What Exactly is in E-Liquid?, and What You Need to Know

“What exactly is in E-Liquid?”  “Is it safe?”  “It has anti-freeze in it!”  “I’ve heard it’s worse than cigarettes!” These are a few questions and statements I’ve been on the receiving end of lately so I thought it would be great to write up an article solely devoted to what exactly is in the E-Liquid we are vaping.

Let me start off by stating that E-Juice as well as E-Cigarettes have not been around long enough for conclusive scientific studies of what the long term effects are on humans.

There have been short term studies on vapor that is inhaled into the lungs as well as studies in second hand vapor, which have all come back as having minimal to 0 adverse health effects on the user of E-Cigarettes as well as second hand vapor.

Electronic Cigarette Liquid goes by many names including but not limited to, E-Liquid, E-Juice, and Juice.  Whatever you may call it; it is made up of 4 basic ingredients which are vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), Natural and Artificial Flavorings, and Nicotine (optional).

This liquid, when heated up by a small heated coil called an atomizer (the part of the e-cigarette that turns the liquid into a vapor) becomes the vapor we inhale.

Vegetable Glycerin (VG)

Vegetable Glycol or Glycerin, VG for short, is an organic compound of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.  VG is a Non-Toxic, viscous, odorless, colorless, and sweet liquid usually added to cosmetics, food flavorings, and ice cream.

VG can be made directly from vegetable oil, often coconut or palm oil, by heating it to a high temperature under pressure with water.  The solution is then distilled to purify it.  Manufacturers of E-Liquids use USP Food Grade Vegetable Glycerin which is 99.7% pure with the remaining 0.3% being water.

E-Liquid manufacturers commonly use it as a base for the rest of the E-Juice.  For vapers, VG is what produces most of the visible vapor or “cloud” on exhale.

Propylene Glycol (PG)

Propylene Glycol or PG, is used to dilute the thickness of the VG liquid. PG makes the e-liquid easier for clearomizers with wicks or cotton to vape. It also produces a “throat hit” which mimics the feeling of the cigarette smoke that smokers are used to, helping people who are coming off cigarettes to still feel like they are getting that sensation.

Propylene Glycol has been researched and classified as “very low toxicity” and has been approved for use in food and other applications such as hospital air disinfectant and as a non-active ingredient in the aerosol used with inhalers for asthma patients.

For E-Juice purposes, Propylene Glycol also serves as a great “carrier” or solvent for flavorings as it bonds with the flavor molecules a lot more effectively than VG.

Some potential applications for Propylene Glycol include cough syrups, toothpaste, mouthwashes, food preservatives, and non-toxic anti/deicing fluids.

Please note, a common misconception that I’ve been hearing lately is that “E-Liquid has anti-freeze in it!” This is completely false. E-Liquid contains no anti-freeze whatsoever.  Propylene Glycol is often commonly confused with ethylene glycol.

Ethylene glycol is considered moderately toxic and is used in the Anti-Freeze you use in your car. The Propylene Glycol in E-Liquid is added to “Non-Toxic Anti-Freeze” used in food-processing systems or in water pipes in homes where incidental ingestion may be possible.

As confirmation of its relative non-toxicity, the FDA allows propylene glycol to be added to a large number of processed foods, including ice cream, frozen custard, salad dressings and baked goods.

A study conducted by the FDA in 1973 states: There is no evidence in the available information on propylene glycol and propylene glycol monostearate that demonstrates, or suggests reason to suspect, a hazard to the public. Propylene glycol does not cause sensitization (getting a worse reaction over time) and it shows no evidence of being a carcinogen or toxic.

Natural and Artificial Flavoring

E-Liquid flavoring starts with using flavoring concentrates.  Just like with food, there are 3 types of flavoring concentrates for E-Juice manufacturers to choose from while making E-Juice.

We have Natural flavoring, Artificial flavoring, and also a mix of both Natural and Artificial flavorings.  The natural flavors found in E-Liquid contain absolutely no artificial ingredients, additives, colors, or sweeteners.

