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.

Vaping Advocacy Etiquette

August 25th will mark a pivotal moment in the vape industry. If the proposed new laws pass, vaping will be categorized as a tobacco product. This would create a fundamental shift in the industry as California is the global hub of vaping.

Countless stores, distributors, and e-liquid companies could go out of business with choking regulations. Along with thousands of industry workers out of jobs.

But we vapers are a resilient bunch, with an iron will to fight for our freedom to vape. The industry is actively trying to mobilize as many vapers as possible to show up to California`s state capital in Sacramento for the hearing on Tuesday.

Therefore we thought it best to offer some guidelines on how to conduct yourself, and proper etiquette.

First and foremost, for those attending on Tuesday it is important to remember. YOU are representing the entire vape community and industry. How you behave, how you speak, will directly correlate with how our entire community is perceived.

Why does that matter?
Well aside from putting our best foot forward, there are a number of “swing voters”. These are the law makers who were not present or did not vote at the initial hearing. These are the people who can decide the outcome of this bill.

Therefore it is imperative we present ourselves professionally,
And yes this includes not chucking huge clouds in front of the public. That`s not protesting, that`s just making us look bad.

Other important things to keep in mind…

Dress appropriately: 
You don`t need to wear a three piece suit. But remember you are representing the industry as a whole. Although the vape community is open and accepting to all forms of self expression, remember this isn’t a cloud contest. This is a political hearing at a state capital. Dressing in a conservative, professional manner makes us look better collectively, like an actual INDUSTRY.

Don`t Blow Clouds:
As mentioned do not blow clouds in plain view, don’t worry they get it,you vape. We don`t need to draw unwanted attention to ourselves.

DO NOT speak out in the hearing chambers: 
This is the single most crucial thing to remember. I understand the outrage, believe me I`d like to tell Mr. Leno a few choice words myself. But we must show respect to the democratic process and follow the rules. Speaking out when you hear the fabricated lies and propaganda our opponents repeatedly say won`t help our cause.

You may get it off your chest, but you`ll severely hinder advocacy`s ability to represent us in the process.

Do not laugh or make other noises in the chambers:
Laughing out loud at comments you don`t agree with or making noises is just as bad as speaking. AGAIN, we have to play ball.

Let advocacy do their job: 
Our hard working advocates are currently working around the clock. This is not a side thing for them, it is massively time consuming and exhausting. Even with months of preparation its a huge undertaking, and this time they had less than a week.

Don`t swarm them, or hassle them on what to say or do. They are the experts, respect them and trust that they are working hard to fight for all of us.

Contacting local representatives:
If you cannot make it to Sacramento on Tuesday, then as mentioned please do your part. Call, E-mail, and get your friends and family to do the same. Casaa has provided a simple form to use here.

When you call and e-mail make sure to also conduct yourself professionally. Again your words and statements will reflect on all of us. Calling and yelling profanities at a state senator is not a great way to persuade them to vote for our cause. Understand this might be life and death for us, but for them its just another day at the office.

Do let your opinion be heard, share your story, and tell him how important vaping is to you. Do not be rude, or criticize them or speak in an aggressive tone. They will listen to comments, and opinions NOT emotional outbursts.

Again, please be sure to do your part, and help however you can. United we stand, divided we fall.

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.

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.

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.