When I first encountered the QuickWick by Wet Wick Supply Co., I didn’t have to ask what it was or how it was to be used. It was obvious. My only question was where has this been all my life?
The QuickWick is a patented design that does exactly what the name says — wicks quickly. Just short of 1-½-inches in length, a perfectly sized strip of cotton is threaded into a thin plastic tube. It resembles the end of a shoe string — but it’s not.
The tube is just shy of 3mm in diameter, made to slide smoothly through a 3mm coil build. You simply hold the cotton and slide the tube through. When the full tube is inserted, simply grab the other end and pull.
Boom — you’re wicked. A quick snip and tuck then you’re ready to drip and go.
The wicks arrived in a sleek, hinged metal tin holding 10 per pack — with room to toss a couple of spare coils in as well. The pack has an MSRP of $8.
I tested the QuickWicks in two different devices: a VCM Glacier 2 and a Flawless Tugboat V1 (for its tight airflow.)
On the Glacier, I used a pair of 3mm fused Claptons from Clean Builds. With more advanced builds sometimes being more difficult to wick, the QuickWick was a pleasant surprise. Flavor quality was solid with less break-in time than I’ve experienced from some Japanese organic cotton.
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It was three days before I re-wicked, which is about a day longer than the norm for me.
With the tugboat, I used a simple 5-wrap 24g Kanthal dual coil setup in an effort to see how it would work with a standard RDA build.
The results were very similar to those with the Clapton coils. Flavor was well-pronounced, good cloud production, but I needed fresh cotton about a day earlier. However, that could have been due to many factors.
While not a drawback or problem, it’s important to note, as Grimm Green did in a recent video, to give your coils just a few seconds after a burnoff before sliding the plastic tube through the coil. It’s kind of a “duh” comment, but it’s an easy mistake.
Another thing worth mentioning, is that currently the QuickWick is only available in 3mm. Owner/inventor Zac Oxford said, however, that other sizes are coming soon.
After spending a couple weeks with these dandy little doodads, I’d recommend them to any dripper. If you’re someone who hates carrying your whole toolset around, these are a no-brainer.
Just toss the tin in your pocket and go.
For more information or to order QuickWicks, visit wetwicksupply.com.
Riddler from Beetle Juice Vapors
Simple in its complexity ‘Riddler’ by Beetle Juice Vapors takes the sourness of a freshly picked green apple, the bright flavor of a juicy pear, and the sweetness of berries plucked from the vine and combines them for a delightful all-day vape experience. http://ejuices.co/collections/beetle-juice-vapors
Apple Butter from Liquid State Vapors
Sweet Washington apples slow cooked to caramelized perfection and blended with spiced cinnamon. The result? A taste that will stimulate the senses and titillate your taste buds. “Apple Butter” is available in an 80 VG/20 PG mix. http://ejuices.co/collections/liquid-state-vapors
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Sonrise from Cosmic Fog
This 70 VG/30 PG e-liquid takes sweet and savory passion fruit and combines it with smooth, exotic kiwi and ripe fresh pineapples for a truly unique fruit blend. Transport yourself to a sun-soaked Big Island paradise with this reimagining of a popular frozen Hawaiian drink. http://ejuices.co/collections/cosmic-fog-1
Sweet Cheeks from Inked Up E-Liquid Co.
Hey Toots! Ready to vape something fruity? Sweet Cheeks is a delightful blend of peaches mixed with ripe summer berries and topped with the slightest dash of cream. http://inkedupvapor.com/
Shweet from Wonkers!
