The Juice Judge: Clever Vape, Fluid, FanceeJuice, Avail, Vapor Shark

The Juice Judge

Juices are rated on a scale of 1-5 based on flavor, vapor production and throat-hit.


Clever Vape’s Brooklyn Pop

Clever Vape’s Brooklyn Pop, presented in a glass eye dropper bottle with an eye-catching label, won me over before I even tasted the juice. I am a sucker for unique labeling and packaging and Clever Juice has provided a strong case in this area. Brooklyn Pop, true to its description, is a refreshing cola juice with a subtle black cherry tone. It tastes fresh and light and may become a staple in my juice rotation.Vapor clouds were gorgeous and satisfying on this 50/50 mix while throat hit was above average. You can grab a 30ml bottle for $14.99 or flavor boost it for an additional $4 at


Flavor=5, Vapor=5, Throat Hit=4

Fluid’s Tangsicle

Fluid’s Tangsicle is a tasty orange dreamsicle juice that is more reminiscent of Hi-C than Tang with a cream accent on the backend, most noticeably on the exhale.If you like orange this juice is pretty tasty. Some folks at the table found the orange a little overpowering while others found it spot on in terms of its name and description. Our tester bottle was a 50/50 mix of PG/VG and vapor clouds were large and chewy. Throat hit was average. A 30ml bottle costs $15.99 and vapers can select PG/VG mix or add menthol at no additional cost at


Flavor=4, Vapor=5, Throat Hit=3

FanceeJuice’s Cloudarita

It took a little bit of vaping and some at the table never got it, but this juice does taste exactly like a lime margarita. The flavor is there, but at first it was a little faint. Toward the end we could nearly taste the salt on the end of the drip tip. This was an overall very tasty juice and receives high marks in the flavor category. Vapor production was stellar with voluminous clouds pouring from a fresh cartomizer. The only area it was average in was throat hit. On their website vaper scan select cloudiness, (PG/VG mix) and they also offer a margarita box where you can get a big juice of Cloudarita and blueberry, lime, watermelon, strawberry and mango mixers to mix a perfect margarita in the atomizer.FanceeJuicetouts their juice as premium e-liquid, and it costs $20.99 for a 30ml bottle.


Flavor=5, Vapor=5, Throat Hit=3


Avail’s Piña Colada

If you like Piña Colada and getting caught in the rain … I can’t recommend getting it from Avail. This juice tastes like it’s large batch created, rebranded and resold. In a word, it’s gross. It only tasted marginally like coconut to one person at the table while others mentioned that it was unvapeable. Vapor production is average and we cannot say why as the bottle did not represent the mix of PG and VG. Throat hit was nonexistent. Their site currently is in launch status and has no pricing information.But, you can view their other juices, which are hopefully better, at


Flavor=1, Vapor=3, Throat Hit=1

Vapor Shark’s Ice Tart

Vapor Shark’s Ice Tart is a mentholated Pixie Stix juice. The jury is out on this one as the menthol is not very fresh or crisp and fades very quickly while the Pixie Stix flavor is very muted. Vapor production is average and the bottle did not represent the mix of PG and VG. Throathit was average for a mentholated juice. While vapers can choose the level of nicotine on the site it does not appear you can select the mix of PG/VG. A 30ml bottle is approximately $14.99 and is sold at


Flavor=3, Vapor=3, Throat Hit=3


Johnson campaign first to condemn FDA vaping regs

October 4, 2016



Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson’s campaign has now officially gone on the record condemning the FDA’s regulation of the vaping industry.

To date, no other candidate has weighed in on the issue.Gary Johnson

“In the first debate, voters listened to two candidates dance around the American economy,” said Jim Wallace, national director of the Johnson-Weld campaign. “What you’ll never hear from those candidates is how the economy is being killed by excessive regulation. That just doesn’t make any sense.”

He said that he believes vaping is about to be regulated out of existence.

“The vaping industry currently counts about nine million customers, producing about $4 billion a year in annual sales,” he said, citing figures from industry sources. “With the excessive regulation recently introduced by the FDA, as many as 12,000 vaping businesses will be put out of business.”

The regulations require manufacturers to go through a costly pre-market approval process estimated to cost as much as $300,000 to $1 million per SKU. Most believe that such regulations will simply crush the industry, regulating it out of existence.

“As Gov. Gary Johnson has said, the free market and entrepreneurial spirit should be encouraged, not destroyed,” Wallace said. “Nowhere is this more obvious than the vaping industry.”

