Let’s Ask GrimmGreen



By Nick Green Photo by Metal Jeff

What is the best vaping kit for starters like me?

-Ian Ashley Pagkaliwanggan Manuel

Hey Ian. There has really never been a better time to start vaping. The starter kits have become better and better over the years, and easier and easier to use. The first thing I would recommend checking out is the new eGo ONE kit. It’s a full kit that includes a 2200 mAh battery, a tank and two atomizer heads. It really could not be easier to use. Fill the tank with some juice. Attach the atomizer head into the base. Screw the whole thing together and start vaping!

Another product that I have been raving about are the iStick products. They come in 20 w, 30 w and 50 w versions. They are small, cheap and powerful. They also have the ability to let you grow as a vaper. Pair the iStick 50 w up with a nice Nautilus Mini tank. Set the wattage to 10 w. and you will be good to vape. In the future if you want to upgrade to a rebuildable atomizer or a cloud chasing tank, the iStick 50 w will allow you to use the full wattage of the device to accomplish that.

Happy Vaping!


Hey, got a VAMO V7 and want to know the best atomizer to use with it. I’m currently using Nautilus but can’t turn up the wattage without it tasting burned. Help please.

-Nathan N Robin Beck

Hey Nathan. The Nautilus tank is great, but generally can’t hold up to higher wattage settings. I don’t think I’ve ever gone above 12 w with any of my Nautilus tanks. Now, the VAMO V7 can go up to 30w and will fire as low as 1.0 Ohms. So, you can’t exactly sub-Ohm with it.

But, what you can do is grab a Kanger SubTank Mini with some 1.2 Ohm coil heads. Assuming that your coil head is nice and wet/primed. I’ve been able to use the 1.2 Ohm coil heads on the subtank as high as 20 w.

Also keep in mind that you don’t NEED to use all that wattage. A good rule that I stick to in most cases is to start my wattage low and work my way up until it feels right. Additionally, if you are feeling adventurous, there also are a multitude of rebuildable atomizers that will work on the VAMO V7. Again the VAMO V7 has a 30 w/1.0 Ohm ability. So, if you build a nice 1.0 Ohm dual coil and turned the wattage up to around 25 w it should be a nice warm and cloudy vape.

Hope that helps out!

Keep on vaping, Nathan.



Vaping From the Outside



By Susan Oser

My uncle, John Oser, passed away on Veterans Day 2013 from stage 4 lung cancer after smoking for more than 50 years., I’ve always felt that it was his death that propelled my passion for vaping and making sure that others had the right to do so. That has included my boyfriend who has been at least a year and a half without smoking.

I don’t know if I ever told that story or not. I do know that I have told this story on an old BlogSpot blog that I hardly use anymore as well as on my Vapenet show a time or two. It is worth repeating now and again just so that those of you out there can relate in your own way.

When I learned that my uncle’s lung cancer had spread quickly throughout his body, I started to research vaping a little more deeply. Incidentally, my uncle’s diagnosis came at the same time that my mom was diagnosed with stage 1 ductal cancer. I hung out on http://vaughnlive.tv and kept hearing about vapers taking over the website, which led to the creation of http://vapers.tv.

That was where I met two friends online who I was finally able to meet in person at last year’s VapeXpo. That’s when I knew I found the right place. Let’s face it; it’s where I decided to start my hosting gig back up after being off for a few months and after http://www.blogtv.com got shut down. The more I started hanging around vapers online, the more I learned.

I don’t remember the first show I hung out at, but I was ghosting Beauty and the Beast before I actually decided to jump in and chat. I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but when you first heard about fruit flavors, horchata or custards, did you find yourself thinking of foods instead of vaping? If you did, you’re not alone, because that’s exactly what I thought when I first heard about all this stuff.

I found myself hanging out primarily at Vapenet, but also checking out some of the late night shows. Then, I started reading up on vaping and how it helped people. Unfortunately, I was a little intimidated, because numerous people railed against the fact that some vapers merely supported the community, or because they didn’t smoke much but still wanted the experience. I even questioned myself, as to whether I should walk away from good people and a hobby, or see what vaping was like, learn about it from the outside and then introduce people who I thought might want a bit of a lifestyle change.

It wasn’t until my boyfriend grew curious hearing me on Skype with him while watching shows that things really took off. At the time, he was smoking pretty heavily.

