In the vaping industry, pod-based devices have been all the rage for several years now. Pod systems and nicotine salt e-liquid initially hit the market at around the same time, and they were perfect for one another. Pod systems were smaller vaping devices, but they were extremely reliable and easy to use. Nicotine salt e-liquid, meanwhile, made it possible to have a more satisfying – and more cigarette-like – experience with a small vaping device. Paired with nicotine salt vape juice, a pod system could deliver nicotine almost as efficiently as a tobacco cigarette. That had never been possible before with a small vaping device, and before long, millions of vapers around the world were using pod systems and nicotine salt e-liquids.
In the years since, though, pod-based vaping devices have changed a great deal. Larger pod systems have begun to hit the market, and those products offer such a high level of performance that they’ve really begun to blur the line between pod-based devices and full-blown mods.
So, here’s the question: Is it still necessary to use nicotine salt e-liquid with a pod vaping system? For that matter, was it ever necessary? The short answer to both of those questions is “no” – you can, in fact, use whatever type of e-liquid you like with a pod system, although there are some factors that you should consider before you buy your next bottle of e-liquid from a vape shop like V2 Cigs UK.
What Makes Nicotine Salt E-Liquid “Better” Than Regular E-Liquid?
When nicotine salt e-liquid first hit the market, many of the vape shops selling it really didn’t understand what it was, how it was made or what made it different from standard vape juice. Consumers often heard or read claims about nicotine salt that were completely false, such as:
- It’s better than regular e-liquid because it’s more like the nicotine in a cigarette.
- It’s more satisfying than regular e-liquid because the nicotine hits your bloodstream more quickly.
Neither of those statements is quite true. It is true that the nicotine in a tobacco leaf is a salt, but all of the big tobacco companies process their tobacco with ammonia or otherwise manipulate the pH of the tobacco to freebase the nicotine. Freebase nicotine is actually the type of nicotine that hits the bloodstream more quickly because it’s more volatile than nicotine salt.
Nicotine salt e-liquid does, however, have a distinct smoothness, and the smoothness enables the creation of much higher-strength e-liquids that people can use without experiencing throat irritation. With freebase nicotine e-liquid, most people experience throat irritation with any nicotine strength higher than about 18 mg/ml. In the United States, nicotine salt e-liquid is available in strengths as high as 60 mg/ml, and even at that strength, nicotine salt vape juice causes almost no throat irritation. Nicotine salt e-liquid isn’t more satisfying than regular e-liquid because of the nicotine salt; it’s more satisfying because it’s drastically higher in total nicotine content.
What does that mean for you in practice?
High-Strength Nicotine Salt E-Liquid Is Ideal for the Smallest Pod Systems
If you’re a smoker who hasn’t switched to vaping yet, the ideal vaping setup for you is probably a small, simple pod-based e-cigarette with a high-strength nicotine salt e-liquid. You can tell which pod systems are designed for high-strength e-liquids because they’re typically very sleek devices that are only slightly larger than tobacco cigarettes. If a pod system is around the same size as a marker or a tube of lip balm, it’s the perfect device for a very strong e-liquid.
Remember that once you’ve switched fully to vaping and have stopped smoking, you can always decrease the strength of your e-liquid and start reducing your nicotine intake. When you’re initially switching from smoking to vaping, though, a higher-strength e-liquid is usually your best bet. An e-liquid with a nicotine strength of 50-60 mg/ml will deliver about as much nicotine per puff as a cigarette, making the transition to vaping as easy as it can possibly be.
High-Strength Nicotine Salt E-Liquid May Not Be Right for Larger Pod Mods
If you use a small pod system, your best bet as a current smoker is to start with a nicotine salt e-liquid that has a very high nicotine strength and work your way down gradually. That’s not going to be the case, though, if you buy one of the larger pod-based systems that many people have begun to call “pod mods.” If you have a pod system that’s significantly larger – something with a big refillable pod, a digital display and a fire button for activation – you have a pod mod. If that’s the case, nicotine salt e-liquid may not be right for you.
Pod mods have much larger atomizer coils than beginner-oriented pod systems, which means that they produce significantly more vapor per puff. They produce such large clouds, in fact, that you’ll need to reduce your nicotine strength to compensate for the higher vapor production. With the most powerful pod mods, you’ll need to use an e-liquid with a nicotine strength around 3-6 mg/ml. In other words, you’ll have a pretty bad experience if you use nicotine salt e-liquid with such a device.
If you’re thinking about buying a pod-based device and aren’t sure where it lies on the spectrum of vapor production, don’t be afraid to ask the seller for advice.
Some Regions Restrict the Strength of Nicotine Salt E-Liquid
A final thing to keep in mind when you choose between regular e-liquid and nicotine salt vape juice is the fact that some regions – most notably the United Kingdom and Europe – have laws in place that limit the nicotine strength of e-liquid. In the U.K. and Europe, the highest permissible nicotine strength for e-liquid is 20 mg/ml, meaning that there is almost no difference between regular e-liquid and nicotine salt e-liquid in those regions.
If you live in a region that limits the nicotine strength of e-liquid, the type of nicotine used in a given e-liquid doesn’t need to factor greatly into your purchasing decision as long as the e-liquid has the right nicotine strength for your needs. Try both types of e-liquid, and if you find that one type works better for you, stick with it.