Corey Noles is the Editor in Chief of VAPE Magazine. He is also the owner of Inked Up E-Liquid Co. and Busted Knuckle Vapor Fluids. Contact him at

Downloaded Forms May Not Be Enough In Business Formation

October 25, 2016




I’m consistently surprised by the number of business owners I talk to, especially in this industry, who haven’t formed a business entity. A business entity is a legal entity, such as a corporation or a limited liability company (“LLC”), under which a business is operated. If you’re doing business on your own without a business entity, then you’re operating as a sole proprietorship, even if you use a trade name or “dba.” The differences here are substantial and well worth understanding.

Let’s say that you own and operate a vape shop. A customer comes in to pick up some new juice, and your giant chandelier falls on his head. Or maybe he slips, cartoon-style, on an inconveniently discarded banana peel. Or maybe he buys some hot-garbage- flavored juice and yaks so hard after the first hit that he ends up in the hospital with a torn oblique thinking that his appendix burst. Either way, something has happened, and you’re now facing a lawsuit. Business owners hate it, but the reality is that lawsuits are just a fact of life for anyone operating a business these days, and the vapor products industry is, despite the fact that it’s full of some of the world’s most laidback people, sadly no exception.

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Now, let’s make things a little bit worse. The plaintiff wins the lawsuit, and the shop owner is looking at a substantial judgment. If the shop owner was operating as a sole proprietorship, then the plaintiff could satisfy that judgment against the shop owner himself. That means that the owner’s savings account, house, car, wages, and so forth are all theoretically at risk. If, however, there was a validly formed, properly run corporation or LLC in place, then only the assets owned by that business entity would be available to satisfy the plaintiff’s judgment. This is the single greatest advantage to forming a business entity, and it’s called “limited liability.”

Many people I talk to understand the concept of limited liability, but what they don’t always understand is that it’s not automatic. It’s not enough to just form a corporation or LLC and call it a day. You actually need to run it properly and adhere to various formalities if you want it to work for you. If you don’t, someone who sues you can “pierce the corporate veil” and go after your assets personally, meaning that you aren’t getting the single greatest benefit – limited liability – out of your business entity.

Piercing the veil, in addition to being a pretty decent name for a metal band, is a concept whereby courts disregard the corporate entity and impose liability directly on the business owner. Exactly when and where the corporate veil gets pierced depends on the state, the judge, and the facts of each case, but there are some general guidelines to keep in mind.

In general, courts are more likely to pierce the corporate veil and hold you personally liable if the corporation feels like a sham entity set up purely to shield you from liability.

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In making this evaluation, courts look to a variety of different factors. One of the biggest factors is whether you the business owner actually treat your corporation like it’s a real, separate business. Do you have separate bank accounts for the corporation? Do you keep separate records and only pay the businesses’ bills from the corporate checking account? Or do you co-mingle your personal money in the same account as the corporation uses, paying your personal mortgage from the corporate account? It’s crucial to maintain the corporation at all times like it is truly what’s running the business, not like something that you just set up in case you get sued.

Another factor that courts look at when deciding whether to pierce the corporate veil is whether corporate formalities were followed. Did you have the right number of meetings every year?
Were minutes taken? Do you have by-laws, articles, officers, and a board of directors? Are you making the required annual payments to your state’s Secretary of State?

Have taxes been filed for the corporation? Formalities like this can seem minor, and may even feel silly in a corporation with only a few officers or shareholders, but they can be a lifesaver if you ever get sued.

At the end of the day, the point is that businesses entities can be extremely useful, but it isn’t enough to just form one using downloaded legal forms and walk away hoping for the best. It’s crucial to talk to an attorney who can advise you not only how to form the entity, but also how to operate it so that you actually get the benefit of that entity. Otherwise, you’re just crossing your fingers and hoping for a banana-peel-free floor.

Minnesota State Fire Marshal Suggests Fire Deaths Down As More People Vape


In 2015, the number of fire-related deaths in Minnesota was much higher than what was witnessed over the last two years, but the state has seen a drastic reduction in fire deaths this year, and it could be due to fewer people lighting up as more of them turn to vaping.

Minnesota State Fire Marshal Bruce West says that as the colder months approach, the rate of fire-related incidents that can result in fatalities tends to spike as residents turn to heat sources that have the potential to cause great harm, like space heaters and ovens.

