Nic Salts vs Nic Shots

Many people look at vaping as a great way to transition from smoking. This method still allows them to enjoy a nicotine hit without any of the harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke.

Vape juice traditionally uses freebase nicotine. This is the same form of nicotine as is used in cigarettes. High nicotine levels in freebase vape juice can be quite harsh on the throat, giving that familiar throat hit sensation that some former smokers miss from cigarettes. However, for other vapers, this sensation can be uncomfortable and undesirable.

If you're looking to stock up on freebase nicotine vape juice there's a small problem. UK restrictions limit nicotine strengths at 20mg/ml per 10 ml bottle of vape juice, so you can only buy 10ml bottles.

This started to cause issues with vapers that wanted a more cost-effective way of buying vape juice.

Thankfully, there are multiple options available to vapers. The following article will explain and compare two options: a nic salt vs nic shot.

What is a nic salt?

Nicotine salt is a relatively new option in the vaping market. Nicotine salts are recognised as being the purest nicotine form available.

They are created by extracting natural nicotine salts from tobacco leaves. Natural acids like benzoic acid and salicylate acid are then added. This causes a reaction that lowers the PH levels. The result of this is a smoother hit.

This option can deliver nicotine to the body quickly as it's able to absorb nicotine more easily. Nic salts can even deliver nicotine in as little as six seconds!

Are nic salts better than regular freebase nicotine?

Nicotine salt is considered a better option than freebase nicotine by some vapers. But individual preferences may change this perception. Nicotine salts boast faster absorption into the bloodstream. This results in users getting their nicotine hit quicker than using freebase nicotine options. For anyone trying to stop smoking cigarettes, this can be a major advantage.

Another benefit of nic salts is how smooth they are. Even high concentrations provide a smooth throat hit with nic salts. On the other hand, the higher the nicotine concentration in freebase liquids, the harsher it becomes. While some vapers enjoy the throat hit, others find it uncomfortable.

Nic salts are better suited to MTL (mouth-to-lung) vapers. This is because salt nic vape juice are better suited to low-wattage devices – with a high PG ratio they don't need much power to turn them into vapour. In contrast, freebase nicotine vape juices are often higher in VG and are suitable for DTL (direct to lung) vaping which uses higher wattages. However, MTL vapers may use freebase nicotine e-liquids as well.

If you are looking to produce large vapour clouds, high VG freebase nicotine vape juice would be a better option. The clouds produced by nicotine salt vape juice are limited in comparison because they tend to have a 50/50 PG/VG ratio.

While salt nic vape juice doesn't necessarily contain more nicotine, it's a good option for people who want more of a nicotine hit because of its quick absorption. This means it's popular among new vapers who are transitioning from cigarettes.

On the other hand, freebase nicotine vape juice is often better for people that don't require as much nicotine, due to the slower absorption and more noticeable throat hit. This can also be experienced by vapers that have transitioned away from smoking. More experienced users are more likely to enjoy DTL vaping as well.

There isn't much of a price difference between the options. The key difference is that nic salts are more often sold as 10ml vape juice bottles, which means you may have to buy multiple bottles to satisfy your vaping habit. On the other hand, you can buy bigger and more economical bottles of nicotine-free vape juice in 50ml, 100ml, and even bigger quantities, and mix in a freebase nicotine shot to achieve your perfect freebase vape juice. Let's take a closer look at nicotine shots.

What is a nic shot?

Nicotine shots are pure and unflavoured nicotine options that can be added to vape juice. Nic shots are unflavoured, so they shouldn't alter the flavour of your existing vape juice.

They are available in 10ml bottles with different nicotine concentrations depending on preferences.

They are designed to be added to shortfills. Shortfills are large 0mg bottles of vape fluid. They are naturally nicotine-free, which means these vape liquids don't face the same restrictions as vape juice that contain nicotine.

Shortfill bottles typically come in sizes like 50ml, 100ml, and 150ml. They will have a space left at the top of them so nicotine shots can then be added. While a 50ml bottle will have enough space for one 10ml nic shot, a 100ml bottle will often have space for two nicotine shots. And huge 150ml bottles such as the Wick Liqour Juggernaut shortfills have space for up to three nic shots! 

Shortfill bottles that have a nic shot added will typically have a nicotine strength of between 3mg to 6mg. Shortfills and nic shots give vapers an excellent way to enjoy lower-strength options at good prices.

What is the difference between nic salts and nic shots?