The flavors are extracted from their natural source using various methods to make a concentrate, and are then bottled and sold to E-Juice manufacturers or to consumers for DIY E-Juice making.

Artificial flavors are simply chemical mixtures that mimic a natural flavor.  The Natural and Artificial Flavoring mixed concentrates are just that.  A mix of Natural and Artificial flavor concentrates.

Remember, most of these flavorings have not been tested for inhalation and only for being ingested. We need more scientific evidence to support if this is safe.

Nicotine

Merriam-Webster defines Nicotine as “a poisonous alkaloid C10H14N2 that is the chief active principle of tobacco and is used as an insecticide.”  Nicotine is an addictive substance.There is no question about that, as I’m sure most ex-smokers can relate to.  It has been scientifically proven.

With that being said, Nicotine is found in most E-Liquids in various medium to low milligram levels mixed with the other ingredients of E-Juice: VG, PG, and Concentrated Flavorings.

Mostly you will find E-Juice manufactures making their E-Juice at 24, 18, 12, 6, 3, and 0 mg per milliliter levels.  These levels are found to be “relatively safe” for human inhalation. Some vapers prefer E-Liquids with zero nicotine content because they enjoy the act of vaping and the flavor that goes along with it.

By varying in milligram strength, vapers have the option to wean themselves down or even completely off of nicotine at a gradual rate.  Personally, I started with cigarettes, moved to vaping at 24mg, moved down on the above mentioned scale about every two months, and now I vape 3mg E-Juice.

A lot of people automatically lump Cigarettes, Tobacco, and Nicotine together as one.  Nicotine isn’t the ingredient in traditional cigarettes that kills you or causes cancer.  Tobacco, tar, carcinogens and other chemicals found in cigarettes are what have an adverse effect on your health.

When diluted to low levels like those found in e-liquid, some users like myself and my friends, find nicotine to produce a calming effect and can also improve concentration.

To quote a recently published article in Discover Magazine titled “Nicotine – The Wonder Drug?”:

“IF DOZENS OF HUMAN AND ANIMAL STUDIES PUBLISHED OVER THE PAST SIX YEARS ARE BORNE OUT BY LARGE CLINICAL TRIALS, NICOTINE — FREED AT LAST OF ITS NOXIOUS HOST, TOBACCO, AND DELIVERED INSTEAD BY CHEWING GUM OR TRANSDERMAL PATCH — MAY PROVE TO BE A WEIRDLY, IMPROBABLY EFFECTIVE DRUG FOR RELIEVING OR PREVENTING A VARIETY OF NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS, INCLUDING PARKINSON’S DISEASE, MILD COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT (MCI), TOURETTE’S AND SCHIZOPHRENIA. IT MIGHT EVEN IMPROVE ATTENTION AND FOCUS ENOUGH TO QUALIFY AS A COGNITIVE ENHANCER. AND, OH YEAH, IT’S LONG BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH WEIGHT LOSS, WITH FEW KNOWN SAFETY RISKS.”

So maybe Nicotine, when used properly isn’t the incredibly awful drug we’ve all been taught to think.

Other Compounds

There has been controversy surrounding what “other” ingredients are being put into E-Liquid.  The number one controversial ingredient that was added to a few E-Juices was Diacetyl. The FDA has listed Diacetyl on their Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) list of food additive products, yet they have not made a statement regarding the safety of the inhalation of Diacetyl in vapor form.

Diacetyl is suspected to cause a condition called “Popcorn Lung”. Back in the 1950’s a group of workers working in a popcorn factory came down with bronchiolitis or “Popcorn Lung”. It is said that it was caused by the Diacetyl chemical used in the flavoring of butter.

Studies at 6 different Popcorn Manufacturing Plants confirmed that they weren’t sure whether it was the Diacetyl or if it was another chemical in the air that caused the bronchiolitis.  Erring on the side of safety, most E-Juice manufacturers do not add Diacetyl to their E-Liquid mixtures.

Conclusion

So the next time someone tries to tell you that E-liquid gives you cancer, is worse for you than cigarettes, or is worried about second hand vapor, you’ll be prepared with the facts. E-liquid has 4 ingredients, all approved by the FDA for human consumption. There may not be an long term evidence that it is safe to inhale, but i feel a hell of a lot better vaping than i do smoking, and i think that is all something we can agree on.

