August 2016

A letter from Stefan Didak to the readers of VAPE Magazine

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The past several years, many of you have said you’d help fight. And many of you have, for which are are grateful and thankful. But it’s not been enough. Sitting on the sideline hoping others will take care of things for your business is not going to cut it. Not with the multi-front battles this industry and community is facing now. Now is the time to do your part.

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Lawsuits are great and much needed. But they are also costly and complicated. The coalition of CASAA, SFATA, AVA, NBS, and AEMSA have decided to back the Right To Be Smoke Free Coalition’s (http://www.r2bsmokefree.org/) litigation efforts that will be deployed by Keller and Heckman (http://www.khlaw.com).

But litigation only is not going to be enough and will not be a silver bullet solution. A strong legislative strategy is as much needed as well and is still ongoing through organizations such as SFATA. Where litigation may fail, legislative efforts may succeed and vice versa. But that does not begin to cover the other important thing we can’t lose sight of; PR, outreach and media. NBS and AVA remain committed to those important aspects of the long game.

Both legislative and litigation efforts are often influenced by public opinion and as you may have noticed, public opinion has not been on our side thanks to millions of dollars of taxpayer money spent on misleading propaganda campaigns conducted by various public health organizations. Can you imagine the headlines once litigation is in full swing? “Tobacco companies sue FDA to keep your children hooked” comes to mind. Those are awful headlines and extremely damaging to ongoing efforts and they will have to be met head on, out there, in the mainstream.

The combination of litigation, legislation, and PR are not just a matter of funding. It’s also a matter of human resources. Businesses doing their part. Vapers putting an effort in. If you’re a retailer, talk to your customers about what’s going on and get them involved. Manufacturers and Distributors, talk to your retailers and tell them to get their customers involved.

Pay attention to new in-store materials made freely available on http://fdaregs.info and http://nomorecasualties.org) and put them to good use. Include them in your shipments. Hand them to your customers. Don’t let anyone believe that the destruction of the industry at the hands of the FDA and its deeming regulations will not happen. That is a misconception that seems to exist with many of the vapers out there who are not as aware and mainly only have their favorite retail stores as their main connection to information and what’s going on.

I don’t want to sound too cliche but, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, right? Are you tough enough? Start doing your part and get others to do start doing theirs. Together we can make a difference.

Stefan Didak
Founder and President of Not Blowing Smoke