A succulent, strawberry and watermelon medley with a mouth-watering burst of flavor that will leave you with a ‘Shweet’ tooth. https://steepinggiant.com
Pound Cake from Glas Vapor
Warm, sweet cake blends with bright notes of fresh lemon zest and fragrant Madagascar vanilla for this mouthwatering taste rooted in timeless decadence. https://shop.glasvapor.com
Toasty from Vape Snacks E-Liquid
Inspired by the heavenly goodness of toaster pastry tastiness, ‘Toasty’ blends your favorite breakfast snack flavors into a pure, MAX VG, all-day-vape: Crisp, golden crust stuffed with mouthwatering, strawberry filling, topped with luscious layers of creamy frosting, and bedazzled with sweet, strawberry sprinkles. http://vapesnacks.com
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Mango Pound Cake from Vape Chemist
The best-selling Mango Pound Cake (M.P.C.) by Vape Chemist is a unique combination of delicious pound cake perfectly paired with their famous Philippine Mango! http://vapechemist.com
Creamy Dough from Quaker Vapor
An 80 VG/20 PG blend, this vanilla ice cream stuffed doughnut topped with sugary vanilla icing comes together for a nice smooth vape to keep you running through the day. http://quakervapor.org
Watermelon from Vubble Vapor
A candied watermelon bubble gum vape that’s sure to take you back to your playground days. Vubble Vapor’s ‘Watermelon’ is available in a 60 VG/40 PG mix. http://vubblevapor.com
Peach Taffy from I Love Taffy
I Love Taffy brings the perfect balance of sweet flavors together without overpowering your taste buds. Let your imagination run wild with this new all day vape that’s a delicious gourmet taffy balanced with sweet juicy peaches and a hint of tart cream. Mmmmmm Taaaaaaafffffy! http://madhatterjuice.com/products/i-love-taffy
Luscious from VGOD
Experience a tantalizing burst of juicy watermelon candy, with a super-sweet finish that makes for the perfect all-day vape; one that is scrumptious, smooth, and wholly satisfying. https://csvape.com/shop/e-liquid/vgod-luscious/
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The Milk from Teleos
Taking inspiration from a very popular drink in New York and D.C., ‘The Milk’ by Teleos brings together whole milk, a certain fruity cereal, brown sugar, and a few other ingredients to recreate a completely unique flavor sensation. http://teleosjuice.com
Cereal Science from Cloud Chemist
The first experiment in the Cloud Chemist’s laboratory, this delicious 70 VG/30 PG blend has a diverse berry inhale with a sweet cereal milk exhale that will leave you thinking fondly of Saturday morning breakfasts complete with cartoons on the tube. There’s a chance you just may start using a beaker for a cereal bowl! https://thecloudchemistvapes.com
Batch 01 from Tinted Brew Liquid Co.
Sweet coconut and almond cookie served up with a hint of southern bourbon. Quality juice, no gimmicks. https://tintedbrew.com
Vape Bash 5 at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois saw a solid turnout with a full line of vendors. Such vendors included Apocalypse Juice, Good Life Vapor, Mr. E Liquids, Elixerz, Demonic, and many more.
Unfortunately, some vendors (and a few vape hosts) had to pull out because of scheduling conflicts and other obligations. While they were missed, for the people who were there friendships were renewed, new friends met, and fun was still to be had. The fantastic weather also added to the atmosphere.
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Thursday night was the party night. The event room was open for greetings, salutations, and nice to meet you’s. It also included a debut from a T-Rex, which also made a few more cameos throughout the event. The first night was also a great time to get the bearings of the hotel/resort, as well as to get settled in for the weekend.
Opening day Friday got off to a slow start. Considering that most people had to work during the day, when evening came, so did the people. Along with the vendors just mentioned, there were also a few “vape famous” people in attendance as well. This included You Tubers Grimm Green and RubyRoo hanging out by the Namber Juice booth where they were giving away stickers and a GrimmGreen beer glass. Jeannie K and the crew from Inside Vaping had their table. Nitrobex from Mod Envy was there with his girlfriend greeting everyone and making videos.
VapeTV Live was there broadcasting coverage. A few hosts went on camera to chat about the event, what they bought, and help their audience feel like they were part of the atmosphere. This has been a tradition of theirs since the beginning as well as the group picture that was taken towards the end of the event.
On Saturday, the crowds became bigger and there were deals that had juice, swag, and equipment flying off the shelves. Demonic Vapor handed out post cards with deals and giveaways as well as a free vape towels that they were tossing into the crowd. Some vendors even had deals on their whole line that they wanted to get rid of before the end of the event.
CASAA sponsored an activism awareness workshop in one of the skyboxes overlooking the event floor on Saturday afternoon. According to those in attendance,
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the small cozy room was overflowing with people passionate about activism and vendors who were there got their marching orders.
Saturday night was the costume contest. There were only 7 contestants. Flitz, from VapeTV Live was the emcee and encouraged the crowds to cheer for their favorite costume. The winner was Harley Quinn. Those who came in 2nd to 5th place included the Stimaches, Vaperaham Lincoln, and Burlesque Baby. Each contestant that won was awarded some donated juice, a mod, and other swag.
On both nights after the event, the infamous fire pit was the place to hang out and party. Even though the weather was a bit cold at night, it was still a place to decompress and feel close with fellow vapers. Saturday night had vapers sharing the fire pit with women who were there for a Mommy Meet Convention and a wedding party. Everyone was able to get along and ask questions about what vaping was. The conversations were respectful and if there was a miseducated statement made, they were educated on the spot, and very respectfully.
As for the organizers, Windy City Vapers Club President Scott Riddle, as well as Mary and Chris Tobin (Danger Girl and Sgt. Taz on VapeTV Live), said they were pleased with the event. Tables were donated to CASAA and Vape-a-Vet. After balancing and crunching some numbers, both Vape-a-vet and CASAA brought in $688.50 each.
