Best Synthetic Salt Nic Juices

Best Synthetic Nicotine Salts


Vaping technology doesn’t stand still. With more efficient vape coils than ever hitting the market, it is all about maximizing flavor. This is how the proliferation of synthetic nicotine, non-tobacco and tobacco free nicotine e-liquids will help improve the vaping experience. That they may provide a respite from rabid anti-vapers hellbent on denying adult vapers access to the flavors and devices they prefer is certainly a big deal as well. Synthetic salts are one of the best uses of non-tobacco nicotine. These salt nic juices have clearer flavors and the same satisfying flavors you expect. We still carry tobacco-derived salt nic at the time of writing but it appears synthetic is the wave of the future.

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Tobacco Free Nicotine

Before examining which nicotine salt brands have transitioned most effectively to synthetic nicotine, and this list will continue to be updated as non-tobacco nicotine becomes more prevalent, there are a few vocabulary terms that need clarification. The first crucial term is tobacco derived nicotine. This describes the nicotine that was previously used in vaping products. Derived from tobacco, it is cultivated on an industrial scale and can used in both regular freebase nicotine or in a nic salt. It was purchased from large tobacco concerns and cutting cord from Big Tobacco must be viewed as a net gain.

A quick primer on nic salts. They are manufactured by adding benzoic acid to freebase nicotine. This lowers the pH level and permits the nicotine to cross the blood brain barrier more effectively. The lower pH is the bigger deal. This means an e-liquid manufacturer can add far more nicotine into a vape juice formula without the final product being too harsh to vape. There is no reason why nic salts cannot be added in the smaller quantities typical of max-VG e-liquids. In fact, One Hit Wonder’s Tru Nic is just that. Lower strength nicotine e-liquids, more comparable to regular ejuices than the juices traditionally viewed as “salt nics”.

Tobacco Free Nicotine (TFN) is manufactured by Next Generation Labs using proprietary ingredients and technologies. It is a patented formula with S-Isomer and R-Isomer nicotine. There has been some speculation about which natural ingredients are used in TFN but it falls under the category of a trade secret. For much more, check out our feature: What is Tobacco Free Nicotine?

Synthetic nicotine is wholly manufactured and does not rely on natural ingredients. It can be manufactured in a pure S-Isomer form, as is the case with CNT’s synthetic products. Non-tobacco nicotine is a generic umbrella term that encompasses both TFN and synthetic nicotine. For a complete breakdown of this revolutionary process, we have a deep-dive: What is Synthetic Nicotine?


Best Way to Vape Synthetic Salt Nic Juices

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Non-Tobacco Nicotine E-Liquids

The flavor of synthetic nicotine is non-existent. Not that tobacco derived nicotine imparted much of a flavor in e-juices. With flavors clearer and more pronounced, it is worth investing in a cutting-edge refillable vape pod kit to take full advantage of these potent synthetic salt juices. Keep in mind that synthetic salts are still traditional nicotine salts. They range from 25 to 50mg strength. They are not be vaped out of a sub-ohm tank or high wattage box mod. There are regular nicotine synthetic e-liquids for those purposes. Today we are just looking at the salt nic versions.


Best Synthetic Salt Nic Juices

A number of reputable e-liquid manufacturers have made the jump to non-tobacco nicotine and more are soon to follow. Non-tobacco nicotine has a more neutral flavor than tobacco derived nicotine. It really allows flavors to shine. And while it can be used in regular nicotine and nic salt formulas, it seems to really shine in flavorful salt nic juices consumed in a refillable vape pod kit. MTL devices and non-tobacco nicotine fit together perfectly.


Glas Basix Salts

Sean Glas, a world-renowned mixologist of e-juices, has fully maximized the flavors of his salt nic juice formulas to take full advantage of the neutral flavor of Tobacco Free Nicotine. Sold in 30ml bottles, these delightful nic salts are available in 30mg and 50mg nicotine strength. Adult vapers prefer sweeter flavor profiles and he delivers, but with enough nuance and complexity to create a line of all-day vapes.

