You’re a vape shop owner? Are you saving lives and yourselves? Not afraid of the regulations your industry is under? Are you even aware there are regulations? If not, I’m talking to you. You’re probably already wondering who the hell I am and why I’ve got a chip on my shoulder. Well – let me explain myself and then we can move on from the formalities. I figure that’s only fair.
I’m not “in the industry”. I am however, a consumer. If you feel like I’m not talking to you, then you’re probably a stellar shop owner and are doing everything you can to save this industry, including your own business. As you were.
Don’t get confused, I’m also an advocate for you. Well, not really for you – for people like this lady who you haven’t met yet and about 40 million in the United States like her who may come visit YOU. See, I didn’t open a vape shop. I certainly wanted to in 2013 when I realized I could potentially help others realize what I had accidentally found out. Vaping worked when nothing else did. I say it saved my life. I get that.
I looked at doing so. I did cost analysis, looked at market trends *skyrocketing*, checked a few locations and saw 7 shops already competing within my home town of about 45,000. That itself was saturated. Still, forging ahead, I found wholesalers (NICE markups, eh?), I checked insurance rates – you know – all the things that go into starting a business.
I also gave serious consideration of the unknown FDA regulations coming down the line. I still wanted dearly to do it, but with all those factors, poor credit and having previously closed a business in 2007 – I also understood risk v.s. reward. I decided for my family – at the time, I could not take the risk.
Photo courtesy Chris Hughes
Now that the formalities are out of the way, I know you should be THE front line in the battle against every law, restriction, tax and ban any way you can. I’d bet I know your demographics better than you do. I understand nicotine strength and why it’s not addictive. I know why you’re talking people away from ego style products. I know why you’re selling high end equipment to folks who don’t WANT to blow clouds. I’ll bet I can talk shop about your first time customers as good or better than you can.
I know how you’ll lose business, and bet you the price of a brand new ego 2200 (at cost) that I could bring you more business to your shop. I’ll bet you don’t have a computer in your store to show research to customers when they have questions and I’ll wager your receipts don’t print out & tell customers about CASAA.
I’d venture to say you’re probably not a member of SFATA or the AVA or AEMSA. VTA or any local or state group. I’d bet if you had a sign explaining the FDA regulations we are ALL facing to your customers, they’d be just as pissed off as you
are should be, because you’re not allowed by law to do things to properly help the next smoker who may walk through that door.
Photo courtesy Chris Hughes
I’ll bet you’re a former smoker, using +/- 3MG and you’ve got the most expensive rig available. I’ll bet you’re thinking I’m an asshole as you blow clouds at your screen. IF you’re not running e-liquid through your back room or basement, you’d be embarrassed to show me where it is you manufacture it. I’d bet you’ve tossed free shit into a crowd. If I’m describing you, I’ll bet you’re wondering how you can get your hands around my throat. That’s mutual. Save that energy, I’m not quite done yet.
I’ll venture to say you’ve pondered the trademark or intellectual properties covering the e-liquid – but after about 10 seconds, you’ve only run it through your mind a couple other times since. You’ve probably heard of marketing to children but didn’t think it applied to you. I could go on but you’re starting to either feel guilty or relate to who should be feeling guilty as described. We can still be friends, there is hope. Let’s call this a one-time free consulting session. You just need to pay attention. This, after all, is YOUR business.
I take advocacy seriously in my off hours. This is, after all, about lives. You also, regardless of the descriptions above, presumably got into the business to help people as you found it helped you. THAT is where I need your mindset to be right now before we go further. Refill your top, get over yourself. Hydrate. Let’s move on.
You should be able to spout these organizations off without fear or hesitation. You should be a member of at least ONE trade organization. Your customers, because you’re informing THEM as well as you are should be aware and a member of at least one of the consumer organizations. You know, to keep them aware in case you forget.
- American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association (AEMSA)
- American Vaping Association
- CASAA – The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association
- EVUN – European Vapers United Network
- EVUN – European Vapers United Network On Facebook
- GFN: Global Forum on Nicotine
- Independent British Vape Trade Association
- International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organizations
- M.O.V.E. Medical Organizations in favour of Vaping and Electronic cigarettes
- Michigan Smoke-Free Alternatives Coalition (M.S.F.A.C.)
- National Vapers Club
- New Zealand Vaping Alliance
- Nicotine Science & Policy
- NNA: New Nicotine Alliance
- NNA: New Nicotine Alliance AU
- NOT BLOWING SMOKE
- Right to be Smoke-Free Coalition
- Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association SFATA
- The Shenzhen E-Vapor Industry Association USA
- The Vaping Militia
- Tobacco Harm Reduction Association of Canada
- Vape Free Youth
- Vapers In Power UK
- Vapor Technology Association
Sean Gore with Rep. Tom Cole.
Photo courtesy Sean Gore
You should be aware of the Child-resistant packaging rules.
You should know and have met YOUR representative and should be on a first name basis, for everyone’s good by now.
You should know everything there is to know about
You should be aware of the thousands of vapers on social media who fight every day and don’t own a business. In fact, on twitter we’re called “shills” and worse, “Big Vapor” or “Big Vaping“…. I forget.
I haven’t even touched the tip of what you need to know. If you’re a vendor and you’ve read this far, I not only commend you – I respect you. See, we can be friends.
You should know who is against you. This, after all, is YOUR business.
Photo courtesy Chris Hughes
Some awesome people have made this movie, A Billion Lives. It’s an independent film. On August 6th, I drove from Dayton to Milwaukee to see the U.S. Premier. I’ve SEEN it.
NON-smokers and the PUBLIC need to see it. NOW.
Here’s their latest teaser:
You should know how this documentary, A Billion Lives needs to be seen NOW, by the MILLIONS. You should know how highly I regard Aaron Biebert, A Billion Lives, Attention Era Media, and their teams and families for the sacrifices they’ve made to make this stunning film about our fight worldwide.
You should be organizing a screening or MULTIPLE screenings in YOUR area SPONSORING or co-sponsoring it (with or without other shops) to get your name out, buying blocks of tickets. (You’re still here?) Inviting new customers and smokers.
You should be inviting politicians, the local or closest Heart, Lung & Cancer association representatives in your area. Doctors. Nurses. College professors. Making sense?
I don’t know Fig personally, but I know he fights his ass off.
— Fig Ramsey (@figramsey) September 30, 2016
I don’t know Chris Hughes personally but I know he fought HIS ass off and is STILL fighing.
He’s now decided to seek election to the office of State Representative for the 84th Legislative District of PA.
I hope I’ve been
condescending informative enough to get you motivated to act. To fight.
This, after all, is YOUR business.
E-cigarette news you can use
Every day ~ Monday thru Friday ~ is here from my friends across the pond at Vapers.org.uk.
E-cigarette Research is HERE.
MORE e-cigarette research is also HERE.
If you are a Professional go HERE.
You can find me here trying to be cordial on Facebook
You can find me here being a bit more evil on Twitter