Let’s do the Twisp !

TWISP: Kick the habit with an electronic cigarette

The newest 'desgins' of the Twisp electronic cigarette

The newest ‘desgins’ of the Twisp electronic cigarette

AS someone who smoked cigarettes for a few years (and still experiences moments of weakness, especially when alcohol comes into the mix), some might find it strange that I am a complete advocate for anti-smoking laws. In fact, I look forward to the day when smoking in public is banned entirely and punishable by law, at least for my future children’s sake.

And it seems that it won’t be long before this happens. Some new laws under the Tobacco Act were signed recently which make smoking illegal in “any partially enclosed” public place (areas like covered patios, verandas, balconies in apartment buildings, covered walkways and parking lots). Also in the pipeline is making smoking illegal in sports stadia, on railway platforms, at bus stops, in fully outdoor areas where food is served, and outside the entrances to buildings.

This may be a little extreme, but I fully agree with banning smoking in partially enclosed areas. I used to sneak outside whenever the craving set in so as not to bother anyone. In my estimation, lighting up in a small enclosed room is worse than breaking wind deliberately. At least the latter doesn’t linger as long.

Some scary facts & figures
Now there is a reason to be more considerate, as any breach of the above anti-smoking laws carries a maximum fine of R50 000 payable by the pub, bar, workplace or restaurant owner and R500 payable by the individual smoker.

This may be enough to discourage non-smokers from carelessly taking up the habit, but the real goal is to get the 22% of adult South Africans who continue to smoke to quit. I know from experience that this is no easy task. Most substance abuse facts will tell you that quitting smoking is a tough thing, but many people have managed to successfully quit with the help of smoking cessation aids or even addiction treatment. I’ve witnessed people try several different methods to help them quit, ranging from the “scientifically guaranteed” to the most bizarre self-remedies.

no-smoking-signThe strangest case was that of my grandfather. He basically went cold turkey but still carried cigarettes with him. He would simply pretend to smoke without actually lighting his cigarette, replacing it with a new one whenever it got a little soggy. It was really strange to watch.

But now there is now finally an alternative that the tobacco companies can be really afraid of — the electronic cigarette, or more specifically, the Twisp. Here’s a description from the Twisp electronic cigarette website:

“Twisp is not a real cigarette, but a personal and portable vapouriser, that uses micro-electronics and a lithium polymer cell to evaporate nicotine in ‘smoke’ from a replaceable cartridge. The vapour does not smell nor does it contain tar, carcinogens or smoke particulate found in first and second- hand cigarette smoke, but it feels, tastes and looks just like the real thing. Best of all you can ‘smoke’ your nicotine machine virtually ANYWHERE!”

Being able to ‘smoke’ one of these electronic devices ANYWHERE may be questionable, but if the law had to fine someone for smoking a Twisp they may as well fine anyone who burns incense or wears pungent perfume.

The smell and taste of a Twisp electronic cigarette has been described as similar to a hookah pipe. Like hookah tobaccos, Twisp cartridges are available in a variety of flavours and strengths, including tobacco, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, cherry, strawberry and mint — all in high, medium, low and zero nicotine concentrations.

Twisp Electronic Cigarette

Similar to a cellphone, Twisp batteries require a deep cycle charge before first use for eight hours or overnight. After which one to three hours will completely charge the battery (depending on the model).

A Twisp electronic cigarette consists of a battery (white part), an atomiser (silver part) and a cartridge (yellow/orange part), and comes with five replacable cartridges. An optional purchase is a small jar of liquid, which contains propylene glycol, water, flavour and nicotine. This can be used to refill the cartridges or dripped directly onto the atomiser to create a superior amount of flavour and vapour.

In essence, a Twisp electronic cigarette is a miniature atomiser which heats the ingredients to the point of vapourisation. When someone puffs the Twisp, a flow sensor activates the rechargeable lithium polymer battery, which starts the process of atomising, heating and evaporation, creating a thick vapour that looks like smoke.

What is in a Twisp electronic cigarette?

  • Propylene Glycol is a common food grade additive, generally regarded as safe by the Food and Drug Administration and used to suspend flavour and create the simulated smoke. It is also found in toothpaste, mouthwash and as a humectant in tobacco products (keeps tobacco moist).
  • Nicotine is an alkaloid found in certain plants, predominantly tobacco, and in much lower quantities in tomatoes, potatoes, bringles (eggplants) and green peppers. Nicotine itself isn’t carcinogenic (a cancer causing agent) nor does not have any mutagenic properties.

Because a Twisp electronic cigarette doesn’t burn tobacco, the vapour you are inhaling is free of hazardous smoke particulates, tar and carcinogenic compounds produced when tobacco and additives are burned. There is no smokey smell nor does the vapour stain teeth or fabric.

To be extra safe a Twisp electronic cigarette has a built-in safety mechanism to prevent the user inhaling more than 15 times in a minute. If the device feels that it is being dragged too hard for too long it shuts down and LED flashes for a short period of time.