He did not just wheel out a collection menthol plus fruit blends. Instead, his focus was on unique and brilliant flavors which mimic the flavors of desserts, beverages and even breakfast cereals.

  • Banana Cream Pie: Delicious banana cream pie.
  • Blueberry Cake: Blueberry Cake and Frosting,
  • Butterscotch Reserve: Rich and sweet tobacco.
  • Cool Melon: Honeydew and light cooling notes.
  • Crunch Berry: Sweet fruit medley, crunchy flavors and cream.
  • Fizzy Lemonade: Bold lemonade.
  • Juicy Apple: Red apple.
  • Mango Tango: Tropical fruit and mango blend.
  • PBLS: Fruit and cream blend.


Aqua Salts Synthetic

Marina Vape has formulated their Aqua Salts Synthetic Collection for use in refillable vape pod systems like the Vaporesso XROS Mini. The use of Tobacco Free Nicotine (TFN) allows their great flavors to shine. The naming conventions are a bit unusual but it is worth figuring out what “Drop” and “Flow” actually mean. These are actually fairly traditional salt nic juice flavors and are very well executed. The combination of refillable vape pod and Aqua Salts Synthetic might be the best disposable vape alternative.

  • Drops: Sweet and Tangy Fruit.
  • Drops Menthol: Sweet and Tangy Fruit Plus Menthol Ice.
  • Flow: Pineapple, Mango and Guava
  • Mist: Kiwi, Green Apple, and Peach.
  • Oasis: Papaya, Peach, and Cantaloupe.
  • Pure: Apple, Watermelon, and Strawberry.
  • Pure Menthol: Apple, Watermelon, Strawberry and Menthol.
  • Rush: Blue Razz Ice.
  • Swell: Sweet and Sour Watermelon.


Air Factory Synthetic Salts

Air Factory Synthetic Salts relies on smooth tobacco-free nicotine (TFN) that is not derived from tobacco leaves. With unmatched clarity, these salt nic juices really shine. Sold in 30ml bottles and with an available nicotine strength of 50mg, the fruit notes are just a bit a bolder and the throat hit a little smoother with TFN.

The experience is similar to a standard nicotine salt juice, but the reduction in harshness is still notable. Adult vapers are sure to enjoy the ten unique Air Factory Synthetic Salt flavors. These are exactly the flavor profiles that most adult vapers prefer.

Southern California based Air Factory E-Liquids is a widely respected vape juice company with several award-winning flavors. Their corporate philosophy is based on principals: Quality, Taste and Satisfaction.

  • Aloha Strawberry: Fresh strawberry and pineapples.
  • Arctic Berry Pom: Menthol, mixed berry and pomegranate.
  • Kookie Krunch: Sugar cookie and cream.
  • Mystery: Sweet and sour fruit blend.
  • Peach Passion: Peach.
  • Pink Punch: Pink lemonade and fruit punch.
  • Pink Punch Ice: Pink lemonade, fruit punch and ice.
  • Strawberry Nectar: Strawberry and peach.
  • Tropical Grapefruit: Pink grapefruit and pineapple.
  • Wild Apple: Juicy Granny Smith sour green apple.


Reds Apple Synthetic Salt

The Reds Apple Salt Synthetic juices from the Daze Salt Series offer a lot more than red apple flavors. But it is worth noting they do have the best red apple salt nic juices around. Their well-rounded line-up of e-liquids were first transitioned into nic salts and now have been modified into synthetic nic salts. The flavors keep getting clearer and cleaner. Available in 30mg and 50mg nic strength. The name and strategy is really straight forward. Create as delicious of a fruit flavored salt nic as possible and then offer this same flavor with a blast of cooling menthol ice. The strategy works in disposable vapes and is even better with bottled nic salts.