In any event, he decided to join me in a chat one day. He started chatting and asking what was going on. I even was asked if he was serious about getting into vaping, because it seemed at the time some people said they were serious vapers or were newbies, but were found to have vaped for a while. My boyfriend won his first bottle of juice and got hooked up with a setup from chatter that night; he received it a week later, and the rest history.

Starting out, he was a bit skeptical. For a while, he vaped part time to get used it, but still smoked cigarettes. This was not something to be ashamed of, because that is par for the course. Unfortunately, some people feel it’s a bit of a stigma and defeats the purpose of vaping. It took him my boyfriend at least six months to finally decided to stop smoking cigarettes entirely. Once in a while, he’d buy a cigarette just to see if he could still do it. However, once he realized how nasty it was, he realized that he had gotten into the right thing.

Now, he loves going to VapeXpo and can’t wait to go every year with me. He loves meeting people that he never dreamed of meeting in person. In addition, he’s visited a few local vape shops with me and is not afraid to voice his opinion in support of the vaping community.

The moral of the story: If making friends or merely having an interest in the vaping community can convert a smoker or two to try vaping, the community is on the right track and shouldn’t forget why vaping is a “community” in the first place.

Susan E. Oser aka Angelwriterspeaks is a host on Monday nights on Vapenet (http://vapenet.com/). For her day job she is an online tutor and part time freelance writer. She is a passionate activist for vaping rights. Find her at http://angelwritercreations. weebly.com/, http://twitter.com/angelwriter78 and https://www.facebook.com/Angelwriterspeaks?ref=hl. You can buy her knitted accessories (esp for you the vapor) at https://www.facebook.com/knitzyknitz.






Wow! What a whirlwind the past two months have been for the VAPE Magazine staff. We have traveled to several international events and conferences—Dekang’s conference in Amsterdam, SFATA’s conference in Chicago, VaporFair Frankfurt, Vape Jam UK, VCCPA, World Vapor Expo in Miami and Vapor Expo International in Chicago—just to name a few. Not only did this give me plenty of time to catch up with familiar industry faces, but it also gave me time to meet new movers and shakers. A recurring theme that I noticed was that vapers are a strong bunch, however groups don’t start out that way. There is a power of one.

Chris Glandon made a difference by simply speaking out on Facebook, and now he’s in a power position at the Florida Smoke Free Association. Sarah Mason was a smoker who didn’t have a vape shop within 45 miles of her house. Now she’s the first female Canadian vaper broadcasting in America. Pip Gresham’s Suicide Bunny started just because she wanted one person to quit smoking—her husband. Reverend Dark changes lives at each outdoor event he attends, all because of one singular traveling vape shop idea.

These people are just a few highlighted in this bigger-than-ever issue of VAPE. Due to our enormous growth, we’ve introduced more new columns and departments than ever before, featured more guest writers and expanded our events coverage. We couldn’t have done it without each individual person who has pitched in and made VAPE what it is today. Each interview, each word, each photo as a singular entity grew into this issue, proving that one isn’t such a lonely number after all.

- Alyssa Stahr


Eurozoned: Californication



By Dave Cross

The bedroom was dark, and I should have been sleeping. I should have been but every night my parents would come into the room with a team of scientists and a machine on wheels. I wasn’t sure why, but they would remove my eyes, take a series of measurements and then return everything to normal. It scared the heck out of me. Over breakfast they denied everything (of course) and attempted to convince me it had all been a bad dream. There were ramifications; my cheese consumption was cut back and my access to coffee strictly curtailed.

It is entirely possible that my mother and father were part of a top-secret research program measuring the ocular cavities of sleeping children. Possible in the same way that all the claims being made by the Californian Department of Health about vaping may have substance. But then, even though my father managed to burn down our house twice in a three-year period using a deep-fat fryer, not even he would have been stupid enough to claim puffing e-liquid was the equivalent to heroin addiction.

On this side of the Atlantic, the “Still Blowing Smoke” campaign raised a level of bemusement that usually accompanies pre-election political promises. Imagine if you will the faces on the fire service personnel as they arrived at the second kitchen fire to discover it was the same man using a similar method to make fries at home— that was our response to the lies being perpetrated on the West Coast. You know the kind of expression, the one adopted by a dog that was expecting a tasty snack or a walk, but you’re talking to it in a soft and caring voice about debt restructuring in sub Saharan Africa.