This was the second time that Vape Bash was held at Pheasant Run Resort. Apart from having an issue with alcohol in the event space and other areas of the resort, overall, the service and the friendliness of the staff was pretty good. There were some places, such as the lounge area where one would expect vaping complaints, but there weren’t. The rooms were the only place where vaping was allowed and if vaping happened, care needed to be taken. It was a lot easier on the ground floor at balcony level where a door could be opened.
If you are a first-timer to this an event, expect to have your mind blown. It’s not like a trade show where you have to pay a fee to get in. It’s free. You also will encounter some famous and familiar vape faces that you might’ve chatted with online and now get to see in person.
So, with the FDA regulations out now, the question is, will there be another Vape Bash next year? Chris and Mary say “We are optimistic and hope to continue this tradition. Hopefully in the next 8-10 months some changes will happen and we can announce VapeBash 6.”
One of the most common descriptions of Vape Shop Events is that it’s like “Speed Dating for vape professionals.” With just 20 minutes to wine and dine your customers, everyone brings their “A Game.”
“This is not the place to come party,” said one of the attendees, “and if you focus on what is in front of you, the time will be well spent.”
Joshua Krane from Craft Vapery put it succinctly as I sat in on of his meetings.
“We can do this the hard way or the easy way,” he offered to the e-liquid seller in front of him. “The hard way is that you do your song and dance and waste ten minutes and I tell you I want to buy. Or we can cut the crap and work out a price that we both like and I walk out with a 2500 bottle order.” They did and he did…
Krane and Craft Vapery had the best of both worlds at this unique event. He came as a seller, offering their own products, and he was also there as a buyer, seeking out great flavors and deals for his subscription services.
How-and Why- it all Works
Vape Shop Events is not a new concept, but it is a new offering in this still-young vape space.
“We’ve been doing these type events for over 12 years now,” offered Mike Sessoms, the founder of VSE. “We do similar programs in the tobacco, promotions and pet shop space.”
With this proven concept, 27 sellers/ manufacturers buy a space (room) at the host resort. They meet with 20 buyers who are hand chosen and invited to participate. In a round-robin whirlwind over one and a half days, every seller meets with every borrower for 20 minutes. Then the timer goes off, the doors open and a new prospect enters the room.
The sellers pay to attend and one fee covers 100 percent of their expenses, including airfare, lodging and food. The buyers get a better deal; they are invited in for free and likewise have all expenses paid. This process weeds out a lot of time wasters on both sides of the transaction.
Park City, UT, one of the most beautiful ski resorts in the country, was just four miles away, but few attendees ever ventured into town until the event concluded. The beautiful Westgate Resort is at the base of the ski lifts, though ski season had ended just weeks earlier. Over the course of two days it did snow, which made for a dramatic day.
Sessoms says that this is his favorite host resort of all.
When I jokingly mentioned to him that the resort felt a bit like a prison he responded, “That’s intentional!”
“All kidding aside, the goal is to immerse all the attendees in the business at hand and discourage them from leaving the premises.” That was not a problem as the resort offered a spa, indoor/ outdoor pool, lots of walking paths and a restaurant that was voted “Best Steakhouse in Utah.”
What the Attendees Say
Jessica Johns from Virgin Vapor is not a virgin at these shows, as this was her third time. With her associate Asia, they both raved about the show staff and the reasons they attend.
“These guys are so organized and professional and they always make us feel so welcome. On top of that, the ability to spend 20 minutes at a time with face to face buyers is invaluable and generates business.”
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Gary Wilder from Lizard Juice attended for the first time and was especially impressed with the professional intentions of the buyers they met with.
“These guys are not here to play; they are here to do business. And with no distractions from other conversations, loud music or passersby, that’s what we did. Just in our first day we signed on two new accounts and took away orders.”
They already signed up for the next show in La Jolla in July.
Oren Cohen, the owner and chief chef of The Vaping Kitchen, was new to this event, but remembered participating at one of the first events put on by the same promoters 12 years ago.
“I was in another industry and recall how great the process was even then,” he said.
I asked if he had any advice for those looking to attend a future event.
“Be clear with your mission and intentions. If you are a seller be sure you have a good product and if you are a buyer, be focused on exactly what you are looking for.”
Dylan Thompson from Vaporessence attended the last show in January and learned some lessons, which he shared.
“Don’t bring too much product,” he offered, “and you need not set up a fancy display! The people we met with don’t care about fluff, just quality products. In most cases they know what they are looking for and you either have it or you don’t.” Instead of bringing his entire line, he only brought his top four.
Some other comments from the attendees:
“There’s no lack of good product out there, but there’s a huge lack of good companies to work with,” said an attendee. In less than 30 minutes we get to know each other and we both walk away as friends and future associates.”
“Study the buyer’s profile and research them as best you can. The more you know about them, the more likely they’ll buy from you,” said Cory Parravano from The Vapor Spot. He attended the last show as a buyer, but returned this time as a seller.