  • Original
  • Original Iced
  • Berries
  • Berries Iced
  • Fruit Mix
  • Fruit Mix Iced
  • Grape
  • Grape Iced
  • Guava
  • Guava Iced
  • Mango
  • Mango Iced
  • Peach
  • Peach Iced
  • Strawberry
  • Strawberry Iced
  • Watermelon
  • Watermelon Iced



Smok Novo 3 versus Smok Novo 4

Smok Novo 2 versus Smok Novo 4

Smok Novo 4

The original Smok Novo, launched in 2018, was designed to serve as a refillable alternative to the popular Juul pod system. At that time, Juul devices were still available in flavors but the Smok Novo could provide huge savings as it could be refilled with bottled salt nic juices.

The Smok Novo 4 is the ultimate version of the Smok Novo design. It retains the same size and performance envelope. It remains every bit as quiet, efficient, flavorful and discrete as its predecessors. But the Smok Novo 4 has burst onto the scene with adjustable wattage, USB-C charging, and a clever airflow design. It has an effective 0.49″ OLED screen and a higher-quality zinc alloy frame. But apart from appearance, it will feel very similar in your hand. It weighs 8 grams (about a quarter of an ounce) more than a Smok Novo 3. It is about 5mm longer, which is about 0.2 inches.

Smok Novo 4
Smok Novo 4 at Mad Vapes

Juul’s most popular flavors were removed by a federal flavor but at the same time potent nic salt juices have surged in popularity with adult vapers. In response to these market forces, a wide range of refillable vape pod kits have hit the market.

Refillable Vape Pod Kits
The Mad Vapes Collection of Vape Pod Kits

The refillable vape pod kit category has grown to cover a wide-range of devices. It is a term that includes devices like the Smok Nord 4, which has an 80-watt output and is just as comfortable chucking clouds like a box mod as it is delivering crisp MTL nic salt puffs. The Smok Nord 4 is not much bigger than a Smok Novo but isn’t as specialized for nic salt juices. There is pretty much a vape pod kit for every vaper, whether you use a box mod or got started years ago vaping on an eGo Twist.

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As ever larger and more intricate pod devices have hit the market, the Novo family has always stuck closer to its nic salt vaping roots. The original Smok Novo was 16 watts device with 450mAh battery. The newer models are more powerful, 800mAh batteries and 25 watts. They can handle any e-liquid, but most users stick to the devices original purpose: vaping nic salts. Each generation of Novo has shared some basic design elements. They are quiet, efficient, small, discrete, reliable and generate great flavor.


Smok Novo 2 versus Smok Novo 3

The Smok Novo 2 was a big improvement over the original Smok Novo. The battery nearly doubled in size from 450mAh to 800mAh. The pod design was notably upgraded. The Smok Novo 2 has actual coils of varying sizes. You can still see puffs of cotton polyfill in the original Smok Novo vape pods.

Smok Novo 2
Smok Novo 2

The popular Smok Novo was followed by the nearly identical Smok Novo 3. Both the Novo 2 and Novo 3 are powered 800mAh batteries. The kit for both came standard with 0.8ohm pods. Physically, they are not easy to tell apart, the text on the back of the device is probably the only way, unless you have spent time studying their respective air grooves.

Both devices shared a 2ml pod capacity and a peak output of 25 watts. This wattage could not be adjusted and there were no buttons at all on the first three generations of Smok Novo. Despite being nearly identical, the Smok Novo 3 is an upgrade on the Smok Novo 2. The slots for the airflow have been improved and so has the pod design. If given of choice of one to buy new, the Smok Novo 3 is the better option. It also has a higher quality feel in the hand. But if a Smok Novo 2 is what you have already or what is available, rest assured that you are enjoying very similar performance.

Smok Novo 2 Specifications
Smok Novo 2

Smok Novo Family

What all three generations of Smok Novos had in common was form factor and function. They are cross compatible and proved a perfect alternative to disposable vapes or prefilled vape pod kit like a Juul, Vuse Alto or MyBlu.