But we’re angry too. It’s a totally British wrath, the kind that spawns from half a biscuit falling into a cup of tea. We’re annoyed because we don’t want our politicians and public health officials seeing what’s taking place and feeling inspired to reach even greater heights of nonsense. “When America sneezes the U.K. catches a cold,” goes the saying, and Dr. Ron Chapman’s charges at TobaccoFreeCA appear to be displaying all the signs of a weaponized truth flu.

Dr. George Rae is a genial general practitioner who also happens to appear on a television show diagnosing ailments on golf courses and in bus queues. He’s a mild mannered medical man befitting a quaint idealized view of our nation consisting of corner shops and biscuit tin villages—except he is displaying signs of having contracted a severe dose of the Chapman’s. While on a radio talk show, the good doctor bemoaned the fact that e-cigs contained chemicals, made a fatuous link to the possible gateway effect for children and said the chemicals in electronic cigarettes “can be even more cancer forming than what you’re getting within cigarettes themselves.”

“They are being marketed as something that is safe and something that is a safe substitute, and that’s not the reality,” added the doctor; his understanding of reality clearly indicating that this interview was conducted not in Newcastle but somewhere in the Twilight Zone.

No nation loves the shows Fringe or The X Files more than us, but we’re finding the Glantz-driven agenda of replacing science fact with pseudoscience rather hard to swallow. Chapman’s disease now has infected an entire British university.

Liverpool John Moores University (LJM) contributed to the canon of e-cig knowledge by dry burning a bottomcoil atomizer. The discovery of the formaldehyde produced shocked at least three people, caused several newspapers to predict the approach of four apocalyptic figures on horse back and drove the LJM on to conduct a piece of research described as “blithering stupidity” by the Adam Smith Institute.

Clive Bates, a British harm reductionist advocate, uses the term “alarmist” (in place of the many other more abusive yet apt ones) when summing up their conclusions.VapeJune2015-_Page_116VapeJune2015-_Page_107

LJM found that teenagers who regularly drink heavily, two or more times per week, were more likely to access e-cigs and declared “there is an urgent need for controls on the promotion and sale of e-cigarettes.”

Just with their previously flawed study, this child focussed farce has far more to do with usurping science for political ends than it does with concern over public health. It was striking how little comment they made concerning the alarming level of illicit access to and misuse of alcohol plus the link to alcohol-related violence.

Clive Bates notes that the LMJ’s research term “accessed e-cigarettes” is nothing but emotive. He writes: “This can mean as little as tried or bought once. It captures large numbers of kids messing about, experimenting or trying it just once but not really doing anything that consolidates into ‘current use’ or a pattern of behavior that may potentially cause harm. It’s a measure that generates the highest possible number and provides a basis for a moral panic, but gives no real insight into the scale of anything that might be harmful.”

It’s a Californication of our science process and approach to public health. One that leaves the likes of Linda Bauld, a professor of health policy at the University of Stirling, sounding like voices in the wilderness: “Other surveys have so far found that progressing from ever trying an e-cigarette to regular use amongst nonsmoking (British) children is very rare or entirely absent, suggesting that, to date, e-cigarettes are not responsible for creating a new generation of nicotine addicts.”

Much has been written about the Special Relationship that exists between America and Britain, and British vapers will support you in every way we can—but this California kind of thing needs to stop. We can’t risk any more of our dim-witted academics and doctors succumbing; if you can’t put an end to it we’re going to have to get tough … I have the Spice Girls, Ricky Gervais and The Guide To English Dentistry all packed up and ready to airmail.

Dave Cross is a writer, biker, vaper, ever-more rotund punk and perpetual disappointment to his parents. According to his wife he is frequently wrong about most things.

Follow Dave Cross on Twitter @MawsleyX.

Vaping From the Outside: Educate the Masses AboutVaping



By Susan Oser

I was in a chatroom the other night. Two of my friends recently converted, and got kits to celebrate their first day of vaping. One of them was ready and had said that he was interested in quitting.

The day came, and it was great chatting with them about their new kits, as well as chatting with other regulars on their show. However, there were a few people in the audience who made me want to put my hand through the screen and smack their typing hands. They made lewd jokes about vaping to those who said that vaping was just a trend, or said that vaping was worse than smoking.

There was one chatter in particular who had quit smoking 22 years ago, and he was very proud of this fact. According to him, he had tried vaping before and thought it was worse. When I asked this chatter where he got his information, I never got a response; he just kept going on and on about it. What made it more annoying was how he told my friends to quit vaping now and save themselves, or if they’re coughing and choking, go back to smoking they’ll feel better.

