The Rise of Sub-Ohm Nic Salts, and Why It Matters for Smokers Switching to Vaping
It’s the balance of nicotine you need when quitting smoking and moving to vaping — not too little and not too much. And sub-ohm nic salts are leading the way.
Does anyone really want to smoke any more? Sure, cigarettes give you that buzz you want, make you feel relaxed and all chilled, and are great for unwinding with a drink after work or at the weekend with the family. But there’s a massive downside, and risks that are all too real: almost everyone now knows that smoking kills — up to half of users — but what if you could get the benefits and little, if any, of the hazards?
This is why more people than ever in the United States are making the switch from cigarettes to vaping. E-cigarettes provide the nicotine that smokers want, but because there’s no tobacco to burn, no toxic chemicals are released while using them. Smokers who take up vaping don’t always succeed, however, and it’s almost always down to the type of vape gear they are using; the e-liquid base, such as nic salt, and others; and the level of nicotine. It can result in a return to smoking and continued risks to the person’s health.
And there is still a long way to go to get people off cigarettes entirely, and perhaps turn the US into a smoke-free nation — a lofty goal some countries, including Britain and New Zealand, are attempting to achieve. Although the number of smokers here in the US has fallen in recent times, there are still around 38 million people puffing away regularly. Most are men of lower socioeconomic status and living in the South and Midwest, as this infographic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows:
Where’s the Proof that Vaping Is Better Than Smoking?
While the US may be dragging its feet in advising smokers to take up vaping and get healthier, other countries are not. The United Kingdom is arguably the leader in this field and for several years now has been urging smokers to do exactly that. Public Health England (PHE), the top health body in the country and a leader in vaping research, has repeatedly issued findings into studies it carried out into any possible risks of vaping, saying it found practically none.
In a renewed advisory published last year, PHE said that “vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking and switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits” and that “e-cigarettes could be contributing to at least 20,000 successful new quits per year and possibly many more.” And PHE’s director of health improvement, Professor John Newton, said it would be “tragic” if smokers didn’t switch to e-cigarettes to stop smoking because they thought they were not safe to use.
“We need to reassure smokers that switching to an e-cigarette would be much less harmful than smoking,” he said, adding he wanted to “encourage more smokers to try and quit completely with the help of an e-cigarette” or nicotine replacement therapies, such as gums or patches, if smokers prefer them.
What Are Sub-Ohm Nic Salts?
Nic salts, or nicotine salts, to give them their full name — or even salt nic — are a type of base used in vaping e-liquid that typically allows for more nicotine to be used and also for an easier vape. By that we mean it doesn’t give the kind of harsh “throat hit” that some other kinds of e-liquid do, and for some people, this can be an important factor when vaping. If you have vaped, it’s most likely you’ve used a so-called freebase e-juice, which are common and contain nicotine in the purest form possible, and you may have been disappointed and not such a big fan of the hit at the back of your throat.
So nic salts, which have become incredibly popular in the last year or two, basically allow you to get a lot more bang from your vapes without vaping your head off. It’s thanks to the development of new vaping technology that you can now enjoy higher levels of nicotine in your e-juice with a salt nic base — and especially when used in a low-wattage sub-ohm vaping device — while avoiding the unpleasant side-effects from other types of e-juice.
Before nic salts became widely available in the US market, and in others around the world, smokers thinking about making the change to vaping often had to go for the highest amount of nicotine they could get in their vape juice, while at the same time enduring the harsh throat hit — and not exactly getting the nicotine buzz they were after, or were used to with their cigarettes. It’s no wonder many just gave up and went back to smoking. Vaping, it turned out for some, was just way too much of a headache.
The Truth about Nicotine
While nicotine comes from the tobacco leaf and is highly addictive, it tends to get a bad press compared to the many other toxins found in tobacco when it’s burned. The reality is that, according to recent research, nicotine is not all that bad for the human body. We’re not suggesting you start using nicotine, and certainly, you can vape without it at all — just enjoying the many fruity and other flavors in e-juice — but compared to the carcinogens in cigarettes that kill people, there’s very little to worry about.
If there is a danger to nicotine, it’s that it causes people to become addicted to cigarettes and they can end up dying from all the hazardous elements emitted from burning tobacco that are inhaled into the lungs. The obvious solution, then, would be to get your nicotine from another source — one that doesn’t do you any particular harm — hence the rising popularity of vapes and nic salts as a smoking-cessation method. Nicotine patches, gums, and even sprays have long been available, and many smokers have tried them to little or no effect; they are not, it turns out, all that good at helping people to kick the smoking habit, and for good.
So in a real sense, nicotine, when vaped, can help to save lives. It’s why health authorities like PHE want smokers to make the change, and now.
Nicotine Effects on the Body
Nicotine, whether smoked or vaped using nic salts or another kind of e-juice, has an immediate impact on the human body. So what does it actually do? It’s both a stimulant and a relaxant, and when it enters the body it results in the release of adrenaline from the adrenal glands. As a consequence, there’s also a release of glucose, and the heart rate rises, breathing gets quicker, and there’s an increase in blood pressure. In the brain, dopamine, the so-called “feel-good hormone”, is released and this has the effect of creating a sensation of pleasure for the user — the more dopamine in your system, the more content you will feel.
Too much nicotine is going to make you feel decidedly unwell and even nauseous, however. This is why it’s important to know your nicotine level when you start vaping so you don’t get too much in your system — or too little — and are turned off. There can be a temptation when beginning your vaping journey to vape too much because your e-cigarette, whether it’s a sub-ohm device or something else, is mostly always with you and it’s easy to keep drawing away on it.
If you have a low level of nicotine in your e-juice, and were or still are a medium or heavy smoker, you’ll most likely constantly use your vape to get the nicotine kick you’re after — and after all that inhaling, you may still not be satiated. For many people in this situation, the more powerful delivery of nicotine, and with less actual vaping, is the only real and effective answer to their stop-smoking woes.
That’s why these days, thanks to the rise of sub-ohm nic salts, it’s easier than ever for smokers to make a real and impactful change in their lives — by vaping instead of smoking — and feel entirely satisfied in the process.
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