In this user’s guide, we explain the difference between shortfills and nic shots, and help you to get started with mixing them so you get it right every time.
What Is a Shortfill?
The term “shortfills” refers to bottles of nicotine-free e-juice which you can vape with your regular e-cig. These bottles usually contain either 100ml or 50ml of e-liquid with enough extra capacity to hold an additional nicotine shot which can be added later.
What Is a Nicotine Shot?
So, we come to the second part of the equation – the nicotine shot. Sometimes called a “nic shot” or a “nicotine booster”, these small bottles contain a 18mg/ml nicotine e-juice. This is then added to the shortfill bottle to give your e-juice the right nicotine strength for you so you can get the kick you’re looking for from your vape.
Why Should I Use a Nic Shot?
Nicotine shots are ideal for helping you get your e-liquid to the perfect nicotine strength for you. If you’ve ever failed to get the kick you’re looking for from your vape, a nic shot could solve the problem. You’ll get a lot more enjoyment from your vape while getting the throat hit you want, and you’ll even enjoy the benefit of being able to try different flavours of e-juice.
Nicotine boosters are also really useful if you want to make your own e-juice from scratch. All you need is a base, the flavouring of your choice and then the right number of nic shots to get the desired effect.
How Do I Calculate Nicotine Strength?
It might seem complicated to buy two separate bottles and mix them together to get an e-juice that’s the right nicotine strength for you, but it’s actually surprisingly easy. Our easy guide to calculating the nicotine strength of your e-juice will tell you everything you need to know.
Let’s assume you want to get a nicotine strength of 3mg/ml. Depending on whether your shortfill is a 100ml or 50ml, you’ll need a different number of nic shots to get the same strength.
If you have a 50ml shortfill, it will come in a 60ml bottle. If you add one 10ml bottle of nicotine shot to the shortfill bottle, it will take the volume up to 60ml – the bottle’s capacity – and the strength of nicotine through the e-liquid will be 3mg/ml.
On the other hand, if you have a 100ml shortfill, it will come in a 120ml bottle. To create the same nicotine strength, you’re going to need to add two 10ml 18mg nicotine shots to your shortfill bottle. This will take the volume of e-juice up to 120ml – the bottle’s capacity – and again, the strength of the resulting e-liquid will be 3mg/ml. You could also add two 15mg Nic shots to your 100ml to get a lower nicotine strength.
Now that you have this information, you can work out how many nicotine shots you need to add to your e-juice to get your preferred strength. For example, if you only add one nic shot to your 100ml shortfill, you’re going to only have a nicotine strength of 1.5mg/ml. Conversely, if you add two nic shots to a 50ml shortfill you’ll end up with an e-juice that has a strength of 6mg/ml.
How Do I Mix Nicotine Shots With Shortfills?
Now that you know how to calculate the nicotine strength of your e-liquid, you need to know how to go about mixing them properly. Usually, you’ll find a mixing guide on the label of your product, but for your information, this quick reference guide will give you a rapid overview of what to do.
- Always make sure you’re adding your nicotine shot to a base e-liquid which contains no nicotine. If you add a nic shot to an e-juice which already contains nicotine, the strength will be much higher than you anticipated.
- Check the above guidelines to determine how many nicotine shots you’ll need to add to your shortfill to reach your desired strength.
- Take off the cap and the nib from your 0mg base e-liquid. If necessary, you can use a tool for levering the nib out of place and a pair of non-slip gloves to simplify this part of the process.
- Take the cap off the bottle of nic shot, and then remove the tamper seal.
- Next, squeeze the bottle’s contents slowly and carefully into the 0mg nicotine-free base e-liquid. Be carefully not to spill, and clean any spillages up straight away. If you get any of the nic shot on your hands, wash them thoroughly using soap and warm water to remove any residue.
- After you have decanted the entire nic shot into your non-nicotine e-liquid base, pop the nib back into place. Remove any temporary silicone seal to make sure the bottle is securely sealed.
- Finally, put the cap back on the bottle and shake it thoroughly in your hands. This will ensure that both liquids have fully mixed together ready for vaping.
- Now you can try your first vape using your nicotine-containing e-juice!
A Quick Word About Nicotine Salts
If you’ve heard about nic shots, you might have heard about nicotine salts, so let’s take a look at the difference between the two things. Both can be added to nicotine-free e-liquid to get the nicotine hit you’re looking for, but nicotine salts are much more potent than nic shots.
If you’re a heavy smoker in an EU country who’s trying to quit the habit by switching to vaping, you might be finding it difficult. That’s because the EU have now put limits on the maximum nicotine strength of e-juices, keeping them to 2% or less. Nicotine salts are the solution to the problem.
Nicotine salts are nicotine in its natural form. When mixed with Benzoic acid, nicotine can easily be mixed with e-liquids and vaped. Thanks to the strength of nicotine salts, it’s possible to vape at lower powers and with a higher resistance, inhaling less vapor and using less e-liquid while still getting satisfaction more rapidly.
If you need a greater hit from your e-juice, nicotine salts can deliver the nicotine to your body more rapidly and therefore will give you a stronger hit. As it also offers a smoother throat hit, it can offer a more pleasant experience. On the other hand, some people find that nicotine salts are too strong for them and for heavy vapers, they will probably give too much of a nicotine hit. Also, as the throat hit is weaker, this isn’t the ideal option for anyone who likes a strong hit at the back of their throat. For those people, shortfills and nic shots are the better choice.