Now, I’m happy that this person quit, but he didn’t need to go on a rampage about vaping being no better. Of course, when I saw this, I put on my activist hat and looked for links to not only help my friends, but to try to give this man the facts. I kept repeating in the chat that it’s not smoking, it’s vaping.

My evening in the chatroom raised a question that I’ve asked on my own show and would like to put to you, the reader: How well have we been educating the public on vaping? Are we only sharing the information among ourselves, and not with the world? Are we aware of the misinformation that’s out there?

From what I’ve seen, there’s room for improvement. Almost every day, news stories report the dangers of e- cigarettes, or the latest proposed e-cigarette bans. It almost seems like we are fighting against something, rather than fighting for something. Where is the education?

Has someone ever thought of coming up with a show that offers an educational service to the public about vaping, e  cigarettes and smoking cessation? What about contacting more than one news station to do a positive e -cigarette story to appeal to those who are undecided? If something like that exists, I’d like to hear more about it.

Maybe we should talk to other activist groups and find out how they do it. Perhaps they have an answer or a clue to something we’re missing. Maybe once they hear about our struggles and what we’re about, they can support us. Talk about a great way to reach out to the public in a positive way as a vaper right?

Vapers have a scarlet letter emblazoned on their chests, and about most of the community doesn’t realize it. This is why we need to share what we know with the rest of the world. You never know who might be interested. You never know who could help us. You never know who might be listening.

Susan E. Oser aka Angelwriterspeaks is a host on Monday nights on Vapenet (http://vapenet.com/) (https://www.facebook. com/CreativeAngelwriter). For her day job she is an online tutor and part time freelance writer. She is a passionate activist for vaping rights. Find her at http://angelwritercreations. weebly.com/ http://twitter.com/angelwriter78 and https://www.facebook.com/Angelwriterspeaks?ref=hl . You also can buy her knitted accessories (esp for you the vapor) at https://www.facebook.com/knitzyknitz. To contact her, email angelwritercreations@gmail.com.





By Nick Green Photo by Metal Jeff

How does NamberJuice plan on dealing with the upcoming FDA deeming regulations? And how do you see the regulations affecting the industry as a whole?


Hey Alex. The climate of the industry is certainly changing. Obviously, NamberJuice is doing everything we can to stay ahead of the curve. We already produce our liquids in a worldclass, AEMSA-certified, ISO 9001:2008 clean lab. We practice GMPS, and our liquids are tested by a third-party facility on a regular basis.

Additionally, all our bottles come in tamper-evident and childproof packaging, including childproof caps. Which, in this day and age, is a no-brainer, in my opinion.

The worrisome part of the proposed FDA regulations is that they want to ban things like fruity flavors and flavors that appeal to children. What we’re doing, in addition to what Namber-Juice and other juice manufacturers are doing, is educating the public. To make a difference, we need to show up and testify at state and local government health committee meetings.

I do believe that, in the end, real science, like the studies being done by Dr. Farsalinos (Konstantinos, formidable e-cigarette researcher), will prevail in the face of overwhelming bureaucracy.



So, I’m pretty new to mech mods, and I just recently picked up a EHPro Maraxus. Would my LIR 18650 2200 mAh 3.7v battery work in this mod, or is it something I should watch out for? Can anyone give me a lil insight?

-A Timmeh Ree

Hey there! Battery safety is a long process to explain, but I’ll try to keep this brief. Mod batteries are the things you do not want to skimp on. Cheap atomizers, sure; clone mods, absolutely. Cheap batteries? Never!

It generally depends on what kind of atomizer you are running on your mod, as well as what Ohm your atomizer is set to. The most crucial piece of information you need is your battery’s amp limit. The lower Ohm you use, the more amps you need from the battery.

If the battery cannot supply the amps that the atomizer requires, bad things tend to happen. Batteries heat up, short out or, in more extreme cases, vent toxic gasses.

From what I can tell, there is no amp limit listed for your battery. I assume that it is not intended for the purposes that you want to use it for. What I would do is pick up some new batteries – I recommend MXJO 18650. They have a nice, high mAh, as well as a continuous 35a limit. It’s important to know the limits of your batteries and to stay well below those limits when you are building.