“When you sit down with someone over dinner you really get to know them,” Taylor Craig from Big Bang E-cigs confided. “You can’t even come close to that level of intimacy at any other type of event.” He was here for the second time and plans to return.
Chris and Margaux Jimenez from BankCard USA was not a typical vendor, but they have carved out a prominent and significant space in the merchant services field. They have also been part of Vape Shop Events since the beginning, and participate in other industry shows that the VSE team conducts.
“Merchant Services is incredibly complex, so we come here to offer guidance and education aside from just great pricing,” Jimenez shared.
He suggested anyone interested in participating to “Get in while you can. With just 27 sellers and 20 buyers there is a waiting list already, so it may be awhile!”
The next event will be in La Jolla, CA on July 17-19, 2016. For more information, visit www.VapeShopEvents.com.
Norm Bour is the founder of VapeMentors and creator of the VAPE U online programs. They offer services & resources for anyone in the vape space, including vape shops, online stores and e-liquid brands. He’s also the host of Vape Radio, the largest vaping radio show in the world with more than 1.2 M downloads. Norm interviews the masters of vape and thought leaders in the vape space. Contact him at norm@VapeMentors.com.
Before gaining recognition in the vape community for the looping vape trick videos she would upload to Vine, and before reaching over 63,000 followers on Instagram, 29-year-old Amy Hanks described herself as just being a normal, shy girl who grew up in Auburn, Alabama.
Since taking up vaping in 2013, Hanks has attended roughly 18 vape conventions in support of a number of vapor product companies that she promotes both on social media and at the many events she attends throughout the country.
Hanks describes the experience as “life changing” and she never would have guessed that her work promoting top brand companies would offer her the financial freedom to do with her time whatever she pleases.
“It’s surprising for sure because when I set out on this journey I did not have any of these plans in my head, and I had no idea it would all unfold the way it did,” Hanks said.
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When she began vaping, Hanks says she spent a lot of her free time on social media. While cycling through short videos on Vine, she began noticing a lot of females doing an assortment of vape tricks that she was “very enticed by.”
What soon followed was her attempts at mimicking what she saw and improving upon certain vape trick techniques that she would also record and upload to the short-form video sharing service.
“I would try to do little smoke rings and before I knew it I could do a lot of [tricks] and I started making videos and posting on Vine,” Hanks said. “I grew a following on there and I got up to about 11,000 followers.”
The Alabama native was also active on Facebook and would later transition from Vine to Instagram, when the latter social media platform allowed users to post longer, 15-second videos.
“We went from six second videos on Vine to 15 seconds on Instagram, so I kind of dropped off of Vine and it picked up from there” Hanks said. “I guess I just grew a following and I was also active on my Facebook and that’s where I got my first approach from a company.”
That company was The Steam Factory, a premium e-liquid brand whose owner, Jason Witherspoon, discovered Hanks’s videos on social media and invited her to promote his product at his company’s booth at Vape Summit 2014—a large convention held in Houston, Texas that really helped “put [Hanks] on the map.”
“At the time I didn’t know who was behind certain brands that I looked up to and really admired,” Hanks said. “And so when I got out to Vape Summit I began being introduced to some of these people, like the guys behind Five Pawns and Jaybo.”
Since then Hanks has engaged in promotion through her modeling work for companies like Craving Vapor, the makers of the HexOhm, Sicboy Industries and the Vaping Monkey, to name a few.
When she was originally contacted by Witherspoon, Hanks admits she was a little nervous at the prospect of flying and being thrust into an environment that was alien to her and that grand in scale.
What was also particularly troubling for Hanks was that Witherspoon’s offer came just four months into her recovery from drugs and alcohol.
Before she discovered vaping and gained online notoriety, Hanks was a tobacco user who suffered from depression and anxiety. When she was about 26 years old she was admitted to rehab for substance abuse.
During the 18 months she was in treatment, Hanks began smoking cigarettes more regularly, until a young man she met at a narcotics anonymous meetings turned her on to vaping in the fall of 2013.
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“I went to the meeting one night and I saw this young guy smoking on this weird looking tube device and my first thought was…what the hell is he doing?” Hanks said. “So that in itself started a conversation where he explained vaping to me.”
She continued smoking, but in the weeks that followed she began growing accustomed to the taste of the various e-liquid flavors she was able to sample from the man she first met at her NA meetings.
“I finally took myself to a local shop [in Alabama] and they gave me my first setup…and as I left I bought another pack, but I continued vaping,” Hanks said. “Three weeks later I was completely disgusted with the taste of cigarettes, and could not for the life of me take a few hits off one without just feeling horrible, so yeah, from then on out I’ve been hardcore vaping.”
Meeting those industry people whom she would later call close friends at Vape Summit helped put her mind at ease, and she felt grounded in her recovery and doubly humbled by the experience.