Feel free to ask any questions you’d like in the comments below, and share this with your friends and family.

Fight For Vaper’s Rights

Tuesday August 25th 2015, at 1:30 pm in the state capital of California, law makers will be voting on bills that could completely alter the vape industry as we know it.

These bills are actually quite simple, they will categorize vaping as a tobacco product.The repercussions of that bill on the other hand are quite far reaching and complex. By placing vapor products under the same category of tobacco, it would mean businesses in the industry would have to abide by the same regulations and rules.

What does that mean? 

Well for starters, ANY vape related business would then have to get a tobacco license. Not just shops, but e-liquid companies, and distributors. Getting a tobacco permit itself requires numerous steps, and lots of money in bonds etc.

Some businesses wouldn’t even be eligible for a license, just due to their location based on zoning laws. There would be numerous vape shops who would have to relocate or close because they wouldn’t even be able to retail the products.

It’s also important to note, selling “tobacco products” without a tobacco license carries severe legal consequences if prosecuted.

Speaking of vape shops: 
Indoor vaping would be outright banned inside the majority of them. Except for the few that are lucky enough to be in a space eligible to be a “smoking lounge”.

To put it simply, vape shops would have to follow the same guidelines as cigar lounges, or hookah bars. Rules can vary by city, and a majority of cities require you to be in a free standing building with no shared common walls.

These are just a FEW of the implications of this bill passing. Others include: 

  • Banning the sampling of flavors
  • Heavy restrictions on advertising/promotions
  • The freedom for law makers to tax heavily (possibly up the 90%)
  • Raising the age to buy “tobacco products” to 21

Now to clarify, the special session bills have NOT passed into law yet. The SB bills passed through the first stage to becoming a law, and the August 25th AB6 hearing will be a crucial vote.

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Call, phone, fax, letter by carrier pigeon, it doesn`t matter what form of communication you choose. The industry NEEDS your voice to be heard.

CASAA has made the process of messaging local law makers easy with this simple form. We ask that when calling, or messaging you speak respectfully. We understand your outrage, but remember you are representing vapers everywhere and we must put our best foot forward. 

Most importantly, to all those who can make the trip: We STRONGLY urge you to show up in person on August 25th in Sacramento, California. The more people that show up the better, and yes, each and every person that shows WILL make a difference on this vote.

The Trademark Infringement War

As if the negative outside influences were not enough, vaping has their ‘own’ creating a battle for the industry. Trademark infringements and childish characters on E-liquid labels are gaining popularity.

A tradeshow was the most recent target of Samantha Bee, a comedienne hailing from the popular Comedy Central cable TV channel. Bee attended the event seeking to publicize the worst labelling by a juice company, those that are deemed to be ‘Marketing to Children’. She found what she was looking for and we can expect a deluge of bad press once again because of it. The vaping industry has already been warned by Senator Edward Marky (D-Massachusetts) demanding that the children be saved from this ‘Big Tobacco industry’ and stating that ‘Nicotine and tobacco is essentially the same thing’.

The root cause of the problem is the companies that focus on exposure by making trademark brand imitations. The quick rise to recognition resulting in fast monetary gain is all they care about. These imitations are not only poorly done and lack any creativity but they also provide the necessary ammunition for bad press and validate the push for regulations such as those proposed by Senator Marky.

The industry itself does not have any legal power against such marketing behaviors and lacks authority over such companies making it difficult to stop it. Advocacy groups can only ask that these companies stop violating trademarks or change the childishly themed labels. Many shops will ‘turn a blind eye’ in exchange for having a brand that may sell for a short period of time and provide revenue. Some vape shop owners will refuse to carry such brands and they are doing the right thing by boycotting these damaging companies. However, there are shops that will say ‘If they change the label, we will carry them’. That is only perpetuating the problem because the juice companies that are making these labels are also banking on the fact that they can find instant recognition and then get a ‘free pass’ to retain their revenue streams after they make the changes.