Crowd Chasers: How to BLOW UP in the Vape Space



Sticky Strategies: How to Retain Loyal Customers

By Maria Verven

Getting just one customer to walk into your “shop” (I use the word loosely to cover both online and brick and mortar shops) can be extremely expensive and time-consuming.

In my April column, I outlined several strategies successful vape space businesses are using to attract new customers. Since any business that sells vaping products can’t use Google Adwords or Facebook advertising, many have turned to special events and social media to generate sales.

Driving new traffic to your shop is just the beginning. Once there, a new customer may take up to an hour of staff time learning how to use vaping hardware and experimenting with different brands and flavors of e-liquids. Translate all this into dollars and cents, and you’ve spent at least $100 per customer getting him or her into your shop and teaching how to use the devices.

All this time and money will go down the drain unless you have a solid strategy to retain customers by offering incentives and good reasons to visit your store again.

Don’t Forget to Follow Up

David Collins, owner of the e-liquid manufacturer California Vaping Company, was curious. Also owner of a marketing company for real estate agents called Real Estate Marketing, Collins successfully has created marketing campaigns for hundreds of agents, helping them make more than $10 billion in sales.

Collins conducted a little experiment to see if vape shops were following up with their customers. He paid anonymous visits to seven vape shops, spending about $100 in each store.

Only three of the seven stores followed up.

“The personal touch was just killer,” Collins said after the employees from those three shops called to ask him how the devices were working and if he had any questions.

“In the world of marketing, it takes at least eight contacts with a product to create brand awareness,” Collins said. “Following up via text, e-mail or even snail mail not just once but several times will build a more loyal following and can make a significant impact on your bottom line.”

In most cases, Collins said vape shops don’t ask for customers’ contact information, so they’re unable to follow up with customers after their purchase or lure them back to the store with deals and discounts. This is a huge missed opportunity, Collins said.

“Vape shops should encourage or entice customers to at least give them their e-mail addresses so they can follow up with them,” Collins said. “But the trick with e-mail is you don’t want to overdo it,” he said, adding that the ideal e-mail frequency is about once a week.

Since e-mail is so ubiquitous, vape shops can cut through the clutter by sending postcards or a newsletter via snail mail, or using SMS (short message service) to send text messages promoting store specials.

“Let’s say you start carrying a new e-liquid brand or a new flavor. Or better yet: you keep track of which brands and flavors your customer purchased,” Collins said. “You could send a text alerting them when you’re offering a special discount on the brands and flavors they prefer.”

Unique E-Liquid Lines: A Key Retention Strategy

Developing a unique e-liquid line that’s only available in your shop is a key strategy many vape shops are using to retain their customers.

Otherwise, customers may Google the brand name of the e-liquid they bought at your store to see if they can find it cheaper elsewhere.

But if they can only buy that special yummy flavor from you, they’ll keep coming back to your shop over and over again to replenish their supply.

Thanks to a unique partnership between VapeMentors, which offers educational programs and resources for vape space businesses, and California Vaping Company, anyone, regardless of budget or experience, can easily develop their own line of e-liquids.

“It’s important not to have any more than six flavors of any one brand, because a customer will decide they like or don’t like a brand based on just one or two flavors,” Collins said. The more brands of e-liquids the better, he advised.

However, Collins cautions against creating a brand of e-liquids with the vape shop’s name. “Think about it: when you go into a grocery store and see the grocery store name on a product, you immediately assume it’s the low-cost brand,” he said. An e-liquid branded with the vape shop name also limits distribution, since other vape shops won’t want to promote a competitor’s e-liquid line.

Creating a brand is easier said than done, Collins said, adding that the most important consideration is identifying and appealing to a certain target market.

“If your target market is a 40-something-year-old guy, consider what music they were listening to when they were most impressionable—18 to 20 years old,” Collins said.

“For me, it was Led Zeppelin. So a brand called Zeppelin Vapes would really appeal to me.”

For more information on the best practices in creating a line of e-liquids, visit www.VapeMentors.com.

The original Vaping VampTM, Maria Verven is partner and chief marketing mentor of VapeMentors.com.


MASTERING the Vape Space: Secrets to Running a Successful Vape Shop


VapeJune2015-_Page_022By Norm Bour 

The vaping industry is not for wimps. A few years ago you might have been able to succeed with a half-baked plan, but those days are gone. Shops are closing and everyone has excuses, but what are the real reasons?