However, West stresses that the most common risk comes from lit cigarettes that when left unmonitored could cause fires that can grow uncontrollably, resulting in the destruction of personal property and a loss of life.

“The number one cause of fire related deaths continues to be careless smoking. The number one identified cause. So people either quitting smoking or moving to vaping, that could be one of the underlying reductions in this,” West told MPR News. “That’s something that we will definitely take a look at.”

For a more complete look at this story, click here for the MPR News article.

D-Day: August 8, 2016 Deeming Rule in effect – Now What?



By Patricia Kovacevic

The entire vaping industry is painfully aware by now that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Final Rule, deeming tobacco products to be subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, went into effect on August 8.

What are some of the rule’s implications for manufacturers, importers, retailers and consumers? As the industry feels that the rule is vastly inadequate and disproportionately onerous on manufacturers of vaping products, given the tobacco harm reduction potential of these products, what can still be done to redress this situation?

In brief, the rule will enable the FDA to review new tobacco products not yet on the market (and, one must add, review and possibly take off the market many of the current, newly regulated products); help prevent misleading claims by tobacco product manufacturers, evaluate the ingredients and manufacturing of tobacco products, and communicate the potential risks of tobacco products, according to the FDA.

Notably, the rule does not meet societal expectations to impose product standards. Those must be issued pursuant to separate rulemaking, and the rule does not impose an obligation on the FDA to communicate relative risks of the newly regulated products versus conventional combustible cigarettes.

Additionally, the rule fails to distinguish among finished products, spare parts and other elements, imposing the same very onerous pre-market review requirements on practically anything and everything sold to consumers. This includes items that can be bundled or used with, or as a replacement part, or enhancement of, a newly regulated product.

What Can Retailers Expect to See After August 8?

The first type of activity the FDA will engage in will be retailer inspections, typically through subcontracted state authorities. As of August 8, age verification becomes mandatory, and automated self-service units may only be placed in age-verified, adult-only venues. Thus, retailers will be inspected openly or anonymously to ensure age verification is conducted at the point of sale, and that minors do not manage to buy products. Online retailers are required to have suitable age verification in place—though the FDA will not suggest any particular provider or age verification scheme, and thus can expect that FDA agents will attempt to make purchases on behalf of underage individuals.

Retailer violations will typically be noted in warning letters. Numerous examples of warning letters to retailers of conventional cigarette products may be found at

If a retailer receives a warning letter, the retailer may contact the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) if he or she would like more information—though more information will not necessarily be provided.

The FDA requires that the retailer respond to the warning letter within 15 working days, in writing, by mail or email, and include an explanation of the steps the retailer will take to correct the violation(s) and prevent future violations. For example, the retailer could submit that he or she would retrain employees and remove the problematic items, etc. The retailer must also provide their current contact information, and the FDA may also recommend training. While retailer training is not mandatory, the FDA provides a few resources for retailers wishing to train their sales staff.

It is expected that the FDA will conduct a flurry of retailer inspection activities on an ongoing basis, as this is the most visible and easiest type of enforcement the FDA can undertake promptly.

With respect to manufacturing activities at the retail level, it may be an objective of retailer inspections as well, though personally I suspect more senior CTP staff might become involved with such inspections. This is due to the level of detail and documentation that might be required to conclude a manufacturing violation has actually taken place.

What Can Manufacturers Expect to See After August 8?

The FDA may inspect manufacturers at any time after August 8, however, the deadline for manufacturers and importers (which fall within the definition of a manufacturer) to file a facility registration and product listing is December 31, and therefore, the FDA is not likely to have the necessary information as to where and what to inspect before that date.

Our view is that manufacturer inspections might start early in 2017. There is still considerable confusion as to whether foreign based manufacturers will be inspected. The FDA surely has that authority and at an industry conference call in May, their CTP director suggested all is fair game in the industry.

Foreign manufacturers should require clarifications from the FDA on this topic. The FDA routinely inspects Chinese and Indian facilities engaged in manufacturing of other FDA regulated products, such as drugs and devices.

In any event, a robust inspection preparation plan and possibly mock inspections will help manufacturers navigate

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the very first FDA inspections with less disruption. Initial FDA visits may only seek to establish a benchmark for future inspection, however, do expect extensive requests for document production during those early inspections.