Any advances between the Novo 2 and Novo 3 have been blurred by the interchangeability of the improved pod designs and the expansion of the Smok Novo 2 pod selection.

Compatibility and imperceptible change are not the norm in the vaping industry. Smok Novo 3 marked an unusual adherence to the status quo. This is not the case with Smok Novo 4.

The philosophy and performance of the Novo 4 and Smok Novo 3 are similar, but the Novo 4 offers a couple upgrades that are impossible to miss. Another big change, the Novo 4 is a slightly larger device and not compatible with the previous generations of Smok Novo pod.


Smok Novo 4 Specs

Smok Novo 4 Dimensions
Smok Novo 4

The previous three generations of Smok Novo designs all have swappable pods with a fixed coil. The coils are long lasting and are generally used to vape 50/50 salt nic juices at less than 25 watts. But when the end of the service life is reached, the entire Smok Novo pod is pitched in the trash. While not as wasteful as a disposable vape, the durable plastic pod clearly could be repurposed with a new coil.

The Smok Novo 4 is the first member of the Novo family of vape pod kits to use swappable coils. This is a huge deal, as the swappable coils are from the Smok LP1 collection. LP stands for leak-proof and considerable effort was put into making these leak resistance devices.

With a press fit coil design, the last thing you want is a leaky device. The reliable Smok Novos of the past did have a reputation for leaking and issues with e-juices collecting in the autodraw mechanism. This issue primarily impacted the first generation of Novo pods, but this did not stop Smok from tripling down. Each Smok Novo 4 LP1 coil has three silicone stoppers.


Smok Novo 4 Features

Smok Novo 4
Smok Novo 4

Like the Smok Novo 2 and Smok Novo 3, the Smok Novo 4 is also a 25-watt device. The battery remains 800mAh. As far as appearance, the Smok Novo 4 has a totally different look thanks to a legible 0.49” OLED screen. The screen allows adjustable wattage and for the Smok Novo 4 has a lock button that also allows you to adjust the wattage. It is still a draw activated device without a fire button.

Another obvious change is the inclusion of an adjustable airflow dial on the front. It has always been possible to manipulate the draw on a vaping device by covering holes with your finger or similar expedients. These can impact the reliability when it is a draw activated device. There is no need to improvise with the Smok Novo 4. The airflow settings are clear as day and front and center on the device.


Smok Novo X

With the OLED screen and slightly larger size, the Smok Novo 4 appears to be a closer relative of the Smok Novo X than the Smok Novo 3. Unfortunately, these devices are not cross compatible and Smok Novo X users will not be able to take advantage of the Smok Novo 4 pods or LP1 coils.

The Smok Novo X had previously been the odd man out. It was a Novo in name but not compatible with previous Novo designs. On paper, it was very similar with a battery rated at 800mAh, 25 watts output and the standard pods featuring coils with 0.8ohm resistance.

The Smok Novo X featured a zinc alloy chassis which had a higher-quality feel than Novos 1, 2 and 3. But I always preferred the Novo 2 and Novo 3 over the Novo X, despite the cool adjustable wattage option.

The wider coil openings and airflow on the Smok Novo X result in a looser draw. This is great if you are using the adjustable wattage to ramp up the power and vape max-VG e-liquids. It is not such a feature when you are looking for a taut draw and flavorful nicotine salts.


Mouth to Lung (MTL) versus Direct Lung (DL) Vaping

The Smok Novo 3 and Smok Novo 2 both have nice MTL draws. For those not familiar with the jargon, this describes how restricted the airflow is when you inhale. A big box mod with wide open air flow shoots vapor straight into your lungs. This is direct to lung or DL vaping. A tighter draw is more akin to a combustible cigarette, allowing the flavor to linger in your mouth before being fully inhaled. This is mouth-to-lung (MTL) vaping.

