Petition to Remove Vaping From Tobacco Category Gains Momentum

An often overlooked reality is that Facebook, Google and other major platforms categorize vaping under tobacco.

To the casual observer, that categorization may not seem like it matters much. After all, at the end of the day, although vaping is not smoking, it resembles the act of it, so whats the big deal?

Well its not so much the category that matters, its the rules and policies that apply to the category that is a major issue. Being categorized as tobacco means for starters that no vape company or brand can purchase paid advertisement on Google or Facebook.

Which is why you rarely see sponsored posts from vape related companies, save for a few that figure out a way to trick the system.

This rule in particular has greatly impacted us here at Vape About It. Although we do not sell any product or represent any brands. We are still unable to even promote articles we feel are important or noteworthy. Promoting e-liquid is one thing, but we’re unable to promote research or news about the vape industry, even to our own audience.

The only exception for this rule has been the documentary “A Billion Lives” who petitioned Facebook, due to freedom of speech, we unfortunately were not so fortunate.

Now, a brave and forward thinking fellow vaper, named Kevin Price has taken the initiative and started a petition addressed towards Mark Zuckerberg to have Facebook rethink their stance on vaping, and the category they place it under.

The petition is beginning to pick up momentum, breaking the 10,000 signature mark as of today.
As much as advocacy promotes signing legislative petitions and making phone calls, this petition could have a massive impact on our industries ability to promote the benefits of vaping.

Large media companies regularly feature articles with misleading and factually false information about vaping. By removing the restrictions against vape related brands, we can collectively spread awareness and counteract the anti vaping propaganda.

So take a moment and sign here 

 

Tax Payers Footing the Bill for Vaper Smear Campaign

The California Department of Public Health recently launched a $75 million smear campaign “Still Blowing Smoke”. Marking the first mass-media attempt by government officials to halt the rapid growth of the vape industry.

The campaign features a number of over the top ads, one featuring young children, and  even infant toddlers attempting to use electronic vapor devices. Calling it an “ad campaign” is being generous, propaganda would be better. You can view all their ads here.

Outlandish ignorance aside, what about the overall cost of such a project?

The tax payers are picking up the tab for to appease the special interest big tobacco companies.

In an article written by Paul Blair, on the Americans for Tax Reform site, documents were shown that the total cost of California’s department of public health propaganda campaign will total $75 million. An amount that was conveniently not mentioned in the department’s official press release about the new campaign.

Where will that $75 million come from? Tax payers of course. Money that could be allocated towards other crucial needs such as education, police, alarming water shortage and a myriad of other uses.

Curiously, it seems that politicians seem to be the most keen on discouraging the use of vapor products. When the overwhelming majority of health experts agree that even though vaping may not be 100% safe or risk free, it is still a better alternative to smoking tobacco.

Tobacco products have some of the highest taxes of any consumer good. Annual sales generated $895 million in revenue for the California government in 2012 (the latest data available).

More people vaping, means less people smoking, and less tax money for government. Not to mention, less revenue for big tobacco who’s lobbyist account for millions in campaign contributions.

Are you comfortable with flipping the bill to help big tobacco kill hundreds of thousands of people every year? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Vaping Takes Off; Study shows 10% of US Adults Now Vape

Last week we reported the rise of vaping in the U.K. and the growing number of smokers who have made the switch to vapor from tobacco. Today we are excited to report a major milestone for vaping in the United States has been achieved:

A new poll conducted by reuters has concluded that 10% of all American adults now vape, that number is 15% for U.S. adults under the age of 40.

More importantly, As TIME magazine reported today, 70% of the participants surveyed report having started vaping just in the past year.

To put this milestone in perspective, as recently as 2013 a similar survey found only 2.6% of American adults were using vapor products. Now roughly one in ten adults vape, and smoking has declined to just under 19%.

This news arrives at a time when anti vaping propaganda has never been higher. The vape industry is facing opposition from multiple government agencies, along with the media. But, the numbers don`t lie, even with millions of tax dollars poured into propaganda vaping continues to rise and the industry continues to grow.

While this is a cause for celebration, its not time to pop open the champagne flavored e-liquid just yet. The industry and community still face a number of major challenges, and a hurdles up ahead. In addition, much larger battles await with looming fda regulations and state laws. Learn now the FDA ENDS regulations and how it will affect small biz here.