Her stop in Texas two years ago opened her eyes to the joys of meeting new, like-minded people, and networking with companies who sought her help in promoting their efforts, with 2015 being the year Hanks said was her busiest when it came to attending vape conventions.
Her convention days are far from over, but Hanks admits that while she is “very grateful for everything” she’s gained, she’s reached a point where taking a break feels like the best course of action.
Hanks’s ability to connect with people and develop meaningful and lasting personal and professional relationships is something she says she’ll never take for granted and that her personal development is thanks in no small part to her work and time spent in the vape industry.
“My drug addiction prevented me from feeling comfortable in my own skin and the constant worrying just stressed me out,” Hanks said. “I wanted to be in control of my emotions, so I would try to chemically alter that.”
“Being in the industry has brought me out of my shell, it’s given me purpose and taken me on a wild ride. This community and the way it makes me feel has been life changing.”
Marcy Coyne (VapingMarcy) is the founder and creator of #Iamavaperproject. It’s a coalition of vapers, organization, etc. to get together to stand up and fight for our vaping rights. With the recent announcement of the FDA regulations, the group’s popularity has grown quickly.
So, how exactly was this group inspired? According to Coyne, it was just an idea that sparked from getting a few people to do a video and end their segment by merely saying “I’m a vaper, not a smoker.” That’s it. Just a simple video project. Little did she know that once word got around on the idea, it would blow up. It seems as if this was something that the vaping community had been looking for and wanted, but didn’t exactly know when or where to start.
Coyne is not working alone on this. She has several other assistants helping her disseminate and making sure that the right information gets out there. Chris Meyers, the owner of Pope Juice jumped on the bandwagon immediately when he heard about #Iamavaperproject. He has been a big help to Coyne in creating event pages and recording videos from various events that he attends. Other helping hands have included Brandon from Blue Collar Vapes and BRM (see Facebook).
It seems, according to Brandon, that social media is the key right now in getting the word out. In fact, if you do a mere Facebook search on vaping groups, there are thousands of them from every state, if not every city. This is also why the group has posted any video collaboration on their YouTube page, Twitter account, Tumbler, and more. While the population of the online community may seem a small portion of the overall population, it’s actually pretty vast and by reaching out to the online vapers, they hope it can filter out into real life. Yet sadly, even a lot of people who visit their local vape shops are oblivious to what the online community is talking about (except for the occasional Phil Busardo or Grimm Green video).
While there has been this panic as of late because of the FDA, the group stresses calm as well as respectable and professional behavior. In fact, it is highly stressed as a rule on the group’s Facebook page as well as when people are doing videos.
With all the demand for exposure, the group has been working on creating a PayPal page for donations, creating products such as bumper stickers and t-shirts, and maybe in the future, hosting a fundraiser. So far, the administration board of #Iamavaperproject have appeared and recorded videos at VPX events, Vape Bash, and even smaller venues. Eventually, the group would like to give presentations at various meets and shows similar to what is done by the Vaping Militia, SFATA, and CASAA.
So what are the long terms goals of #Iamavaperproject? Basically, it is the hope that everyone comes together to fight for the industry. In total, between the online and offline community, there are at least 10 million vapers in the US alone. If every single person took action and spoke out, making sure that news media coverage on vaping is balanced, became active in government, and even simply voted, a lot would happen. Sadly, it hasn’t and the #Iamavaperproject wants to emphasize that fact.
When joining the Facebook group (the heart of #Iamavaperproject), you will not only interact with other vapers, but will see Facebook feeds of video Calls to Action for collaborative projects, various articles on vaping, and of course CASAA calls to action to contact legislators.
Let’s face it; if FDA-approved drugs like Chantix didn’t have all the suicidal side effects, vaping would not have been a thought. If the FDA-approved nicotine patches worked, no one would’ve thought to turn to vaping.
What is stressed is that #Iamavaperproject is not replacing other more established groups, but encouraging those groups (as well as members of them) to work together for the same goal: fighting for vaping rights.
Thus this is a community group, not a clique.
To find out more about I’m a Vaper Project, find them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or online at http://iamavaper2016.wix.com/Iamavaperproject
After a very successful first edition, VAPEVENT is back on the 11th and 12th of September at the Paris Event Center. The number of exhibitors and the exhibition area are doubled; join us at the must-do event of September.
VAPE PROFESSIONALS, HEALTH PROFESSIONALS, REVIEWERS, BLOGGERS, PARTNERS, PROJECT DEVELOPERS… We invite you to VAPEVENT on SUNDAY THE 11th AND MONDAY THE 12th of SEPTEMBER 2016. More than 120 exhibitors and 300 brands will be present on 6000m² exhibition. Online registration allows you a direct access without passing through the welcome desks. Free entry. Professionals only.
