VapeBash 2 in Chicago was by far the biggest Vaping event we've been to yet. There were more than 1600 in attendance with the main ballrooms overflowing into the halls, lobby area and bar. The large ballroom had vendors booth lining all four walls. There was an almost palpable haze from a combination of vaping and smoke machines.
There was no order and the air felt clean, but the hotel apparently changed their stance on vaping half way though and designated some areas to be "vape free."
VAPE News magazine talked to a number of vendors and attendees, here are their quotes and more photos from the event!
"VapeBash, where do I begin? First thing that comes to mind is "EPIC" I mean so many amazing people, tons of vaping gear and E-Liquids, the reviewers we all watch via YouTube, the hosts of our favorite vaping networks, our favorite modders and devices. I mean it's on the verge of vaper overload! All that being said, the best part for me was finally meeting some of the people that I interact with through the web. The only thing I regret is not having enough time to spend with everyone, but hey, there's always next year! Big thanks to Sgt.Taz, DangerGirl, Scott(MrEcig) Weeeeee!, and Ed The Green for all their hard work on putting such an amazing event together!" - Rob Ermolovich
Fluid Flask, a unique, modular cartomizer tank. Prior to VapeBash 2 they were only available in polished aluminum finish, for VapeBash we debuted Gunmetal,Black,Red, and Blue anodized finishes along with the original polished aluminum. Also debuted at VapeBash is the PowerPro, which is a 26650 Provari conversion kit for modders.
Also at VapeBash were two prototypes of the upcoming CyBorg, which is a DNA20 driven Advanced Personal Vaporizer System. Its the first DNA20 device in tube form intended for production.
The Fluid V.A.V (Vaping Assault Vehicle), a right hand drive Jeep with a 6-inch lift, 35-inch tires wrapped around 20-inch rims, and one hell of a sexy body wrap!
Left to right: Adam (production manager), Toni (owner/partner), Adam Knudsen (me, owner/partner)
"VapeBash was a fantastic success. As far as I can tell, there were more vapers in attendance than any other large meet. The list of vendors was impressive and the room accommodated everyone well. The Windy City Vapers did an amazing job and their dedication shows in the level of organization they bring to these meets- registration table, etc. Completely outside of their control was the way the hotel changed their stance on vaping midway through the event. That was disappointing. Of course, that is nothing to dwell on. WCV hit a home run!"
" Generally, I am positive about the entire industry's future. I believe there will be regulation, but it will be somewhat reasonable and malleable. Vapers need to be vocal and refuse to be classified into an existing bucket- this is new territory and with that comes uncertainty. But generally, I am quite positive. On a more micro level, I see a return to more mechanical mods with an emphasis on rebuilding coils- within the community, of course. E-cigs can be found all over our town now- from the grocery store to the gas station. Sure, they aren't what I vape but who knows- that will slowly evolve as well." - Adam Knudsen
Keith Mautner talks about his products at VapeBash 2:
"We are the inventors of the infamous Drip Shield. We also came out with the Empire Mod, a telescoping bottom button tube device which made in very limited runs. We have been selling them and they utilize the 901 atomizer standard native connection. We have a premium 901 made for them and comes with them as well which is well known for great flavor and vapor production. The drip shield was made around the 901 atomizer but also will work for 510 and 306 with a 510-510 sealed adapter or raised connection like a eGo battery."
Keith Mautner, owner (left) and EmpireMods employee Dave Borrero (right).
Limited edition "Empire Mods" only available at Vapebash.
LEFT: Joe battista, owner and founder of iVape. iVape had a varity of products on display including the Tesla, Evic, Zmax variable wattage, Tec Mod Mechanicals and very realistic looking E-Cigars.
"Vapebash was a very successful event for us. We were very busy!"
RIGHT: "VapeBash was an amazing experience for the Mister-E-Team. We all had a wonderful time and meeting all the wonderful vapers at Bash was out of this world. There were so many people! We released a new juice called Blue Voodoo which became very popular as we sold out, in a matter of hours the first day. Apparently the Vapebash released Blue Voodoo, was so popular that a customer came up to us on day 2 and discretely showed us his 36ml bottle, (which was already half gone) mentioning he was worried about getting jumped if someone saw the bottle of delicious blue juice! " - Dan Lawitzke, Mister-E-Liquid Founder
LEFT: Ty, Katie, Adam & Mike from RoarVapor
RoarVapor specializes in items for the beginner vaper. Quitters is the brick and mortar business of RoarVapor, which specializes in online sales.