Also the same survey found roughly 75% of people who have switched to vaping still continue to fall off the wagon and use tobacco. Meaning we still have to increase support and guidance for new vapers to permanently kick the smoking habit.

With these recent statistics, its safe to say we have reached escape velocity. Vaping is the future, this milestone solidifies our lift off and rise as an industry. The unfounded lies by government health agencies, and the redundant broken record whining about underage usage by anti vaping alarmists is not halting our progress. The time is now to become more unified as a community, and better organized as an industry as vaping continues to grow worldwide

Senator Mark Leno, Sponsored by Big Pharma to Defame Vaping?

In January of 2015, Senator Mark Leno proposed “Senate Bill 140 Electronic Cigarettes”, the bill we all know would label vapor devices as tobacco products.

When NorCal’s SFATA Chapter President Stefan Didak attended the first Senate Health Committee hearing April 8th, 2015, regarding this proposed bill, Senator Leno dismissed Stefan’s concerns, stating that if Vape Shops wish to permit vaping in their shops, they can apply for the same licenses required of hookah shops. While this may not sound severe, many local communities have ordinances in place that wouldn’t permit such licensure (San Mateo, San Carlos, Berkeley, Laguna Woods and Chico, to name a few).

Previously we wrote when Senator Leno has made offhanded baseless and ignorant comments, including “Whether you get people hooked on e-cigarettes or regular cigarettes, its nicotine addiction and it kills. We’re going to see hundreds of thousands of family members and friends die from e-cigarette use, just like we did from traditional tobacco.” It’s apparent while Senator Leno has been well educated by his Big Pharma contributors and their ilk, he hasn’t taken the time to read the science, the studies most of us vapers are familiar with.

What Senator Leno either doesn’t realize, or simply doesn’t care about, is that if the small businesses that make up the vaping “industry” are adversely affected, many of us could very well lose access to the products that prevent us from smoking combustible cigarettes. Senator Mark Leno, if you succeed, YOU will be the reason hundreds of thousands of family members and friends die from “e-cigarette” use. The research is out there, we’ve proven our argument. Special interests claiming that our research, peer reviewed studies, either don’t exist or aren’t valid because it wasn’t conducted by their in-house researchers doesn’t actually invalidate this research.

It’s as if I try to claim all kittens are born in shades of pink and blue and capable of flight, or cephalopods are capable of being leash-trained, and then walked about as if they were terrestrial household pets. Claiming something is fact, or simply wanting it to be, doesn’t make it so.

Just a cursory glance at Senator Mark Leno’s contributors include:

  • AstraZeneca; Manufacturers of Eolas Orexin-1: a receptor antagonist that will be marketed as a smoking cessation therapy.
  • GlaxoSmithKline/Johnson & Johnson: Manufacturer and distributor of Nicorette.
  • Kaiser Permanente: Currently campaigning against vaping products while suggesting NRT therapies and Wellbutrin, (an anti-depressant which is known to cause seizures, allergic skin reactions with blistering and peeling, confusion, trouble concentrating, hallucinations and unusual thoughts or behavior) are more effective as cessation aids. (When even The American Heart Association states otherwise.)
  • Serono: The bio-pharmaceutical division of Merck/Pfizer, the latter of which is the manufacturer of Chantix (the side effects of which include loss of interest or pleasure, mood swings, hallucinations, feelings of panic, suicidal ideation, suicide, and pretty much everything horribly wrong you can imagine), which Merck suggests you utilize for smoking cessation.

It’s easy to see where Senator Leno gets his (mis)information. The question is will you let him hurt our “industry” of small and local businesses? Senator Leno is WRONG. We need to stop these blatant lies from spreading.

We urge you to call your CA State representatives and let them know your concerns. If some of them aren’t in the pockets of Big Pharma or Big Tobacco yet, they may really listen to us. Alternatively if you have time and the means to join us on July 8th, 2015 in Sacramento, come out! This might be our last chance.

For more information, please visit the NorCal SFATA SB140 Quick Review. Please visit the NorCal SFATA SB140 Call To Action to see ways you can help.