“Stores are closing, not due to saturation, but because of bad business practices,” Jim Root, president of The Vapor Association, said. Root has been visiting vape shops across the country, gathering information about the regional differences between retailers and gaining a better understanding of the issues facing brick and mortar shops.

“If we look at any other industry, we are in line with most,” Root said. “But since we’ve seen explosive growth, the ones that close are noticeable.”

The number of vape shops has escalated from an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 shops in 2013 to between 6,000 and 8,000 shops, according to various trade directories.

But, this growth is slowing down and there actually could be a drop this year.

“I see huge consolidation and a drop in the number of stores over the next few years,” Michael Guasch, CEO of Molecule Labs, said. Guasch predicts that the consolidation will affect the oversaturated e-liquid market, as well as brick and mortar stores.

“It’s easy to blame competition,” Root said, “But we don’t hear Pepsi complaining about competition from Coke, do we?”

Successful Shops Across the Country
Since November 2014, Root has met with more than 600 shops in 37 states. He’s now nearing the end of his cross-country tour. We asked him to share some noteworthy shops that are doing well and the reason for their success. In each case, they carved out a unique niche:

RU Vaping, near Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., is a great example of customer service enhanced by technology. Using an ultrasound machine (for about $100), they clean every mod and RDA they work on. “For the cost of the machine, they’re stepping up well beyond normal customer service,” Root said.

Smoke Alternative is a shop just for beginners. No mods, no high-end devices. Just starter kits and e-liquids, and lots of them. Their goal is to help cigarette smokers make the switch, and they’re crushing it in Pittsburgh, Penn. At the other extreme is the Charlotte, N.C.- based The Art of Vape, which only carries high-end mods and high quality e-liquids. No starter kits, no beginners, just aficionados in this shop. They are also doing extremely well in their 2,000-square-foot shop that converts to a lounge on weekends.

Some pockets of the country have a particularly high density of vape shops. It’s no surprise that Southern California, Ground Zero of the vaping movement, is home to hundreds of vape shops.

But Oklahoma City, Okla. is home to a staggering 300-plus shops, despite the fact that there’s only about a million people in the entire metro area. Back in October 2013, when I talked with the owners of Vapor Hub, they complained there were about 70 to 80 shops. So there’s been four-fold increase in 18 months. Just as in any other city, some will excel and some will fail.

It All Starts with Good Customer Service
Successful vape shops do several things right. Here’s a list of three areas that must be done right for a vape shop to succeed:

Customer Service: Customer acquisition, service and retention are paramount in the vaping industry, since we’re helping people switch from an insidious habit and teaching them how to use these new devices. Customer service starts when you walk into the shop to the way you’re treated during the sales process. Many shops forget all about customer follow-up, but it should be the first step in your customer retention strategy.

Adequate Inventory: Shops actually will close due to lack of inventory or improper product selection. Starting with the list of products that will sell the best, VapeMentors also can make recommendations on which distributors to work with that can easily fix this problem. If money is an issue, we can even help you secure financing.

Proper Branding & Positioning: In the eyes of the public, every vape shop is the same. But the unique vape shop examples listed above disproves that assumption. Every shop should develop their competitive position and then brand and market it strategically.

In this issue of VAPE, be sure to read about the latest Vape Shop of the Month, Waldo Vapes, in Waldo, Mo. They excel in all of these areas.

The vape space is generous to vapreneurs willing to listen and learn, but unforgiving of novices. This may well be the year when we’ll see a huge shakeout and a drop in the number of vape space businesses. Those left standing will be the ones that get it right.

Norm Bour is the founder of VapeMentors, which offers online educational programs, services and resources for anyone in the vape space, including vape shops, online stores and e-liquid brands. He’s also host of Vape Radio, a podcast series that interviews the masters of vape and thought leaders in the vape space. Contact him at norm@VapeMentors.com.






By Alyssa Starr

Communication never has been a one-way street. Consistent dialogue, feedback and courtesy, I believe, are some of the top keys to effective open communication. As the editor of VAPE, I don’t necessarily consider myself a member of the “media,” at least when it comes to the media our industry feels is battling against our cause (except for when I had to pay for WiFi at a recent event in order to promote said event). VAPE has and always will strive for and promote vapers’ rights, culture, business and news.