This cycle of behavior is damaging and unacceptable for the vaping industry. Allowing a liquid company to damage this industry in such a time of uncertainty should be considered treason to all of us. This is not just a marketing scheme, it is irresponsible and it is certainly not the kind of practice that gains an adult industry perception from those outside the vaping world.

New Indiana Vaping Law is a Game Changer

The Indiana State Senate has just signed HR 1432 into law that will undoubtedly change vaping forever whether it stays or not. The joint efforts of some Big Money Investors has produced a monopolizing and polarizing effect on the vaping industry for Indiana. Recently, the Indiana state Senate allowed the owners of a state of the art e-liquid facility to push their Standard Operating Platform onto everyone that wishes to do business with or in the state of Indiana. The bill is overwhelmingly impossible to comply with but that didn’t stop them from making it a law.

So, when Rod Ratcliff – Centaur Gaming (Casinos), Zak & Bob Laikin – Monument Vapor & Indiana Vapor Co., Jon Sinder – Crown Liquors (package liquor stores), along with Doug Mulhaupt & Mike Gibson – Owners of Mulhaupt’s security all decided that they would pool their resources together and force the entire state of Indiana to comply with their standards or be left in the cold, they got what they wanted, a monopoly. The ONLY security company that could provide the necessary requirements was, you guessed it, Mulhaupts Security. Not only does this violate the Interstate Commerce clause allowing Federal jurisdiction but it is indicative of utter corruption. The intent was nothing more than a way to force business in their direction.

The most disconcerting issue is what has NOT happened yet because the likes of this same law are already spreading to other states. In fact, it was pushed in Georgia but they had a Trade Association at the ready and destroyed the bill before it had a chance to disease that state too. It is without a doubt that these investors are looking at Vaping as their next big cash cow and with vaping grossing $3 billion last year, who can blame them? As a small but rapidly growing industry, I can only hope the smaller e-liquid makers do not face this fate of conglomeration and manipulation to allow a few to take what so many have worked so hard to gain. If it is to come to this, we will see many manufacturers having to turn to big corporate co-packing facilities to survive.

The industry has been affected by this attempt of ‘control’ and ‘paid for political influence’ to write laws that impact all of us. No longer will you have the ‘Handcrafted Small Batch’ e-liquid companies, but instead, large facilities that have managed to use their monetary influence on politicians to take that genuine and unique craft out of the industry. The original and organic grassroots movement is what makes the Vaping Industry so great. Investors are watching this industry. Are we ready to allow them to take control of vaping from the people that are passionate about it and have given their all? Time will tell…

The Hammer Falls on Trademark Infringement

As many have heard by now, General Mills sent a shock wave through the vape industry by taking legal action against e-liquid companies who have infringed on their trademarked products. Sending cease and desist letters to companies who have been marketing flavors labeled as “cinnamon toast crunch” a cereal brand owned by General Mills which has been a long time favorite for generations.

In a statement released following the announcement of the cease and desist order General Mills said, “Any use is unauthorized and would constitute an illegal misuse of our marks.” Further adding that “General Mills has already sent a cease-and-desist letter to remove our branding and trademarks from these products — and we will take further action if necessary.”

A number of other companies who own trademarks used by e-liquid companies have also followed suite.
The maker of Girl Scout Cookies, and the classic Tootsie Roll  candy also announced they would be taking legal action against companies who infringe on their trademark.

“Using the Thin Mint name, which is synonymous with Girl Scouts and everything we do to enrich the lives of girls, to market e-cigarettes to youth is deceitful and shameless,” Girl Scout spokeswoman Kelly Parisi said in a statement.

The news has brought to light a long-standing problem in the vape industry. As countless e-liquid brands have attempted to piggy back off the familiarity of established long standing brands. Not only replicating their flavor profile for vaping, but also completely cloning their look and design.

The actions of these companies has caused a ripple effect, as multiple companies move to not only change the name of their flavors, but redesign their label as well.