RIGHT: Delaware Vapor has been in business since October 2011 and sells liquids and vape accessories, batteries, cartos, clearos, tanks, atties, drip tips, and APVs.
"I thought Vape Bash was an excellent event. Probably the best one I have been to yet. Great turnout of people." - Andrew Wolford
Honest Vapor co-owner, Violet Nole talks about Vapebash and gives us a little background in her company.
"I thought VapeBash was incredible, I did attend last year and this event was definitely 3 times the size! I have 2 partners in Honest Vapor, my boyfriend Luciano Manente ,who is also the sole owner of the largest Vaping social network- VapeTV.com, and his sister, Rosanna Manente. We are an online store and hope to have a brick and mortar store before our 2nd Anniversary of HonestVapor. What separates us from other vendors, aside from the fact that our juice is made in a sterile lab (which is SLOWLY becoming more common) is the fact that our bottling and packaging not only meet but EXCEED the standards of what is expected from an ejuice company. As well as the fact that our liquid is made with much attention to detail and only the top quality ingredients are used to create each and every one of my flavors."
"VapeBash was Amazing! Great People and tons of them Over 1600 in Attendance! I met lots of great friends and met many of our existing customers." - Jason Cornfeld, President of ElectronicStix Corp.
"Vapebash 2 was a great experience for me in general. This was my first actual Vape Meet that I attended. All of the fellow Vapers I meet were very nice and really seemed to be enjoying themselves at the meet. I am a blogger/reviewer of sorts and also host a weekly spot on VapeTv.com (9pm PST Fridays) and I had many people come up and say high and also thank me for my YouTube videos (youtube.com/crashvapes). I got to meet Mike from houseofhybrids.com (Zen) and that made me very happy. I am a hybrid Genesis style vaper and without him we may not be vaping the way we do because he really was one of if not the first guy to make a Genesis style device publicly available." - James “Crash” Vapes
"Vapebash 2013 was truly an event to set the bar for next year! Being in the business for over 4 years this years Vapebash was the biggest. As a business owner and has attended previous vaping events, this hands done was not only the best, but done 100% perfectly. The WCVC crew organized and ran the event without a hitch! The only thing I regret is that we have to wait another year for vapebash 2014! Vapebash and other vaping events help my business by getting us not only to promote in states and locations we may not be known, but to also get to meet our online customers face to face. Which honestly meeting your customers is one of the highlights of this business." - Chris Ray, founder/owner of Cigtechs
"We were blown away from the turn out this year, HUGE jump from the 600 they had last year. Events like Bash allow us to talk to customers who we normally only interact on line with. We like the pre event gatherings because as a vendor its our chance to hang out with everyone and not be behind our table." - NatureVaper
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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.
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) surveyed students in grades 6-12 with results suggesting that most middle and high school students in the country believe e-cigarettes are less harmful and far less addictive than traditional cigarettes.
The surveys were conducted in 2012 and again in 2014, and also found that participants considered smokeless tobacco products and cigars to be in the middle ground of perceived harm, with cigarettes and e-cigarettes on opposing sides of the spectrum.
“In 2014, almost three quarters said e-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes, while only 26 percent said the same for cigars and 20 percent said the same for smokeless tobacco,” reads an article published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The article also states that, “Regarding addictiveness, almost half said e-cigarettes are less addictive than cigarettes, compared to 14 percent for smokeless tobacco and 31.5 percent for cigars.”
While these students may not necessarily be wrong in their assumptions, experts are still concerned that their blasé attitudes towards vapor products could lead a new generation down a path to nicotine addiction.
“…concern exists that these products are making smoking seem ‘cool’ again—that they are being re-normalized,” said Dr. Stephen M. Amrock, of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.
“Children and parents need to understand that these products contain nicotine and are potentially harmful, both now and down the line,” Amrock added.
For the full story click here to read the article published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
I recently returned from a 19-day trip to Europe, where I spoke at VAPEXPO Amsterdam and Prague, and interviewed many in the business about the current and possible future of European markets. It was eye opening and one of great interest.
The World Is Flat
If we look back at the early days of vaping, it was slipshod and run by amateurs. Vaping was originally a Southern California phenomenon that quickly spread to major cities and eventually to smaller towns in America. It soon
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migrated overseas and took off in Great Britain, and to some degree, other large European cities.