British Prime Minister Endorses Vaping

David Cameron, the British Prime Minister; has become the first world leader to publicly endorse the usage of electronic cigarettes.

Prime Minister Cameron went on the record, after being asked about his view on e-cigarette regulation. Revealing that he believed e-cigarettes are a legitimate aid use by people to help break the habit of smoking after discussing his own struggle to quit smoking. Stating “certainly as somebody who has been through this battle a number of times, eventually relatively successfully, lots of people find different ways of doing it, and certainly for some people e-cigarettes are successful.

In 2015, England moved to the forefront of a relatively fair and sound approach to vaping. Becoming a leading example of how a major world government could preserve the rights and freedoms of its citizens to adopt vaping, while at the same time maintaining their commitment to the greater public’s health and safety.

Their own ministry of health conducted one of the first government funded studies on vaping, and concluded the now often cited findings that vapor is 95% less harmful than tobacco smoking. The landmark study also helped make strides in exposing the blatant bias and propaganda of US researches, falsifying data and using junk science.

Cameron also said “I think we do need to be guided by the experts. We should look at the report from Public Health England but its promising to see that overall, one million people are estimated to have used e-cigarettes to help them quit”.

The UK`s vape community is growing, as is the number of citizens using vapor devices, the estimated number now totals 2.6 million people.

The Prime Minister further added “I think we should be making clear that this is a very legitimate path for many people to improve their health and the health of the nation”.

At such a volatile time for the vape industry, it’s a relief to see some world leaders actually approaching vaping logically. While many U.S. Politicians are driven by ulterior motives and maintain an alarmist attitude, leaders in the UK are at least putting the health of their citizens ahead of special interest groups.

The American Cancer Society Asked; Vapers Responding

Yesterday the American Cancer Society took to Facebook and other social media outlets asking the public a simple question.

How Did You Quit Smoking?

Vapers have been responding! Over 95% of the almost 3,000 comments posted so far are from vapers sharing their personal stories about how vaping was what got them to quit cigarettes for good.  To share your own story, visit the American Cancer Society Official Facebook Page.

“In about a week, I will be one year smoke-free. I quit through vaping when nothing else worked”, said Randy W., whose comment has received over 580 Facebook likes in less than 24 hours.

It can be an emotional tale for some to tell. Take for instance Wendy B.  Wendy responded with, “Had cancer, didn’t stop me, have emphysema, 35 years of 1.5 packs a day, I never wanted to give up nicotine. I’ve switched to vaping, three months now without a cigarette. My primary and cancer doc support it as a safer nicotine alternative.”

The American Cancer Society has promised to feature select stories on their official website www.cancer.org by saying in their Facebook post, “Quitting smoking is no easy feat! If you’ve successfully quit, share your story in the comments. You could be featured on our website and give hope to others trying to get healthy.”

So will they do it?

Given the American Cancer Society’s stance on vaping in the past, we’re very interested to see their official website in the next few weeks. The American Cancer Society in May of 2011 said in an article titled Electronic Cigarettes – Boon, Bane, Blessing, or Boondoggle? “E-cigarettes are a grave danger to the public health”. In 2014 the ACS updated there outlook with an article titled “E-cigarettes – It’s Complicated” stating that “more independent, objective data is needed.”

With the outpouring of stories from vapers across the United States, it’s hard to ignore the truth that vaping truly does work when it comes to quitting cigarettes and it’s saving countless lives in the process! #VapeOn

Special Session Open to Public

News broke yesterday that the California legislatures special session would be open to the public. Sending California`s industry stake holders into a scramble, in order to mobilize in time.

As we said yesterday, we urge all vapers, especially those involved in the industry to do their best in making it to the state capital tomorrow. It is imperative we rally as many people as we can to show our solidarity.

Mark Leno and the anti vaping propagandists are relentless. It has become clear Leno will not stop in his attempts to cripple the vapor industry. His big pharma overlords know that by eliminating the California vape industry a domino effect will follow. They are quite blatantly going for our throats.

Leno’s connection to big pharma is well documented as we have pointed out. We thought his defeat on SB140 would make him give up his crusade of ignorance and misinformation. But we`re assuming his good friends in the pharmaceutical industry were not too pleased. Which is why he`s now exploiting and manipulating the legislative process in order to once again try and destroy our community.