Furthermore, it’s caused a state of panic, as it is one of the most damning pieces of evidence for the anti-vaping propagandist. Citing the packaging and design of e-liquid companies as marketing to children. This has caused multiple companies to scramble and redesign their existing look to avoid the controversy.

The industries response has been swift, as many companies have publically pledged to repackage their brand. In addition to proposed by boycotts from retailers and distributors on any company that doesn`t follow suite.

The industry itself has not been blind to the issue, advocates have been calling for more accountability and stricter guidelines for a long time now. The news has served as a needed wake up call for e-liquid manufacturers to become more responsible for their actions as the vape community continues to come under more scrutiny.

Vape Prohibition: Part 1

Anti-Vaping propaganda is escalating, and states across the country are moving to pass debilitating regulations against the vapor industry. An important question to ask is, what happens next?

More importantly, what happens if they win?

The propaganda machine is kicking into full effect, with the California State Health Department drawing first blood. Launching a multi-million dollar anti-vaping “Wake Up” campaign. With TV and online ads already rolling out, the key message is that “vaping is still smoking”. The campaign goes all out, and holds back no punches in terms of trying to push your emotional buttons. Featuring an infant toddler reaching for an e-cig left laying on a table, in addition to frightening messages such as “Nicotine is as addictive as Heroin” in big bold fonts.

The most curious arguments of course are the alarming pseudo-data they cite. Claiming “E-cigarettes have been found to contain at least 10 chemicals known to cause cancer and birth defects”. Which is an impressive finding, considering e-liquid only has 2 actual chemicals (Propylene Glycol, Nicotine). Vegetable Glycerin and flavor extracts are organic. The most alarming is the contradiction their data presents, since Propylene Glycol is widely used in everything from food preservatives to cosmetics.

For the sake of argument lets imagine regulators succeed, and they pass strict laws over the vapor industry. This is a very real possibility, because as mentioned before, we are not dealing with city level politicians trying to pass a local ordinance. We are dealing with state level politics now, controlled by lobbies and special interest.

Vapers seem to have a belief that they could never ban vaping since smoking is still legal. While that is true, what the majority of vapers don’t realize is that they don’t necessarily have to ban vaping to destroy it.

Industry professionals are well aware of the risk is not an all out ban, but instead debilitating regulations. Particularly by banning the sale or production of any flavor other than tobacco or menthol, banning the sale of open tank systems, and making vaping indoors illegal.

Those three laws are not a made up nightmare scenario. They are real laws on the floor of numerous state senates right now. So what happens if they pass?

Prohibition on vaping would create a free for all black market.

Well for one, it would definitely backfire on regulators, because their “regulations” would literally create a black market overnight for vaping products. What vape industry opponents don’t seem to realize is just how flooded the market is with hardware, and just how easy it is to produce e-liquid. Not to mention just how easy it is to produce hardware yourself.

By debilitating the industry, politicians would destroy thousands of small businesses and jobs. The countless e-liquid brands and vape shops would unfortunately not be able to survive.

Instead of a group of responsible entrepreneurs committed to creating an organized structured industry a black market would form and be forced to sell underground.

Prohibition on vaping would create a free for all black market. Regionalized by location, with “vape bootleggers” seizing the opportunity and selling products.

Instead of e-liquid produced in clean rooms, using premium ingredients and strict quality control. You would have the equivalent of moonshiners, brewing e-liquid in their bathtubs.

Ironically, it would be impossible to control or regulate, because lets be honest, its not like state or even federal governments have the funding for such an endeavor.

We saw what prohibition did to alcohol in the early 1900’s, it didn’t stop consumption, if anything it just made it more profitable for bootleggers. We’ve also seen how ineffective it has been against cannabis, with governments only now being open to legalization due to the taxation potential.

Vaping is not going anywhere, they can paralyze the industry, but they won’t be able to stop vapers from continuing.

Check out part 2 of this series here.

Big Tobacco Purchases Another E-Cig Company, Why It Matters

Japans largest tobacco company Japan Tobacco Inc. announced today that it has acquired U.S. e-cig company Logic technologies.

The Florida based company offers a full line of e-cig products, sold primarily in gas stations and convenience stores nation wide. The company also recently expanded its line by launching its first attempt at an open tank system.