As most vapers (should) know, the FDA has expanded its tobacco regulatory authority to the vaping industry, with the changes taking effect on August 8, 2016. There are other stories covering the nuts and bolts of the proposed regulations (and if you have not educated yourself, please do so.) Suffice it to say that these rules, short of legal or legislative action, will start a two year clock that will expire in August 2018 with the end of vaping as we know it.
Several groups have been working toward the goal of changing these regulations through legal or legislative channels. In May 2016, these groups – who collectively represent the best chance to save vaping – formalized their coalition.
The groups involved should be known to every vaper. They are the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association (CASAA), the American Vaping Association (AVA), the American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association (AEMSA), the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) and Not Blowing Smoke (NBS).
CASAA is a consumer advocacy group focused on tobacco harm reduction. AEMSA and SFATA are trade organizations which drive self-regulation through member commitment to certain quality and safety standards.
NBS focuses on countering misinformation in unscientific or biased studies, dishonest press releases and statements from anti-vaping politicians.
The AVA is an advocacy group for small and medium-sized businesses in the vaping industry. Gregory Conley, the President of the AVA, calls the end of that two-year clock “Vaping Prohibition.”
A former legislative director for CASAA, Conley founded the AVA in 2014. He is one of the more prominent advocates who dedicate their lives to speaking on behalf of vapers; telling our stories, clearing up misconceptions, countering misinformation and seeking solutions to the pending prohibition.
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Regarding those solutions, there are a number of legal challenges at the federal and local level on behalf of vapers, but the best chance to save vaping appears to be legislative. There are two main legislative initiatives being pursued by vaping advocates at this time.
One of these initiatives is House Resolution 2058 which is a focused bill that simply changes the predicate date for the pending regulations to be the same as the deeming date: August 8, 2016 instead of the proposed predicate date of 2007, which allows vaping products currently on the market to remain on the market without the labor and expense of filing a pre-market tobacco application – a process which could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per product.
This resolution has over 60 co-sponsors but until recently that support was exclusively republican.
“We are pleased to announce our first democratic co-sponsor to HR2058,” Conley said in an interview with VAPE Magazine, “hopefully this opens the door for additional democratic support.” Minnesota Representative Collin Peterson was the pioneer who crossed the line to officially make HR2058 a bipartisan resolution.
Julie Woessner, president of CASAA and long-time vaping advocate, does not believe that this should be a partisan issue.
“This represents a private-sector solution to a public health problem, which should make republicans happy,” Woessner told VAPE Magazine. “But it also represents harm reduction, which is what democrats say they want.”
The other initiative being focused on by the coalition is the Cole-Bishop Amendment to the Agricultural Appropriations bill, and it also has bipartisan support. The amendment, which was offered by Republican Tom Cole and Democrat Sanford Bishop, was added to the Appropriations bill in April.
Cole-Bishop changes the predicate date like HR2058 but it also contains some restrictions, calling for battery regulations, new package labeling requirements and restriction of print marketing to publications designed for adults.
This amendment probably represents vapers’ best chance at saving vaping from prohibition. Compared to HR2058, Conley said, “I am most confident in the Cole-Bishop amendment because it is in the agricultural appropriations bill and that has to be voted on later this year.”
While changing the predicate date is the most critical battle in front of the coalition – and all vapers – at the moment, winning that battle does not mean the war is over.
According to Woessner, the predicate date fight is a ‘critical step, but not a long term solution.”
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Even with the predicate date change, “vaping would still be regulated by the tobacco control act, which is not what the act was intended for,” Woessner explained. “The long-term goal should be a framework for regulating (vaping products) in a way that makes sense.”
Short term or not, the fight is well underway. To avoid ‘vaping prohibition’ every vaping consumer, producer and retailer needs to be engaged.
Conley suggest that vapers, “Join CASAA, promote August8th.org, call your elected officials, write letters, check with your local vape shops and encourage their activism…”
He stressed the importance of face-to-face advocacy if possible, saying vapers should, “motivate your fellow vapers, go to town hall meetings, and encourage (vape shops) to seek meetings with their elected officials.”
Get involved, get your fellow vapers involved and get your vape shops involved.
“Now more than ever it is important that everyone in and around this industry get serious about saving it.” – Greg Conley, President, American Vaping Association.
For more information, please see the following websites:
http://casaa.org – Join CASAA (for free), stay up to date on local calls-to action, find your elected officials, see their votes and statements on vaping matters and send them emails, get free printed advocacy material and buy CASAA apparel items.
http://sfata.org – Industry folks can join local chapters, find meetings to attend and stay up to date on current related events.
http://www.aemsa.org – Read the manufacturing standards, see a list of members and get links to research.
http://vaping.info – Find out more about the AVA, check recent news, read recent press releases and read vaper testimonials, as well as get links to related blogs and forums.
http://notblowingsmoke.org – Get the truth behind studies and press releases, educate yourself of the science and health benefits of vaping.