Most vape pods allow for some combination of both. It really sticks out when the airflow is not restrictive on a pod device. The Smok Novo X strays into this area and is a bit open in comparison to its siblings. This forces vapers who prefer a more restrictive MTL vaping to rely on expedients such as of covering an airflow intake on the side of the device. While this solves the airflow issue, it can place additional pressure on the draw activation and make it more like that e-juice will end up in the intake.

With the addition of the Smok Novo 4 to the lineup, it is unclear what the future has in store for the Smok Novo X. It has a nicer feel than a Smok Novo 2 or Smok Novo 3. But it lacks the air intake ring and swappable coils of the Smok Novo 4.



Smok Novo 4 Coils

Smok Novo 4 Coils

The Smok Novo 4 cores and device were designed from the ground up to have adjustable air flow. In terms of other technical specifications, the Smok Novo 4 is like its predecessors. It is also powered by an 800mAh battery, the pods have a 2ml capacity, standard coil has a resistance of 0.8ohms, the range of power is 5 to 25-watts, the pod is side filled, and even the size is comparable. But the addition of adjustable wattage, USB-C charging and swappable coils makes the Smok Novo 4 a much more modern device.

With three silicone rings, the LP1 series of coils used in the Smok Novo 4 are designed to remove any lingering concern about leakage. While it may behoove a vaper to invest in empty replacement pods if they swap flavors on a regular base, the reusable pod is very easy to clean. If you stick with one e-liquid flavor, the one pod included will last you for a long time. The press fit coil opening provides a large enough hole to really clean the pod.

There are three Smok LP1 Coil designs currently available. The flagship is the Smok LP1 Meshed 0.8Ω Coil. Operating best at 12 watts, this is an exceedingly efficient design. The wide surface area of the meshed coil allows for great vapor production and flavor at a low wattage. Especially for medium and lower strength nic salts, this is a perfect coil. The Smok Novo 2 and Smok Novo 3 also come standard with 0.8Ω mesh coils but this is Smok’s best Novo coil yet.

Smok Novo 4 Pods

Smok LP1 Coils

The Smok Novo 4 vape pod kit comes with a second coil design as well. This is the Smok LP1 DC 0.8Ω MTL Coil. Both coils are compatible with the single pod included in the kit. This is a different philosophy than the Smok Nord 4 and Smok RPM 4. These come with two pods which are compatible with different coil sets. But they are also larger and more powerful devices, designed serve multiple styles of vaping. The Smok Novo 4 is a MTL machine. It has the power to handle Max-VG e-liquids but is generally going to tasked with vaping salt nic juices.


Why does the Smok Novo LP1 coil family have a 0.8Ω DC round wire coil and the seemingly more sophisticated mesh coil? The answer is simple. The DC Coil works at higher wattage, between 12 watts and 25 watts. The draw is similar between the two. At its higher wattage numbers, a setting option that wasn’t available on the Smok Novo 3, if anything the Smok LP1 DC MTL coil generates marginally better vapor and flavor than the meshed design. But the differences are subtle and using a higher wattage setting will drain your battery faster.

The final LP1 coil is not included in the Smok Novo 4 Vape Pod Kit but can be purchased separately. This is the Smok Novo LP1 Meshed 1.2Ω Coil. Operating at 10 to 15 watts, this is the highest resistance coil available and is ideal for potent salt nic juices. Both meshed coils are made from FeCrAl ferrochrome alloy. The DC wire coil is made from Fe-Cr.

Even with the added technology, this is an intuitive device to use and makes a great alternative to disposable vapes. The button does not fire the device but five clicks with lock and unlock it. Two or three clicks will start the power adjustment menu. Each click is half a watt. The airflow control is a simple dial on the front of the device


Smok Novo 3

With adjustable wattage, air flow, new coil design, swappable coils, USB-C charging, and enhanced airflow, is there a case to be made for the Smok Novo 3 and the similar Smok Novo 2?

