Tag Archives: Lobbying

Ohio Vapor Trade Association

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“And active membership is much more important than a membership with a lot of people.” ~ Nick Orlando.

The Ohio Vapor Trade Association (OHVTA) held their 2019 conference on Tuesday, May 14th, where OHVTA President James Jarvis hosted Ohio State Representative Doug Green, and Ohio State Senator John Eklund.

Along with James Jarvis, speaking at the event was Ohio Rep. Doug Green, Ohio Senator John Eklund, OHVTA Lobbyist Charlotte Hickcox , Nick Orlando with Florida Smoke Free Association, Keynote Speaker Dimitris Agrafiotis of Tennessee Smoke Free Association, Tony Abboud with Vapor Technology Association (VTA), and Fig Ramsey of Vape Tithing.

Also joining the conference was Jonathan Varner, head of JVA Campaigns (OHVTA’s digital media firm), along with Kevin Boehner and Justin Zink of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.


This meeting included an active power-bank of knowledge with insightful points of view, experience and education across the day-long conference with members from Florida to California. Industry guests spoke about current issues including lobbying, underage sales and proactively navigating the ever-changing landscape and future.


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Changing The Conversation

OHVTA is changing the conversation with lawmakers.

Representative Green and Senator Eklund spoke to the group with sincerity about issues and answered questions. One question was about the best way to go about contacting them, and the answer was clear: email or phone calls. Their staffers take each call and relay it to them.

They want to hear from consumers and businesses, and – we were told, oftentimes lawmakers don’t hear anything about issues they’re voting on, so your call or email could change the mind of your lawmaker.


In Ohio, trying to define vaping products as tobacco and restricting adult access (Tobacco 21) is another concern to adults as another attendee, Lindsey Stroud (below) points out here.

Left to right, myself, Fig Ramsey & Lindsey Stroud.

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Tony Abboud, Frank Cahall, Fig Ramsey, James Jarvis, Jeff Kathman, Bo McCoy and Rhonda Burch.

If you told me 6 years ago when I switched that I’d be sitting in Columbus, Ohio for an event like this – I’d have called you insane.

Instead, I was honored to be invited to an industry event, attending this meeting with the perspective of a concerned consumer, much like when I attended “A Billion Lives“. With great concern.

Witnessing what I did, I discovered heroes with one common goal. What I experienced was listening to actively engaged members (and leaders) in this industry who are passionate about their business, their customers, and attain their goal: To help smokers choose a safer alternative. To educate lawmakers. To educate consumers.

Notably, these professionals are proactive about keeping those products out of hands of underage youth. Furthermore, those same people are concerned about politicians trying to take their livelihood, and your choice away from them, and you.



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The OHVTA Members Legislative Reception (held after the conference) was provided by 80V E-liquid – John Nathan, Demand Vape – Jon Glauser and (Fig Ramsey) VapeTithing.

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I finally got to meet Dimitris Agrafiotis.

Dimitris Agrafiotis and I. Don’t tell Phil!

Fig Ramsey, myself, Lindsey Stroud, Jeff Kathman, Frank Cahall. Photo credit Fig Ramsey

If Ohio is an example of how trade organizations represent the industry, I’m impressed. These people are part of the solution. These folks have a network and discuss experience with local, state and national issues with each other. Engaging. Inspiring. Proactive.

I left this meeting with a renewed sense of hope from these business leaders fighting for consumers who have switched and those who may choose to switch, despite government resistance for the choice to do so.


If you are a consumer, join CASAA. Be engaged. If you’re in business and you haven’t, BE ENGAGED. Join an industry group. I don’t care who you choose, but choose. Conduct yourself as if your life and lives around you, and your business(es) depends upon it. If you don’t, who will?

If you don’t know why, go here.


The Takeaway

Nick Orlando

“And active membership is much more important than a membership with a lot of people.” ~ Nick Orlando.


Here’s Mike Peterson with OHVTA Board Member, Bo McCoy discussing the event.



You can learn more about VTA here.

You can learn more about OHVTA here.

You can learn more about VapeTithing here.

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Your comments are NEVER filtered, always encouraged and welcome at the bottom this blog. There is definitely more to come.

Keep ON #Vaping On.

Kevin