With the launch of Twisp, the first electronic cigarette in South Africa, smokers can now enjoy a safer alternative to conventional smoking without losing out on the tactile sensations associated with 'lighting up a ciggie'.
Proprietor Philip Bartholomew of Twisp Importers claims that the Twisp e-cigarette is a mechatronic marvel, consisting of a rechargeable lithium polymer battery, atomizer and a replaceable nicotine liquid cartridge.
"Twisp is going to revolutionise the way conventional smokers get their daily nicotine fix. Smoking a Twisp looks, tastes and feels like smoking a conventional tobacco cigarette, but without the smoke, ash and harmful effects."
When using the Twisp, air flow activates a vacuum switch within the atomizer causing the nicotine to be atomised into tiny droplets, and vaporised into a dense mist which looks and tastes just like smoke, but is virtually odourless.
Mimics the real thing
With each puff, the orange LED at the end of the e-cigarette lights up, mimicking a real cigarette and further reinforcing the sensation of 'smoking', and satisfying the smoker's nicotine craving.
"Each Twisp cartridge contains only water, propylene glycol, nicotine and flavourings. Propylene glycol is an organic compound responsible for the dense vapour and suspension of flavour. It is deemed GRAS (generally regarded as safe) by the Food and Drug Administration. Propylene glycol is a common ingredient in food, tobacco and pharmaceutical industries. For example, it is found in toothpaste and mouthwash to maintain moisture," says Bartholomew.
He adds that as the 'smoke' emitted by Twisp is practically water vapour, "it is possible to smoke virtually anywhere".
While the vapour emitted by Twisp is flavoursome, it remains odourless, meaning it'll never leave a smell nor create stains on fabrics and curtaining. It's also non-toxic, and therefore safe to use in environments where smoking is otherwise prohibited ?i.e. restaurants, shopping malls, airports, cars and around children.
A common misconception about smoking is the idea that nicotine is the substance that causes cancer and other illnesses. Nicotine is what makes the smoker dependant, but it is the thousands of toxic compounds formed when the cigarette is burned that does the damage.
Addicted to nicotine
"Smokers are addicted to nicotine and not to tobacco," says Bartholomew.
"Although nicotine is what keeps people reaching for their cigarettes, it is the carcinogens 'cancer forming agents', carbon monoxide and tar that are responsible for lung damage, premature aging, bad breath, stained teeth and the many other dangers associated with smoking.
"Nicotine in safe amounts is believed to have no toxicological effect, and medical literature suggests nicotine is neither mutagenic nor promotes cancer growth in healthy tissue. While the amount of nicotine delivered by the Twisp is less than that of a regular cigarette, Twisp has a built in safety mechanism that will prevent the user from inhaling the Twisp more than fifteen times in one minute."
He adds: "There can't be many people who are still unaware of the dangers of tobacco smoke. Cigarette smoke is a complex mixture of chemicals produced by the burning of tobacco, paper, glue and up to 600 approved additives, containing deadly tar and around 4000 other chemicals, including cyanide, ammonia, lead and benzene. The Twisp offers smokers an alternative to smoking without exposing them to these dangerous ingredients."
The Twisp e-cigarette can be ordered from www.twisp.co.za and retails at around R500, which provides five nicotine cartridges (each equal to roughly one pack of cigarettes), the atomiser, charger and two lithium polymer batteries supplying roughly 500 charges each. Each replacement cartridge costs between R7 to R10 and are available in tobacco, mint, cherry, strawberry and in High