As I sit here vaping on some wonderful 55mg nicotine salt E-Liquid (from the US I might add), I can't help thinking of the juice wars of 2014/2015, where forums were populated with arguments over whether US made or UK made E-liquid was better.
These days it's pretty clear- UK made is just as good, if not better than US made juice.
However there is a section of the market where it's pretty clear that the US leads the way- and that is the nic salt market.
Every day across social media I (jealously) see new ranges of nic salts shown off and handchecked, with all the big names now on board such as Ripe Vapes and Charlie Noble to name but a few. The JUUL is currently the number one top selling e-cigarette product in North America and nic salt juices sell like the proverbial hotcakes. I look on jealously and constantly check how much it will cost me to ship them over, whether any of my US/Canada based mates can ship me any over or if I have anyone I know on a business trip/holiday there, whether anyone is up for a group buy or whether it's just not cost effective for me to bother. Three quarters of the time, it's the latter.
The UK market? Well since Element NS20 and Dr Salt came to market last year, there have been but a handful of other new ranges released. It's a trickle compared to the absolute flood in the US. It's clear there's a big demand over here for nic salt liquid, but little to choose from. I'd half expected the UK nic salt market to be burgeoning by now, but it's clear that it's not happening.
Things are looking up a little for the UK market, Vape Club are releasing a couple of new ranges, including the new nicotine salt pods for the Aspire Gusto Mini, which features juices from various different e-liquid manufacturers, like Nasty Juice, Vampire Vape and Primal amongst many others. We can only hope that this leads to more manufacturers releasing nicotine salt based liquids in the UK.
What have we got to blame?
Oh yes, that wonderful piece of legislation known as the TPD and the draconian 20mg limit on nicotine strengths and the idiotic 10ml limit on nicotine containing e-liquid.
We can't really blame the manufacturers though, they have got a real risk on their hands spending thousands on compliance just to bring their products to market-and then of course they also have to weigh up whether it's worth the risk. Nic salt works best at concentrations of 30mg and above-which of course is off limits to the market here unless imported privately (at your own risk).
It's pretty clear though that the UK market has a long way to go before it even catches up to the US market in terms of nic salt liquid, and I only hope (probably in vain) that we will see some of the new and exciting US based ranges over here, or even better-some new UK made top quality nic salts.
And we can only hope the ridiculous 20mg and 10ml limits are lifted over the next 18 months, and the big players from the US market enter the fray over here-then hopefully the market will really take off...