I feel I’d be doing a disservice to not say something about the pending FDA regulations. Most of the time, my writing is humorous or quirky, but today I need to be serious for a brief moment.
Please, if you are reading this, do something. Whether it be joining your local smoke free organizations or reaching out to your representatives, please do something. We cannot sit here any longer and expect that someone else is going to fix the problem. We are strong enough and loud enough that we can make a change.
I am not going to give up vaping. It saved my life, and chances are, it saved yours as well. We need to join forces, and we need to do this now. So, I urge you to do something. This is too important for us to just sit back and wait. The time is now.
And now back to your regularly scheduled programming:
Wicked Knights Vapor “King Arthur” 3mg
Taste- 2 Vape-2 Throat- 1
So off the bat, the first thing I noticed about King Arthur was that there was no childproof cap. With pending FDA regs, this is no bueno. I have kids, fortunately they’re old enough to not eat e-liquid, but that doesn’t mean that other kids know or have the same exposure to the mass amounts of e-liquid in my home at a normal time. This could be because it’s a sample pack, but I imagine if I were sending a sample to be judged, I’d send my best product. Now, on to the taste. So, this is definitely a vanilla flavor with a caramel finish. The vanilla, however, is overwhelmingly strong. Like too strong. The caramel is weird tasting, almost like a stale caramel candy. I’m not sure if candy goes stale, but if it did, I imagine that’s what it would taste like. The inhale is very confusing. It almost has a slight tobacco-ey flavor, and the exhale is better with more vanilla. It’s just confusing. I think maybe if there was less vanilla and maybe a better caramel they’d have something. It’s got a piecrust finish, which is pretty good, but the combination as-is, is weird. The vapor production was below average and there was really no throat hit.
One Eyed Leo’s “Layers of Cake” 3mg
Taste- 2 Vape- 3 Throat- 2
I love cake. I think a lot of people love cake. I don’t love Layers of Cake though. On the inhale, I taste cake. But not a strong cake. The exhale is off; I taste a hint of vanilla but it’s not very sweet. It’s almost like they forgot something. It needs that added umph that I like in a flavor because it’s kind of bland. I think a custard (I know some people love custard, others hate it), but with a cake flavor, I almost expect it and the thickness it adds. This just didn’t have that. The vapor production was about average and the throat hit was there, but still weak.
drip Liquid “Cinnamon Crunch” 3mg
Taste- 3.5 Vape- 2 Throat-2
Cinnamon flavors are really hard to do and I appreciate that. A lot of them come out really spicy and burn my throat. This flavor isn’t like that and I really like that it’s a creamier cinnamon. It isn’t harsh like a lot of them are. The one thing it’s missing is something sweet. Cinnamon by itself is not very sweet. This flavor could be pretty amazing if it had a hint of sweetness, not an overpowering sweetness, but just a little bit to give it added texture. I will say it smells divine and my living room smelled rather tasty after vaping it for a while. The flavor also grew on me after vaping it for a bit. It tastes good; it’s just missing a little something. The vape production was a little below average and the throat hit wasn’t so much there. But with a cinnamon flavor, that can go one of two ways and I’d rather have a smoother less noticeable throat hit, than something that’s going to burn going down.
Vape N Scrape “NY Mischief” 3mg
Taste- 3 Vape- 4 Throat- 3
NY Mischief is a berry blend, I believe its strawberry on the inhale and blueberry on the exhale. I love both of those fruits so that’s good. It has kind of a weird aftertaste, which I believe is supposed to be cheesecake, but that’s not really what I got. It’s not a bad tasting juice, but it needs something to set itself apart from all of the other berry medley flavors out there. There has to be something to make a berry flavor discernable from other berry flavors and this one just doesn’t quite have it. Again, I’m not saying it’s a bad tasting vape. I enjoyed it, but it doesn’t stand out. The vapor production was above average and the throat hit was about average.
Imagine an entire state enacting a law so limiting, so unreasonable, so unconstitutional, that it shuts down an entire industry within that state. As far-fetched as that sounds, Big Brother has pulled off a sly trick in the state of Indiana that may do just that.
It’s called HB (House Bill) 1386 and it has been discussed here in VAPE magazine by many, and rather than go into all the details, (link here to a past article) it’s time to take action.
Because this ridiculous legal act sets a danger precedent that could potentially lead to similar laws in other states. Georgia already picked up that baton and patched some loopholes from the Indiana version.
The Story behind the Story
The FDA has been mandated for several years to create a set of rules and guidelines for the vaping industry. Is vape tobacco? Is it not? In this situation that question is moot, but what it more timely is the question of: “When does a state go too far?” In this case, “too far” is HB 1386, which is an update to the law passed last year, HB 1432. In lieu of federal guidelines many states have enacted their own rules- most of them very bad.