The answer is yes. The Smok Novo 2 and Smok Novo 3 are more pared down devices. This makes them less intimidating to a novice vaper and adults looking to switch from combustible cigarettes to e-cigs. While swapping the entire pod is wasteful, it is also easier. The wattage (5 to 25 watts) and battery (800mAh) are the same. Compatibility with all the previous Smok Novo pods is also a huge feature.

The pod you will probably want to use in the Smok Novo 3 is the Smok Novo 3 0.8Ω Meshed pod. It is an exceptional design that does not give up much in terms of flavor or vapor when compared to the Smok Novo 4 LP1 Mesh. The air intakes grooves on the Smok Novo 3 are improved compared to the Smok Novo 2. It is a subtle difference, especially when compared to the vast change in appearance and functionality provided by the Smok Novo 4


Smok Novo 2

The Smok Novo 2 has been my salt nic vape of choice for several years now. I am a fan of the Vaporesso XROS Mini as well, which is about as direct as a direct competitor can be, but a backlog of empty pods and reliable performance has kept the Smok Novo 2 in my pocket and loaded with e-liquid.

Everything about the Smok Novo 2 design is efficient and works perfectly. It is compatible with Novo 3 pods, and the archaic looking pods from the original Smok Novo. It is an extremely compact design. At only 88.3ml in length, it not only fits in your front pocket but fits in that little change pocket in blue jeans.

The draw is perfect for lower strength nicotine salts, but I have found it can handle 70 percent VG e-liquids without any difficulty. You will see occasional complaints about leaking. I have run a Q-Tip through the connections area a couple times, probably fewer times than recommended and have never had an issue. My Smok Novo 2 has been dropped more than it has been cleaned. The device is light. Even my unfortunate oldest one, I have three, that has taken the most bumps still runs fine- although the colorful facia is now a bit loose.


Final Thoughts

As an easy-to-use starter kit that can serve as the best disposable alternative, it is hard to beat the Smok Novo 2 and Smok Novo 3. They have no complications. There is no fire button. They are autodraw. They are easy to fill and work perfectly with nicotine salts. The whole pod is pitched once flavor fades. It is basically a disposable that can be refilled and charged or a refillable Juul, depending on how you look at it.

The Smok Novo 4 marks the first major upgrade on this design. With adjustable wattage, adjustable airflow, swappable coils, and USB-C charging it is the technically superior device. None of these features are hard to master either. If a display and air flow dial seem like too much for a vape pod kit, they can always be ignored, and you can simply use it like you would the original Smok Novo.


Vaporesso XROS

While viewed in vaping circles a UWell Caliburn fighter, the original Vaporesso XROS is a direct competitor to the new Smok Novo 4. It also has an adjustable airflow, 800mAh battery and several excellent pods. The top-fill system is very easy to use. It gives up a bit in the power department on paper, with a range between 11 and 16 watts. It does not have an OLED screen or adjustable wattage. The original Vaporesso XROS has dual-firing capabilities, just like the UWELL Caliburn. This means it functions as a draw activated device but also has a fire button.


Vaporesso XROS Mini

Click here to view the Vaporesso XROS Mini

The Vaporesso XROS Mini is probably more comparable to a Smok Novo 2 or Smok Novo 3. It is one of the best disposable vape alternatives on the market. It is more pen-shaped, retains the top-fill design and is compatible with all the XROS pods. These include an improved 1.2-ohm pod that is perfect for salt nic juices. There is also a 0.8ohm pod. Like the Smok Novo pods, this is in theory sub-ohm vaping and far removed from the high wattage box mods of the world.  The 0.8ohm coil is designed for regular freebase e-liquids with a lower nicotine strength but also works great with lower strength nic salts.

Despite its diminutive size, the Vaporesso XROS Mini has the biggest battery of the bunch 1000mAh. If you are looking to replace a prefilled vape pod kit like a Juul, Vuse Alto, or MyBlu, the Vaporesso XROS Mini has a similar stick style form factor and compact size. But being refillable, it is easy to save by making the switch.