Although their names sound similar, there are significant differences between nic salt and nic shots. Nic shots are unflavoured nicotine vape juice that can be added to shortfill bottles to create an vape juice that suits your tastes. In comparison, nic salts are flavoured bottles of vape juice which contain fast-acting nicotine, which is easier for beginners.

Another reason beginners might prefer nic salts is the higher nicotine levels and quick absorption. This is great for vapers that have recently transitioned from smoking.

Another benefit that nic salts have is their smooth hit. This is still possible with high nicotine concentrations. Nic shots can become harsher as nicotine levels increase.

Nicotine salt options are available in strengths ranging from low to high. Nicotine shots offer low to medium strengths. These differences make it easier for vapers to choose between the two options.

Nicotine shots can be great for more experienced users that don't need high nicotine levels. Sometimes, the harsher hits can be a bit much for beginners. However, the great flavour complexity and cloud production from the vape juice is worth it.

Nic salt options are excellent for beginners and MTL vapers. The high nicotine concentrations are ideal for those that have quit smoking and have nicotine cravings. The smooth hits are also beneficial for those new to vaping.

What about nic salt shots?

Wait, there's another type of nicotine you can buy? Yes, nic salt shots are another nicotine booster you can add to your shortfill. Instead of these nic shots being made from freebase nicotine vape juice, they are made using nic salts. This means that the nic shots have the characteristics of a super-smooth and fast-absorbing nic salt shot but can still be used with your favourite high VG shortfill. It's the best of both worlds!

If you’re interested in trying a nic salt shot with your shortfill, buy the Nic Nic Salt Shot or the Top Shot Nic Salt Shot

Nicotine regulations for vaping

The TRPR (Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016) dictates the nicotine levels allowed in vaping. These regulations state that 20 mg/ml is the limit for vaping products that contain nicotine in the UK.

You must be 18 or over to buy or use vaping products in the UK.

How do I vape nic salts vs nic shots?

Vaping a nicotine shot is relatively straightforward. It's designed to be added to a shortfill bottle. Depending on the shortfill bottle size, you'll be able to add a single 10 ml nicotine shot or more.

After you carefully add the nic shot to the shortfill bottle, you should shake it well to mix the liquid.

After shaking your vape juice, you can transfer it to your vape tank. After this, you'll be able to enjoy vaping.

Nic salt vape juice is ready to add to your vape kit -- no mixing or shaking required. These vape juices are best for low-powered vape devices. Many starter kits are low-powered, making them a good choice for beginners. As long as your coil has a resistance of 1 ohm or higher, it will be fine to use with nic salt vape juice.

Can you vape nic shots on their own?

Technically, you could vape nic shots on their own with a high-resistance device. However, we would definitely not recommend this. Nic shots are flavourless and won't provide any taste when vaping, and will deliver too much nicotine at once which might make you feel unwell.

Nic shots are developed to be mixed with a shortfill vape juice. The vape juice provides the taste and will dilute the pure nicotine to make it smoother.


Vaping nic salts and nic shots offers vapers a great range of benefits. The different options are suitable for different styles of vapers, making it easier to choose between the two.

Learning to mix nic shots with shortfill bottles of vape juice can take a bit of time. The process itself is easy, but you'll need to experiment to find your preferred strength. A lower nicotine content will provide a smoother vaping experience.

Here at Vaping101, we offer an extensive range of shortfill vape juice, nicotine shots, and nic salt. Whichever option best suits your preferred vaping method, we have you covered. Don’t forget to check out our weekly sale for the best prices on all types of vape juice




having read through must of the reviews I’m still not sure what PNP coil for my voopoo drag gene I want something that Will give me big cloud’s and a good taste got any clues.thank.



Thank you for this great article.
I was wondering if I’m weird, that I prefer high VG sub ohm vaping with salt shots, but everyone talks about either sub ohm dtl + free base or higher ohm mtl with salts (no shots).
Reading “best of both worlds!”, makes me more confident that I’m on a good track.
For everyone on the same boat:
If you need throat hit, you can buy a stronger taste or mix in a little bit freebase if you like it, but you need to steep it a bit before the harshness goes down, which you can skip with salts and it quickly becomes harsh and peppery for me, if it is too much free base, even after steeping.
There might be a way to just get used to that harshness, which is probably why many old school vapers prefer free base so much, but I personally don’t get it.
Furthermore I prefer to not wait 15 minutes before I feel the rush, since I can’t work directly at my work place and need to move on.
In my opinion salts are the future of sub ohm dtl vaping too.

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