This law has many unrealistic requirements, but one of the most significant is: E-liquid manufacturers must obtain a permit from the alcohol and tobacco commission before bottling e-liquid or selling e-liquid to retailers or distributors. This applies to manufacturers both within and outside the state.
This law is due to go in effect in a handful of weeks; there is still no process to get a permit.
Liberation Vapes from Indianapolis is an e-liquid manufacturer that sells both within and outside Indiana, which should give them a distinct advantage concerning the “importation of nicotine products.” But the rabbit hole goes much, much deeper. Imagine enacting a law that prevents you from driving faster than 65 MPH, but yet not offering a speedometer in any cars.
“There are some severe, hard core fundamental flaws to this law,” Evan McMahon states, “And there is no way to conform to it.” McMahon is the CEO of Liberation Vapes and has been in this battle since 2015. He is also the Chairman of Hoosier Vapers, the states’ de factor advocacy organization to protect the vaping industry.
When this law was first proposed the fear was that it would eliminate any nicotine products entering the state. When the smoke cleared it was even worse.
Legal firm Troutman Sanders LLP from Virginia filed the initial lawsuit and was soon joined by Keller and Heckman LLP from Washington, DC, along with the Right to be Smoke Free organization, which includes Hoosier Vapers. Hoosier, which started as a Facebook Advocacy group, is now looking to form local chapters along with their statewide organization.
…continued from above
How Secure is Secure?
The other major component of HB 1386 says: Manufacturing facilities must have a security firm certification that the manufacturer meets security requirements.
These requirements are not identified yet. The problem is that this law requires a security company to have very specialized certifications. According to McMahon, “Only one company in the entire nation may be compliant, but even that is unknown.”
McMahon actually has some experience in these areas. Prior to getting into the vape space he was a lobbyist for the Libertarian Party, which affords him a bit of insight to the workings of politics behind the scenes.
ADT is one of the largest security companies in the United States, and was recently acquired for $6.9 Billion. McMahon shared that even they are not qualified to comply with the new law. On top of that, any security company that wished to offer their services to vape shops had to submit their applications by March 18, 2016.
“Common sense is not that common”
Currently there is a motion to file a “preliminary injunction” which would “stay” (stop) the law from taking effect. That was due to be heard on April 18 and was scheduled to be a hearing without anyone testifying. A decision normally would be rendered within 30 days.
In addition to the elimination of nicotine vaping products in Indiana and the harsh guidelines for security companies to do business there, a byproduct could also result in flavor bans and online sales restrictions.
There is no way to overstate the significance of this Indiana law.
“In the state we have about 200 vaping related businesses. The average shop has about 10 employees, so over 2200 people are going to lose their jobs,” McMahon said. Vaping is estimated to be a $100 million business in the state, which would create a significant loss of revenue. They may relocate just over the borders into the neighboring states of Illinois, Kentucky and Michigan.
“The families of the business owners are going to have to find some other way to make ends meet. We’ve already had 11 businesses close in Indiana since January.” Most businesses that are open today may have to close since their overhead and expenses will continue.
…continued from above
Appie Peute and his wife Cyndi own Vaporz Vault in Hobart, Indiana, with a population of 30,000 residents. They are scared. “I have no faith in the justice system,” he stated, and many would agree, “and common sense is not that common.”
“This court case could go to the Supreme Court,” Peute offered, and there are law firms that would be happy to take it there.
There are also the estimated losses from more people returning to smoking, more people creating unhealthier lifestyles, getting sick, and in turn driving up health costs. Three cities in Indiana have created a noteworthy number of smokers turned vapors, resulting in healthier residents in the cities of Lowell, Spencer and Medford.
Another byproduct could also result in a growing Black Market as vaping goes underground.
When asked about the concerns of the “average Indiana” resident and if they know or if they care about this egregious abuse of power, McMahon replied: “No. They have no idea and efforts to engage mainstream media falls flat. Media only cares when something bad happens and they can vilify the industry.”
Ironically, ineffective laws that get passed sometimes generate more outcry after they are enacted.
Peute recently purchased a home in Daytona Beach, Florida, and grumbled, “If this law passes I may shut the doors and open a shop in Florida. That would be a real shame because my wife lives for and loves that shop.”
This battle is not trivial and is not just a wasted effort to encourage advocacy. This is the battle that could change the direction of the vape war for better or for worse.
Norm Bour is the founder of VapeMentors, which offers online educational programs, services & resources for anyone in the vape space, including vape shops, online stores and e-liquid brands. He’s also the host of Vape Radio, the largest vaping radio show in the world with more than 1.2 M downloads. Norm interviews the masters of vape and thought leaders in the vape space. Contact him at norm@VapeMentors.com.