One of our most exhaustive investigative pieces debuts in this issue: Legislative 50. Myself and our trusty executive assistant, Erin Hedrick, scoured the country for information about legislation in all 50 states. However, the important piece of this puzzle was communication. We called shops in each state to get your opinion about the current state of affairs, how it’s affecting your stores and what you’d like to see changed in the future.

Some results surprised me. A lot of stores refused to speak with the “media,” even when hearing about the all important topic we were discussing. Some stores sent us straight to their corporate offices, which ironically is exactly the hoop that a lot of legislators make vapers who want to be heard jump through. Erin was even hung up on once.

However, the majority of people had a ton of points to communicate. Vendors want to fight. They want to save their businesses. They want to be responsible owners. They want to help you quit smoking. I am here to remind you, the readers, that VAPE is and will always be a two-way street. I invite you to call me, email me, write me a letter to the editor. Each voice in our industry is powerful, and we must speak up and speak out to preserve what we have worked so hard to build.

Happy reading! Alyssa Starr


The Not-So-Great Vape Escape: Sociologically Reflecting on the Anti-Vaping Movement


VAPE-April201596The Not-So-Great Vape Escape: Sociologically Reflecting on the Anti-Vaping Movement

Words and photos by
Anthony J. Ottomanelli II

For the year 2014, Oxford Dictionary named its Word of the Year “vape” due to its ever-increasing popularity. Coincidentally, 2014 is the same year in which I was able to quit smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes, with professional assistance all due in part to Oxford’s Word of the Year. Proud to say, I’m now at a level of full-time vaping and have not had an actual tobacco cigarette in one whole year. In fact, after smoking a traditional cigarette a few weeks after turning solely to vaping, I became ill and nauseated. Therefore, I’ll never go back. Vaping is here to stay in my life. However, is it here to stay in my town state or even my country?

Once more, the “United” States is steadily and surely becoming divided on yet another topic that has been spun into a developing unnecessary social issue lingering over the edge of becoming a much bigger societal problem. Basically, vaping has entered the territory of being identified as a potential threat to health and humanity. Sadly, the continuous surge of vaping propaganda, whether in support of or against it, is now a potential fortune to be had on both sides of the coin, naturally another American Masterpiece. As a sociologist I am inclined to relentlessly question such behaviors, values and overall methods. It is therefore my sociological duty to pursue any type of resolution that only can be fueled by ideals of rationality and logic.

The primary reason why there has been so much skepticism about vaping is simply because it appears to resemble the action of smoking traditional cigarettes. If the public is told that vaping is just as bad as or worse than smoking cigarettes, then they’ll regrettably believe in these counterfeit claims. Even though vaping is a long way away from sharing any similarities of smoking tobacco-based cigarettes, besides the obvious appearance of how it is administered, the general public will remain as the most gullible. We tend to believe the first thing we hear about something unfamiliar or even more popular nowadays; we usually also believe whatever is reported to us by the mainstream. Over the past 10 years or so, we’ve heard nothing nearly as negative about vaping as we have been hearing very recently. If you have yet to hear anything so robustly negative about vaping, then you’ll certainly be seeing it very soon, coming to a theater near you. Vape bans are rapidly spreading all over the county—whether big city-living or small-town slumming—these bans are everywhere.

During the summer days of 2014, in the tourist-attracting, scenic town of Golden, Colo., there were restaurant patrons seated on outdoor patios who supposedly became exceedingly irritated with all the people smoking or vaping outside or simply passing by on the sidewalks. From this, there were apparently numerous complaints of ruined appetites and spoiled meals directly linked to the impossible concept of second-hand vapor. The 2015 vaping/smoking ban in downtown Golden was based on these unexplainable disturbances in which only City Council was able to vote on this subject matter. A writer for the Denver Post, Josie Klemaier, wrote the Golden City Council concluded that local businesses would suffer the cost of decreased business opportunities from losing customers (http://www.denver-post.com/golden/ci_26432351/golden-passes-outdoor-smoking-vaping-ban). Keep in mind, this vaping/smoking ban is not merely for indoor public locations, this ban inexplicably forbids the use of vaping devices and traditional cigarettes anywhere outdoors. We can’t embrace the art of vaping inside somewhere, nor can we partake in it outside.