Japan Tobacco Inc will finance the acquisition with a combination of cash and debt, upon receiving regulatory clearance. This marks the first time a major tobacco company has acquired a large independently owned U.S. based e-cig company since Altria acquired Blu in 2010.

Why it matters

There has been a lot of recent movement in the ciggalike sector of the vape industry. With companies like breathe appointing a big pharma executive to its board and now this acquisition.

It signals big pharma and big tobacco circling the industry, realizing there’s no way to stop our momentum as more and more smokers make the switch to vaping.

 

Instead they seem to be adopting a “if you can’t beat them, join them” philosophy.

Japan Tobacco Inc’s purchase comes on the heels of an 8.4% decline in cigarette sales during the first quarter of the year. Vaping continues to grow in popularity, and cigarette sales decline worldwide.

The question that begs to be asked is: When will big tobacco and big pharma set their sites on the vape community? And seek to get market share amongst drippers.

Will we see a big tobacco buy owned mod or rda?                    

More importantly, would any  mod maker or e-liquid company actually sell out to big tobacco or pharma? Probably.

The concern here is with more and more e-cig brands getting backed by big pharma and tobacco money, it leaves the independently owned companies at risk.

Numerous e-liquid brands, and hardware manufacturers will be at a disadvantage. It is important to keep in mind, that although the vaper community is large and growing daily, it is still the minority. Millions have switched to vaping, but only a small percentage of them become passionate aficionados.

Japan Tobacco Inc’s acquisition is one more step forward for big tobacco, buying market share, and using their vast resources to sell inferior products to uninformed citizens looking to try vaping.

ABX2-16 & SBX2-13 Threaten Vaping

On September 11th, the California legislative session will close. California, the fight for our vaping rights is still not over! Many of you out there cannot find time to join us in Sacramento when these sessions hit and we understand, but there is still so much we can all contribute! We urge you call, write, or email your local representatives and tell them you oppose ABX2-6, ABX2-16 and SBX2-13!

Per Stefan Didak of SFATA and Not Blowing Smoke:

ABX2-6 Would classify electronic cigarettes as tobacco products and apply all existing current tobacco legislation to vaping.

ABX2-16: Would expand the definition of tobacco products for purposes of the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Licensing Act to include electronic cigarettes, as defined, thereby subjecting manufacturers, importers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers of electronic cigarettes to the same licensing requirements imposed pursuant to that act on manufacturers, importers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers of tobacco products.

SBX-13: Would expand the definition of tobacco products for purposes of that Cigarette and Tobacco Products Licensing Act to include electronic cigarettes, as defined, thereby subjecting manufacturers, importers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers of electronic cigarettes to the same licensing requirements imposed pursuant to that act on manufacturers, importers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers of tobacco products. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

This bill would additionally, on or after the first day of the first calendar quarter commencing more than 90 days on or after the effective date of the bill, impose a tax on the distribution of electronic cigarettes, as defined, based on the wholesale cost, at a rate determined annually that is equivalent to the cigarette tax rate, which would be $2.87 per package of 20 cigarettes.

Remember, California politicians still don’t understand that zero nicotine eliquid contains, well, zero nicotine. They still don’t make distinctions between cigalike products and vapor devices. Bills like these are negligent without an understanding of even just the fundamentals of vaping. Many of our politicians are reluctant to take the time to understand, in favor of balancing the budget and preventing access to vaping in general. Or potentially worse, they do understand the differences, but want the ability to impart unreasonable taxes to completely dismantle our side of the industry.

The potential cost of losing is this battle is immeasurable, not limited to just the loss of jobs and businesses. The ability to impart ridiculous taxes that stand to make vaping outrageously expensive and difficult to afford the very thing that is saving our lives! DO NOT assume that you do not make a difference! Public indifference to legislation is what corporate backers rely on to see these bills passed.

Spread the word, tell your friends, family, associates, anyone who appreciates that you don’t smell like an ashtray or also believes that vaping saved your life.

