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What are Nic Shots?
Nic shots (short for nicotine shots) are 10ml concentrated nicotine solutions typically used by vaping enthusiasts to increase the strength of their nicotine-free e-liquids. They contain a highly concentrated and unflavoured dose of nicotine, usually ranging anywhere from 0mg/mL to 20mg/mL, with the most common strength being 18mg. It is not possible to vape nic shots alone, but by adding these shots into an e-liquid or ‘shortfill’, you can customise the desired nicotine strength depending on your needs. In the UK, it is unlawful to sell e-liquids containing nicotine in bottles that exceed 10ml. This means any product sold with a capacity higher than this will be completely free of nicotine.
Not only do nic shots provide a convenient way to tailor the nicotine levels in your e-liquid, but they are also cost-effective. For example, if you want to create an e-liquid with 3mg/ml of nicotine, you can buy an 18mg/ml nic shot and mix it with your base liquid - this will save you money over buying pre-mixed e-liquid at this strength level. Nic shots have become essential for vapers who wish for more control over the strength of their vape juices both in terms of flavour and throat hit. The process of using nic shots is not difficult at all and can enable vapers to create a custom-tailored vape juice that suits their specific preferences and tastes perfect.
How Much Should I Use?
Nic shots are an efficient and easy way to boost the nicotine strength of e-liquid. The amount you should add depends on the size of your shortfill bottle and the desired strength you want to achieve. For example, if you have a 50ml shortfill and want to increase the strength to 3mg, you should add one 10ml nic shot; for a 100ml bottle, two 10ml shots are usually enough. It is important to remember that adding too much nic shot could overpower your e-liquid and make it overly strong.
50ml e-liquid - add ½ an 18mg nicotine shot for 1.5mg strength
50ml e-liquid - add 1 18mg nicotine shot for 3mg strength
100ml e-liquid - add 1 18mg nicotine shot for 1.5mg strength
100ml e-liquid - add 2 mg nicotine shots for 3mg strength
PG/VG ratios refer to the ratio of propylene glycol (PG) to vegetable glycerin (VG) in an e-liquid. Propylene glycol (PG) is a thin, odourless liquid which gives a mild throat hit and is often used as a flavour carrier. It also provides a harsher throat hit than VG and produces relatively small clouds of vapour. On the other hand, vegetable glycerin (VG) is a thick, sweet-tasting liquid which provides a smooth hit and produces larger clouds of vapour than PG does. The ideal PG/VG ratio for your e-liquid will depend on your device and individual preferences. Generally speaking, higher-powered mod devices tend to perform best with e-liquids that have more PG than VG, and those that have equal amounts of both PG and VG tend to be more suitable for lower-power devices such as vape pens or mouth-to-lung tanks. Additionally, it's important to note that the ratio can also affect the flavour of your e-liquid; higher PG ratios tend to give sharper flavours whereas higher VG ratios will provide additional sweetness due to its natural sugary taste. So it's important to experiment with different ratios until you find the one that suits you best!
What are Nic Salts?
Nicotine salts are a form of nicotine that is extracted from tobacco leaves and blended with an e-liquid. This type of nicotine has high bioavailability; this means it is absorbed more quickly and effectively by the human body, providing users with an enhanced vaping experience (and smoother hit) compared to the traditional e-liquid. Nic salts also have a lower pH level than regular liquid nicotine, making them less harsh and less likely to cause coughing or throat irritation. Additionally, they contain fewer toxins than cigarettes, making them much safer for users while still delivering the same satisfying hit as smoking. Nic salts also offer a range of flavour options, including fruit, dessert and menthol varieties, giving users a variety of choices when it comes to their vaping experience.
How are Nicotine Salt E-Liquids Made?
Nic salt e-liquids are created by a rather unique process involving the combination of freebase nicotine with benzoic acid. Benzoic acid is included to reduce the alkalinity of the nicotine, creating a gentler and more pleasant throat hit. Furthermore, nic salt liquids are also more easily vaporised at lower temperatures than their freebase counterparts. This makes them ideal for those who have recently quit smoking as they can experience a similarly strong hit as cigarettes but without the harshness of freebase nicotine.
Nic salts are generally mixed in a 50/50 ratio and are most suited to mouth-to-lung style kits such as Plus Ohm devices when used within a wattage range between 12W - 35W. The result of this process is an e-liquid that can deliver a robust nicotine hit while avoiding harshness and uncomfortable throat hits often associated with smoking tobacco products. Due to this reason, nic salt e-liquids have become incredibly popular amongst recent quitters or those looking for an alternative to cigarettes.
The Benefits of Nic Salt E-Liquid
Nic salt liquids can be beneficial to enthusiastic vapers for several reasons, as outlined below:
- Nic salt e-liquid can provide a highly concentrated nicotine solution for smokers who have recently quit
- High bioavailability means nicotine will be delivered to your system quickly, reducing cravings rapidly
- Greater satisfaction per puff usually means less vaping altogether
- Smoother, yet still flavoursome, hit
- Compatibility with many popular pod kits such as SMOK Nord Pro Kit
Which Strength Nic Salt Should I Choose?
You’ll typically find two strengths of nic salts: 10mg and 20mg. 10mg is ideal for lighter smokers, while 20mg is often most suited to those who have been smoking at least 20 cigarettes each day.