We implore anyone and everyone who is capable of attending the hearing in Sacramento tomorrow to make the trip. As our friend Stefan Didak the founder/president of NotBlowingSmoke.Org and the Norcal Chapter president of SFATA put it ” The California legislature and the entire nation heard you loud and clear during SB140. For the upcoming special session we need you to be a little louder”.

So, make the trip, send the e-mails, make a phonecall do whatever you can to contribute. This is our cause, nobody is going to come to our rescue. It is up to us to unite and fight against the powers that be who wish to restrict our freedom.

If you can’t make the trip,  then please take the time to call, and e-mail. CASAA has provided an easy way to contact state and local representatives here. We must make our voices heard if we want to defeat these unfair regulations.

E-Cigs Sales in Prison: Advocacy or Exploitation

E-cigarette use is growing among inmates across the country, as more prisons begin to allow the sale and use of vapor products. Most recently, Bradley County Tennessee approved the sale of e-cigarettes in an 11-2 vote. The counties approval allows the Sheriff’s office to stock and supervise the sale of e-cigarettes in the local correctional facilities commissary.

7 other states including Texas, Illinois, and Ohio allow for the sale of e-cigarettes in prison. Part of the reasoning by lawmakers is that vaping helps relieve stress for inmates they argue. Especially for those incarcerated in Tennessee, where there is a tobacco ban.

 

But there might be an ulterior motive driving the adoption of e-cigarettes in jail, and that is the revenue it can generate.

Prison’s make a commission off items sold in commissaries, and e-cigarettes provide a much higher mark up than analog cigarettes.

For this reason, some have began to question the true motives behind local counties, and sheriff departments. While some like Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson are open about the lucrative opportunity, stating they “have the potential to earn between $96,000 and $120,000 per year”.

Some places are blatantly and scandalously exploiting the system to make a profit.

For example, evidence was uncovered by the Murfreesboro Post in Rutherford County, Tennessee that the owners of the company “JailCigs” a contracted e-cigarette vendor to the local prisons, are the Aunt and Uncle of the counties Sheriff. They also uncovered evidence that the Sheriff himself is an investor in the company.

Private e-cigarette labels aren’t shying away from marketing directly to sheriff departments either, with companies with names such as “eCigs 4 Inmates” popping up.

Another jail e-cigarette vendor by the name of Precision Vapor has been seen advertising at Sheriff association conferences with a slogan that read “ Earn 1000`s for your jail”.

E-cigs in prisons cost on average $14, almost double the price of standard disposable e-cigarettes sold in convenience stores.

Exploding E-Cig Causes House Fire?

A house fire erupted from an electronic cigarette exploding as it was being charged in the Township of Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey.

The homeowner was using her cell phone charger instead of the e-cig charger. She assumed it made no difference due to their identical design, and USB cable compatibility.

Unfortunately she was not aware that a standard e-cigarette could not withstand the stronger electrical current of a cell phone charger and would overheat. Luckily there were no injuries, and damage was minimal, limited to the kitchen area according to fire fighters who responded to the call.

This is another case of user error causing a potentially dangerous and harmful situation.

The report of exploding e-cig batteries has increased, as vaping continues to grow in popularity. It is important to keep in mind, the problem here isn’t the battery itself.

Although The U.S. market is unregulated, hardware manufacturers in China have uniform safety standards they must all comply with. The problem here is educating beginners on proper maintenance.

Learn more about vaping battery safety here.

Higher quality batteries provide added features for protection, but they still require a basic understanding in order to ensure safety.

A story like this may seem like added ammunition for the vape industries opponents.

In truth, this story further demonstrates that overbearing regulations can lead to potential harm. For example, regulations that would debilitate specialty vape shops forcing them to shut down, and limit the sale of vapor products to smoke shops and convenience stores. Customers would then be purchasing products from people who have no expertise on proper operation and maintenance.

The danger here isn’t to avid vapers who are experienced and know what their doing, but to the many beginners just starting out who are clueless about vape safety and proper maintenance.

Vaping is not rocket science, but it does have a learning curve.

By placing harsh restrictions on specialty shops, consumers will also be restricted from access to qualified individuals to teach them. Stay safe out there, practice proper safety and responsible battery storage and #vapeon.

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…