Today, as we face the FDA and the crisis associated with it, many are asking, “Are there better opportunities outside the U.S.?” I believe the answer is “yes,” but you must do your homework.
In 2005, Thomas L. Friedman published a landmark book, called “The World is Flat.” In it, he talks about how the world of business is now one world, as walls that were restrictive during the Cold War are now gone. The Internet
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has created a worldwide community, and doing business overseas is almost as easy as doing business down the block.
That brings us to the international vaping scene.
The Learning Curve Of Event Promotion, Part I
Vaping events in Europe and China are not a new thing. For several years, major cities there have hosted them, bringing in sometimes massive crowds. In England, London and Birmingham have been major centers. Paris, has recently hosted two events over a two-week stretch. The Chinese market has continued to bring in massive crowds and offers several shows.
The question has been: What about the smaller countries?
Last year, there were events in Ireland, and this year in addition to the ones I attended, there were shows in Latvia, and Austria.
The vape space is unforgiving towards the inexperienced, and the VAPEXPO teams in Amsterdam and Prague are learning their lessons.
In Amsterdam, what was intended to be a major show turned out to be a private symposium with an impressive speaker list and about 50 attendees.
Ray Story, founder of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (TVECA) was a speaker at the event as was I. Also on stage was, American Vaping Association (AVA) founder Gregory Conley, Ron Tully, founder of Next Gen Labs and 30-year veteran of the tobacco industry, Chris Dodge, secretary and founder of The Global Vaping Association, and several others.
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The small crowd was mostly European with a few Americans.
Voja Jurisic with EZ Cloud Company from Downey, CA, made the trek, and when asked, why? He said, “We came to find out firsthand about the potential of the European market and especially new regulations.
He continued, “Since we do mostly accessories, we wanted to deal with less restrictions.”
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About 80% of their business is domestic and the rest resides in Europe.
An interesting presentation came from Michael Young, manager of two Vape Emporium locations in London. His company is a manufacturer and retailer and he brought up some interesting and timely information to consider now that England has left the European Union (EU).
“This new turn of events has opened up new opportunities,” Young said. “Many companies that were getting juice made in England may now consider going outside the country so that they can still be part of the EU.”
He added, “Our advantages of being under one umbrella with the EU just went away, so now we’d be considered a foreign country for trade purposes.” The Amsterdam event was small because the Ministry of Economic Affairs decided that since this event could draw non-professionals in the audience, it went against their Dutch Tobacco Advertising Ban. The net result was that a large affair with vendors and sponsors did not turn out that way.
The Learning Curve Of Event Promotion, Part II
The next event that VAPEXPO conducted was in Prague, Czech Republic just two weeks later. The venue was outside the city and had a small number of exhibitors and several hundred attendees over a two day period. Likewise, they brought a great selection of speakers, but this crowd was different.
Several of the speakers were from Russia, the Ukraine and Bulgaria. The opinions of these folks were positive and they predicted significant growth in the future.
The vendor selection was varied and included juice manufacturers from Russia, Malaysia, the U.S. and Canada.
Richard Ziske with VaporApe Canada, came to investigate the potential in Europe and the Baltic countries. As a manufacturer and distributor, he decided that business outside Canada was worth pursuing, but he was fearful of the U.S. market.
“Everything in Canada is good right now,” Ziske said, “and we think that Canadian juice will be popular in Europe. They seem to like everything unique and unusual, so we fit into that.”
He also believes that European juice is not up to the same standards as U.S. and Canadian products. “Most of their manufacturing quality is good, but their taste is not quite the same,” he concluded.
Alexander Zakharov from Vape Russia, was one of the speakers and shared his experience in the Russian market.
“Since we are not part of the EU, we hold a unique position,” Zakharov said. “We create products that conform to TPD standards, but yet we can sell to non EU countries and not have our hands tied. That includes Russia, itself.”
The world indeed, is flat, and there are few, if any boundary restrictions.
The future of the European market may be rosier than that of the U.S. Compared to the new FDA deeming regs, the TPD is much easier to work with, but there is also pushback from individual countries that affect online retailers. Spain, Italy and Greece now restrict online sales for products purchased outside their countries, and are joined by others countries as well. The future is now. If you want to expand your business I recommend you look overseas.
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 1.3 M downloads. Norm interviews the masters of vape and thought leaders in the vape space. Contact him at norm@VapeMentors.com.