How long does a Twisp electronic cigarette last?
Electronic cigarette smokers are no longer compelled to smoke the entire cigarette, so about 10 puffs is the average use. The “mini” cartridges last between 10 to 15 cigarettes, the classic carts between 30 to 40 cigarettes. Liquids last about 300 to 400 cigarettes per 10 ml and the cigars between 1 800 to 2 000 puffs or 200 cigarettes.

  • The Twisp mini is available for around R800 and comes with five refillable cartridges and a three- month warranty. If you are the average 20 a day smoker and use a Twisp electronic cigarette as an alternative to smoking, it should pay for itself in fewer than six weeks.

Twisp is only intended for smokers with a pre-existing nicotine addiction. It is also not recommended for pregnant or lactating women, or those sensitive to nicotine or propylene glycol. It is not for sale to children under the age of 18.

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Galen (name), meaning: "Curious One". A lover of language, human ingenuity and the forces of the universe. Hugely drawn towards the mysterious and unknown. Regular laughter and escapism essential.

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15 Responses

  1. Galen Schultz says:

    So far I have come across seven people who have taken to Twisping, and of those seven, five have given up cigarettes completely…

    There is also a cheaper e-cig available called Njoy. It sells for R600 with free shipping too.


  2. Tony says:

    I think an electronic cigarette invention is the safest alternative smoking product on the market. Our generation is surely heading towards a better future by accepting an electronic cigarette to replace a traditional hazardeous tobacco smoking. I now choose electronic cigarette harmless vaping rather than smoking dangerous cigarettes which will harm me & the environment. Amazing invention!!! :)

  3. Nick Sommers says:

    I enjoyed the read but if you smoke marijuana and find that you are becoming tired and de motivated and you do not want to quit using marijuana. Try vaporizing your marijuana and you will get more a of a clean headed high buzz.

    Like tobacco, marijuana smoke contains toxins that are known to be hazardous to the respiratory system. Among them are the highly carcinogenic polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, a prime suspect in cigarette-related cancers. These toxins are essentially a byproduct of combustion, separate from the pharmaceutically active components of marijuana, known as cannabinoids, which include THC. When you burn marijuana it produces quite a lot of tar. Pipes and joints generally do not have proper filters. Bongs are not the answer, because you inhale concentrated smoke.

    The vaporizer certainly reduces the level of tar. You will not have to worry about the harmful carcinogens your body is absorbing when you inhale marijuana smoke.

    Just my 2 cents

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  4. Galen Schultz says:

    Lol, I just had to include my two spammers on this one :)

  5. Mags says:

    Electronic cigarettes?!!!
    You must be choking 8-)
    I do not apologise for being so-called politically incorrect – there is nothing like a good smoke & a really decent cup of coffee after a great meal!

  6. Galen Schultz says:

    @Mags: These e-cigs are really great – I own two of them 8-) And there’s really no chocking involved – they’re as light as air.

    They really a good alternative considering all the anti-smoking laws around these days. But you’re right – nothing beats a good, genuine smoke :)

  7. christelle says:

    Okay, so i want to find out, if Twisp is so “gooood” then why aren’t you allowed to smoke it during pregnancy? And maybe you guys should train your staff better because I specifically asked the girl at Twisp if its safe to use during pregnancy and she said yes….. this could cause a lot of trouble for you if the staff isn’t properly trained.

  8. Galen says:

    Hi Christelle, that certainly is a legitimate concern! Hopefully the people at Twisp will pick up this post and your comment (I don’t work for them but just did the above review). Won’t you please share that info here if you do manage to find out whether or not Twisp cigarettes are safe to use during pregnancy? I too would like to know…

  9. Claude says:

    I’m 31 yrs of age – started smoking at the age of 11. My daily consumption was 2 packs of cigarettes per day. Ever since I changed to the Twisp, I haven’t smoked a single cigarette n believe u me, I save approximately R1000 a month. Thank you to whomever designed the Twisp. My family is now living Healthy.

  10. Galen says:

    Hi Claude, thank you so much for sharing your story – that’s so great to hear. Well done!

  11. Claude says:

    It’s simply a pleasure………
    @Christelle, forgive me if I may sound rude, whether the TWISP or a normal cigarette, bottom line is u shouldn’t be smoking at all. In a situation like that, clearly u don’t need a 2nd opinion on smoking or what to smoke during pregnancy.

  12. iain says:

    I got a twisp for xmas and have not smoked a cigarette since. My entire family of 6 now all twisp.

    I would love some tips as to stop the liquid from burning. I go through a coil in a week and refill it once a day.

    what can I do?

  13. Galen says:

    Hi Iain, that’s good to hear! Hopefully someone here can advise you. However, does the burning not happen when pulling on the e-cig too hard?

  14. Marlene says:

    @Christelle. I think the reason why you cannot use your twisp during pregnancy is because it contains nicotine. Perhaps it would be a good idea to inquire about the homeopathic range of twisp liquids. Those do not contain nicotine but taste the same as the liquids that do contain nicotine.

  15. Elize says:

    @Lain, I’ve found that the burning happens when,the coil is not sufficiently drenched in liquid. I just make sure the cartridge is always full and kind o swirl it around when it starts tasting burnt. I have only replaced my coil twice in the last 3months.

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