Deeming Rule Deadlines and the Future

There are various compliance deadlines for manufacturers, retailers, importers, and distributors. The FDA captured those in a rather comprehensive document available on their website at:

Notably, the next deadline refers to the most onerous requirement, which is submitting a pre-market tobacco product application (PMTA). This may very well signal the beginning of the end for many in our industry.

As we all know, when the FDA issued the Deeming Rule, it also published a draft guidance entitled, Premarket Tobacco Product Applications for Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), and therein lies the rub. While the guidance is supposedly “non-binding”, we all know the FDA always follows its own guidance and allows itself to request, in fact, much more information than what is listed in the guidance.

Those of us with a long history of engagement with the FDA, and having successfully navigated similar requirements, understand the complexity of the information and studies required in support of a PMTA and find that time, availability of research facilities, and cost might render the PMTA pathway available to only a few.

It is also blatantly unfair that the FDA will take products off the market as of August 8, 2019 if they fail to review the respective PMTA applications duly filed by August 2018 because of the FDA’s own speed of review. Namely, a leading official at the CTP clearly stated in a recent webinar that, if FDA does not get around to reviewing a PMTA application by August 8, 2019, it will order the respective product off the market and continue reviewing the PMTA at its leisure—while the manufacturer presumably shuts down its operation and goes home, waiting indefinitely for some sort of resurrection.

Given the expected enormous number of potential PMTA applications (our estimate, not the FDA’s), there are likely not enough scientists in the entire FDA to review them before the extended compliance deadline of August 8, 2019.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Given sufficient resources and more time, a good faith PMTA may be submitted, but few companies will have the know-how, resources, and willingness to engage in such multi-million dollar undertakings that can ultimately lend themselves to improbable outcomes.

So what has been done, and can be done, to ensure the industry’s survival, give hope to smokers who want less risky products, and avert a tobacco-harm-reduction catastrophe?

Promptly and upon publication of the Deeming Rule, Nicopure Labs filed the first and to this day, the fastest moving lawsuit against FDA in Washington, D.C. Circuit Court.

A coalition of companies joined that lawsuit within a matter of weeks, and the respective plaintiffs’ motions for summary judgment have been filed already. The complaint challenges the rule in its entirety and also selected provisions of the rule. Several interested entities have moved to file amicus briefs in support of the plaintiffs and at least one in support of the defendant. Several other separate lawsuits were filed by other newly regulated manufacturers, and one even on behalf of consumers.

We believe Nicopure et al. v FDA et al. will provide the earliest resolution and clarity to our industry, one way or another, which was our goal all along. I am as curious as you, the reader, to find out whether our hard work and sacrifice will pay off in this case, but predictions are never appropriate in litigation. Let’s just say that we have faith in the justice system as our last resort.

In addition to litigation, which might provide complete or partial relief to the industry as early as 2017, various advocacy and industry groups are working towards the goal of having certain elements of the rule changed, to ensure that products on the market as of August 8, 2016, do not need to undergo any form of pre-market review by the FDA, while preserving FDA’s ability to inspect, receive ingredient information, require pre-market review of future new products and generally monitor the industry.

Those efforts are underway and may yield results in early 2017 as well. These two types of initiatives, litigation and legislative changes, are at present what we all need to focus on.

Until one, or both initiatives bear fruit, please make sure you comply with all applicable provisions of the Deeming Rule and be cooperative with the FDA as much as practicable.

We will regroup in the first part of 2017 to assess outcomes. Stay focused and positive in the meantime. Also, to quote Longfellow, “Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.”

Patricia Kovacevic is the general counsel and chief compliance officer at Nicopure Labs, the leading e-liquid manufacturer of brands Halo and eVo, and the first company to challenge the FDA Deeming Rule.


Flight Delayed At Sea-Tac Airport After Vape Pen Catches Fire


Planes at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Photo courtesy of Port of Seattle.

A United Airlines Flight scheduled to depart Seattle-Tacoma International Airport for Houston, experienced delays Sunday when a man’s vaporizer caught fire in his checked luggage.

While loading the man’s luggage onto the plane, Komo News reports that the airport’s baggage handlers noticed smoke escaping from the bag.

Firefighters at the scene put out the flames and the crew determined that the cause of the fire was the passenger’s vape pen which was connected to a charger.

The owner later identified his fire-damaged luggage after being escorted from the plane, according to Komo News.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strictly prohibits batteries of any kind to be stowed away in travelers’ checked baggage due to safety concerns, and vapor products are no exception to this rule.

For the Komo News article, click here.

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