This month’s Juice Judge is coming to you in two parts. The first part is your regularly scheduled Juice Judge. This month I had two new flavors to sample and I’ve got those reviews for you below. The second part is Juice Judge favorites! I get asked a lot, what do you vape? So I reviewed the two flavors I vape on a consistently regular basis. You’ll notice that even those e-liquids didn’t get 5 stars across the board. But for me, in a daily vape type situation, flavor is key. You may not agree that they’re rad, but that’s ok. Juice Judge is my humble opinion and that’s it. So, here you go!
THE NEW E-LIQUIDS
Good Life Vapor
“Deadly Sin” 6mg
TASTE – 2 THROAT – 3 VAPE – 4
I had heard things from Good Life Vapor, so when I happened upon “Deadly Sin” I was stoked to try it out. You know how some things have lots of hype and it’s not as good as the hype, unfortunately that’s the case here. This flavor tastes kind of like a honey bun. It’s supposed to be like a graham cracker and tobacco, but I don’t get the tobacco. Maybe that’s where the flavor is degraded. I am not sure but it’s not something I’d vape regularly. The vapor production was above average and there was a solid throat hit, but the flavor was just lacking.
I am not normally a strawberry kind of lady. I don’t like to vape strawberry, but I’ll eat them! This e-liquid was good enough to eat. It’s a strawberry vanilla nutty blend. I really liked the strawberry. It wasn’t artificial tasting, it had good solid flavor and didn’t taste candy-like. It was thick, thanks to the vanilla I believe, but it all worked well together. I was thoroughly impressed with these guys. It may not be a flavor I’d personally vape all day every day, because I can see it getting too sweet for long periods of time, but I really enjoyed it. The vapor production was above average, but there was really no throat hit.
JUICE JUDGE FAVORITES!
TASTE – 4.5 THROAT – 4 VAPE – 3
So “Glazed” is my all day, every day vape. It’s a glazed donut flavor and it’s just spot on. The throat hit is perfect and gives me that kick. The taste is just out of this world. It also smells great and I get lots of compliments every day when I’m around town vaping. I get stopped all the time, “Why do you smell like donuts?”…Well it’s my vape. The flavor does vary based on what I’m vaping it out of. Currently I’m using a Cleito, which is awesome for flavor and has really kicked it up a notch. The only reason that I can’t give this a 5 for flavor is that sometimes it’s too sweet and I have to take a break from it. I guess you can have too much of a good thing! The vapor production is about average and as I mentioned before, the throat hit is pretty solid and one of the reasons I enjoy it as an all day vape.
Over the last few years that I’ve been Juice Judge, I’ve received dozens of peanut butter flavors. Most of them are crap. And I say that out of kindness. They either taste burnt or not like peanut butter. I came across “Dirty Strawberry” about 6 or 8 months ago at a random shop and fell in love. On first inhale; it’s pure peanut butter. Like peanut butter that you eat, not burnt, not gross, just pure bliss. The strawberry jelly tastes like strawberry jelly. It is seriously the best peanut butter and jelly flavor I’ve ever had and I’ve had way too many to count. I’ve tried to have flavors custom made for me with peanut butter and none of them have ever come out as great as this one. I don’t know what they use or how they do it, but Broken Bottle has figured it out. This e-liquid is my fun one. I don’t want to get tired of it so I vape it sparingly. The vapor production and throat hit are average, but that’s ok. The taste totally makes up for it.
It’s common knowledge that nicotine acts as an appetite suppressor, and now findings published in the Nicotine & Tobacco Research journal suggest that the combination of nicotine and flavorings commonly found in vapor products may prove capable of curbing appetite, satisfying cravings and could ultimately contribute to weight loss.
The findings only apply to smokers making an attempt to kick the habit, according to The Sun, which also reports that medical professionals universally discourage the promotion of vaping to non-smokers, as nicotine is habit forming and can lead to drug dependence given its highly addictive properties.
For those hardened vapers and soon-to-be ex-smokers, the published results are welcomed news, but should not serve as indisputable proof that vaping is the new weigh-loss wonder drug, as more research is necessary to determine its effectiveness in fighting obesity.
Professor Marewa Glover of Massey University in New Zealand, who took part in the study published in the journal, claims that obesity is on the fast track of eclipsing smoking as the “leading preventable cause of disease and early death.”
“If there is a chance that flavored vaping could help even a small proportion of people reduce the diabetes, cardiovascular and cancer risks associated with excess weight, the population health gains would be significant,” Glover said in a statement.
For a closer look at this story, click here for The Sun article.
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.