This anti-vaping movement merely is based on the notion that if these deliciously-scented, quick-to-disappear vapor clouds were to come into contact with any potential customers for all the small-businesses downtown, then the consequence would be an economic backlash of unpredictable measures. Since my family owns a restaurant in downtown Golden, I can speak on behalf of a few local business owners and assure any skeptics that the ideas of lost business or a tarnished customer base will not be an inescapable effect from the mere sight or smell of vapor’s presence. In hindsight, realistically, the vaping/smoking ban may very well create exactly what it claims to be attempting the prevention of.

Although no action has yet to be taken by any Golden locals or outsiders, there still are many individuals to discuss this controversial topic with. From my steady inquisition of questioning nearby residents, mainly those who live downtown, where the ban is forced upon the public to obey it thus becomes clear that many want to do something, even if that something is to speak out on the issue. One resident living right in the middle of this mountain town’s downtown, Daniel Chafetz, said, “To impede on an individual’s right to vape or smoke in the open air is downright offensive to the very concept of American rights, which is supposed to be out-lined in our nation’s Constitution as having the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Just imagine how our Founding Fathers would have reacted. If the Golden City Council members were properly educated, (story continues below)



(continued from above)… they would be much more concerned about polluted air than the occasional smoker/vaper on the street.” (http://www.denverpost.com/golden/ci_27566792/golden-city-manager-mike-bestor-announces-retirement)

Keep in mind, this Golden resident who made these comments is a non-smoker and non-vaper, yet Chafetz still maintains the Golden ban is pure hypocrisy, shameful and unconstitutional.

Considering this, many Golden residents who I was able to speak with concerning the smoking/vaping ban that went into effect Jan. 1 all seemed to have identical words to express. I had brief interactions with local residents and out-of-towners in downtown Golden. Many of the locals whom I had brief interactions with would simply reply “It’s so stupid. It makes no sense!” As if that vocal result was not entertaining enough, the responses I received from tourists or non-residents seemed to also reply with the same blanket-statement each and every time, also very amusing, they would typically state, “I had no idea that was even a legitimate thing here.” The next best thing was the other most-popular reply I heard was along the lines of simply stating, “I didn’t even know we couldn’t smoke. You aren’t allowed to vape either? Why?” All of these recorded statements surely were all characterized by an obvious state of pure bewilderment.

After my social-interaction methodologies were embraced by many of the Golden street wanderers, I decided to try and acquire information by collecting any rational explanation from those who had the power to strip away such freedoms to begin with. With limited resources and ticking time, I tried to contact a few key members of Golden’s City Council, especially focusing on the city manager, Mike Bestor. Bestor never answered any of my requests for a comment. Then I read the local newspaper, The Golden Transcript. The Transcript featured a story involving Bestor announcing his retirement, just barely after one month had passed by since the ban went into effect. According to the Transcript article, the retiring city manager is stepping down to pursue other adventures. What could possibly be more adventurous?

Overall, the public is just too afraid to educate themselves on the factual information about vaping and perhaps explain to their children what vaping is and why people choose to partake in it. It’s almost far too obvious; the shortsighted anti-vaping affiliates are fearful. Fearful that there is something new out there they should learn more about; fearful of their own confusion; fearful because they honestly have no clue what vaping literally consists of. But the antidote to their fears is already here, vaping is that antidote because vaping has unquestionably changed lives and will continue to change lives, allowing former smokers to drastically alter their lifestyles for the better. However, people tend to fear what they don’t understand. Yet, we must understand this: our fears are our own and can never be overcome unless we unlock close-mindedness and walk into the direction of those fears.

Nevertheless, no one in particular is saying that vaping is a health craze; we’re just expressing how much we believe it to be much healthier than smoking tobacco cigarettes. Regardless, perhaps the scientific research published by prestigious medical journals and other publications are being “spun” by the mainstream media, interpreting scientific findings incorrectly? Or, is our country’s populace simply fearful of what they don’t know the slightest thing about? Is it the fact that there are not yet any long-term studies able to be conducted on the health risks of vaping? Are all of these vape bans happening in cities and universities across the country merely just a pawn in a much bigger chess game of financial gain from other opportunities consisting of unrelated profitable business ventures? Are small town governments receiving payoffs from private enterprises? The possibilities are endless, yet not nearly as everlasting as the vast amount of vaping propaganda that has swiftly saturated the market as well as stamping a permanent stain in the social fabric of America’s uncertain perspective about vaping, our vision of tomorrow and foresight for the future. Then again, the very act of vaping itself is our future, so I guess everyone better learn how to share because the time is now, the end is not here and the future we must share is much closer than it is near.