Find your representative: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/
Not Blowing Smoke Special Sessions Information: http://notblowingsmoke.org/session/
CASAA Call to Action: http://cqrcengage.com/casaa/app/make-a-call?1&engagementId=128973

Have Vapers Caused Our Own Downfall?

The battle for our right to vape freely has begun. California has launched its crusade of ignorance against the vape industry. We are now in the cross-hairs of government, who aim to severely debilitate the vapor industry on behalf of their big tobacco and big pharma overlords.

But unfortunately, we have to accept part of the blame, as our behavior and conduct hasn’t exactly helped create the most positive image for the vape community.

Vapers scream bloody murder, and are mobilizing to “rage against the machine” as California and other state legislators move at an alarming pace to implement fatal regulations. We need to also be honest and admit to ourselves, we did commit a bit of self sabotage.

Every cloud contest, every photo shoot of nearly naked women, every cloud trick video, every glorification of “blowing clouds”, will now serve as ammunition for politicians and regulators that want to showcase us as appealing to minors. The truth of the matter is, we drew way too much attention to the vape culture and ourselves.

As a community we over did it, look to social media if you disagree. Millions of photos, glorifying vaping as a fun new hobby. The companies in our industry were willing participants as well. Sexualizing and romanticizing vaping, promoting the social nature of it, making it a popularity contest for vapers.

The question is, what did we expect would happen?

From a marketing perspective, it is as if e-liquid makers and other related companies were using Big Tobacco’s playbook from the 70’s and 80’s. We might as well created our own versions of the Marlboro Man and Joe Camel. We purposely drew attention to ourselves; just think of the countless vapers who walk around in public everyday blowing huge clouds.

Are the proposed laws against vaping unfair? Are politicians corrupt and ignorant?

Is the propaganda against vaping full of lies and misinformation?

Absolutely, without a doubt the answer is yes.

But, the vaper community should also take a break from painting itself as the innocent victim of evil corporations and corrupt government. Take a look in the mirror and accept part of the blame for how we represented ourselves.

Why Hasn’t Vaping Been Discussed During the Debates

The 2016 presidential election has been turbulent to say the least. Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican or identify as an independent this was not the election cycle that we expected. On the left, Senator Bernie Sanders has risen to be the new liberal champion for progressives. Giving Hillary Clinton who was the presumed nominee, a major run for her money, nearly defeating her in Iowa and winning the primary in New Hampshire.

Over on the right, the Republican primary has become an all out battle royal between presidential hopefuls. At a time when the field winds down to one or two likely candidates, the majority of the campaigns are choosing to continue. Then of course there is Donald Trumps unexpected and often times controversial rise to becoming the republican front runner, having never ran for public office in his life.

This election is being determined by a number of key issues, such as immigration reform, and national security from the threat of ISIS and terrorism. Healthcare is another issue of course, as Obama care continues to be a point of contention among liberals and conservatives. Interestingly enough, one topic relating to health care has been completely overlooked, although it impacts nearly 10 million Americans.

Care to guess what that topic is?

Although the debate on vaping has been discussed on a state and local level, it has yet to be a topic mentioned in this presidential election.

As Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and outspoken supporter for vapers rights put it “None of the candidates mentioned the Obama/Democrat war on Vaping and the 10million Americans who vape. Missed opportunity”. Mr. Norquist tweeted repeatedly about the vape industry during Saturday nights republican debate, even suggesting that the 10 million or so Americans who vape could equate for a massive swing vote in the election.

Its an interesting question, why haven’t they discussed vaping in any of the debates?
It certainly is a polarizing topic between the right and left. The strongest opponents of vaping tend to be Democrats, while the biggest proponents in government tend to be Republican.

The real question is, can we get any of the candidates running for their respective parties nomination to make a commitment towards helping the industry, and ensuring the preservation of vapers rights?

So whats the solution? how can we get the political heavy weights talking?
Well, the problem is the journalists who ask the questions. As a community we should collectively make an effort and write to these media outlets in hopes that they will ask the right questions. Either that or we sit back and wait until the debate on vaping gets large enough for the candidates to take notice, we opt for option one.