with each catering to different vaping styles and preferences. This blog post will delve into the differences between these two forms of nicotine and discuss what they mean for the future of vaping.

Understanding Freebase Nicotine

Freebase nicotine, which has been the standard in the tobacco industry for decades, is also the form most commonly used in e-liquids. It's produced by adding a base (usually ammonia) to nicotine to strip away its protons, allowing it to be more bioavailable and absorb quickly into the body.

Freebase nicotine is known for providing a more noticeable 'throat hit' when vaped, which can mimic the sensation of traditional smoking. However, it can also be harsh at higher concentrations, which may not be suitable for everyone.

Understanding Nicotine Salts

Nicotine salts, often simply referred to as 'nic salts,' are a relatively new addition to the vaping scene. They're formed by adding an acid (such as benzoic acid) to freebase nicotine, creating a stable, salt-like compound. This process lowers the pH level of the nicotine and makes it less harsh to inhale at higher concentrations.

Nicotine salts are absorbed into the body more quickly and effectively than freebase nicotine, providing a more immediate nicotine satisfaction that closely resembles the experience of smoking a traditional cigarette.

Nicotine Salt vs. Freebase: A Comparison

Now that we understand what freebase nicotine and nicotine salts are, let's compare them across various factors.

  • Throat Hit: Freebase nicotine provides a stronger throat hit, which may be preferred by those who enjoy the sensation of traditional smoking. However, for those who find a strong throat hit harsh or uncomfortable, nicotine salts may be a better option.
  • Nicotine Satisfaction: Nicotine salts offer a faster, more intense nicotine satisfaction due to their rapid absorption rate. This feature makes them an attractive option for heavy smokers transitioning to vaping or vapers who desire a more intense nicotine experience.
  • Device Compatibility: Freebase nicotine is typically used in high-power, sub-ohm devices that produce large vapor clouds, while nicotine salts are generally used in low-wattage, pod-style devices. Therefore, your choice between the two may also be influenced by the type of device you prefer.
  • E-Liquid Consumption: Due to their higher nicotine concentration and rapid absorption, vapers often use less e-liquid when using nicotine salts compared to freebase nicotine.

The Future of Nicotine in Vaping

With the understanding and availability of both freebase nicotine and nicotine salts, vapers now have more choices than ever to customize their vaping experience. The choice between the two will largely depend on individual preferences for factors like throat hit, nicotine satisfaction, and device compatibility.

As research and development in the vaping industry continue to advance, we may see more innovations in how nicotine is delivered. However, as of now, both freebase nicotine and nicotine salts have found their niches within the vaping community and will likely continue to coexist.


The debate between freebase nicotine and nicotine salts doesn't have a 'one-size-fits-all' answer. The 'best' choice depends on individual vaping preferences and goals. Whether you prefer the strong throat hit of freebase nicotine or the rapid satisfaction of nicotine salts, the most important thing is that you're choosing the option that best suits your needs and provides you with a satisfying and enjoyable vaping experience. With continued advancements and more choices than ever, the future of nicotine in vaping looks bright and tailored to individual needs.