What You Should Know About Nicotine

Here we will discuss the various kinds of 72mg nicotine and their differences, including PG & VG based nicotine and nicotine salts.

Nicotine is one of the most widely consumed addictive chemicals in today’s society and is the most common addiction to have throughout the world. It is a stimulant and like most stimulants it increases blood pressure and suppresses your appetite. So it must be very dangerous then? Well, yes and no.

The international agency for research on cancer indicates that nicotine does not cause cancer. The general medical position is that it poses few health risks except among certain groups such as the young. It has been shown to produce birth defects in some animal species, but not others, so consequently it is considered to be a possible teratogen in humans (may cause birth defects).

The estimated lower limit of lethal dose has been reported as between 500mg and 1000mg so it’s way above anything vapers need to worry about.

Those numbers are greatly reduced when talking about children though. It is always advised to keep nicotine in child proof containers and well out of reach of the little bastards. There are reports of children getting severely ill from ingesting just one cigarette or from topical medicinal creams that contain nicotine.

So my advice when handling nicotine is as follows:

PG and VG based Nicotine

Essentially nicotine comes diluted in one of two substances for vaping – vegetable glycerine or propylene glycol. It’s widely agreed that PG is the preferred of the two since it is;

  • easier to work with,
  • less prone to pockets of higher nicotine strength,
  • can be used straight out of the fridge and is easy to pick up with a syringe, unlike VG

I’ve heard some people say they find VG nicotine smoother but I’m yet to find any merit in that statement and I use both daily.

VG based nicotine only really has a use for vapers with an intolerance to PG or who are just looking for a higher VG to PG ratio like 80/20 or above. There is also some argument to suggest that PG nicotine should last longer since it dissipates oxygen quicker.


Heat, light and air are enemies of nicotine. For this reason, the fridge or freezer is the best place for it to be kept. The optimum situation would be in a dark glass bottle in the freezer.

Nicotine can last for upwards of 5 years when stored like this. It’s common for people to keep a small bottle in the fridge and a larger bottle in the freezer so that the bottle in the freezer is not continually coming into contact with air and light.

The higher the nicotine strength, the more susceptible it is to heat, air and light so diluting your 72mg nicotine down into 50mg or 36 would also lengthen its life span. 18mg nicotine shots are so diluted that storage is not really a factor in their longevity (providing they are not kept in ovens or direct sunlight). People recommend storing nicotine salts in the fridge instead of the freezer but I personally have no real experience of keeping high strength salts.

What are Nicotine Salts

Mmmm salty! The term ‘Nic Salt’ is a bit misleading. The salt part refers to the scientific definition of a salt which is what results when an acid reacts with a base.

Like standard nicotine (or freebase as it’s widely called), salts come diluted in VG or PG. They also come with different acids that can affect the flavour or smoothness.

The most common is benzoic acid which;

  • allows the nicotine salt to vaporise at much lower temperatures.
  • causes a reaction which allows nicotine salt to be absorbed more easily than freebase nicotine.
  • lowers the pH level of the e-liquid, which in turn produces a smoother hit.

Basically, freebase and salt nicotine are the same thing, extracted from the tobacco leaves in the same way, only salt nicotine has an acid introduced to it to change the PH level which effects how smooth you perceive it to be as well as how quickly you can absorb it.

Nic salt actually exists naturally in tobacco products so if the thought of vaping salty acid freaks you out, just bare in mind – you’ve already smoked a ton of that shiz.

It’s common for newer vapers to use 30, 40 or even 50mg levels of nicotine salt in pod systems such as the Juul, where as, if they were to use freebase nicotine it would be extremely harsh. This is very useful for people who are trying to stop smoking cigarettes as it eases withdrawal symptoms in a way that traditional, 3mg, high VG e-liquid never could.

Salt e-liquid is made for usage with low-wattage devices; delivering a high dosage without needing to use a high wattage vaping device.

Are Nicotine Salts Right for You?

When you’re deciding what to do, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you want a more genuine smoking experience, or looking for something new?
  • Do you want smooth vapor and high nicotine?
  • Do you need a stronger or more subtle nicotine hit?
  • Is discretion important, or are massive vape clouds your thing?

However, personally I find nicotine salts affect the flavour too much (and I’m all about that flavour). At 3mg it is barely noticeable. Any higher and there is a very apparent chemical like taste that is quite unpleasant.

Some flavours seem to hide it better than others. Pod systems give such poor flavour that it doesn’t seem noticeable at all in them, so they are well suited. I also have to admit that I like a little throat hit with my e-liquid and nicotine salts are just too smooth for me at times.

Updated 08/01/2020

With some of the questions I see people ask on social media, I’m always surprised people don’t accidentally kill themselves more often.

For intermediate and professional mixers 72mg nicotine poses little risk but for a beginner that doesn’t understand how to handle it or has a very loose grasp on basic mathematics, it can be very dangerous indeed.

If you’re not prepared to spend half an hour doing some basic research on how to handle it and what calculations to use to find out what amounts you need, you definitely should be using Nicotine shots. The government has deemed 20mg to be the legal limit allowed for consumers for a reason.

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