Tag Archives: Small business

Our Voices: We, The People

I was LOOKING at the WHITE HOUSE.

Over the weekend, I took a little trip to Washington, D.C. to exercise my first amendment rights with a few friends. It’s kind of a thing, speaking my mind. Knock, knock, Mr. President.


On Friday, while I traveled to D.C., President Trump stated they’d be coming out with a “very important position on vaping” and mentioned raising the age to “21 or so”, as reported here. I saw that on the eve of what would be, in my mind, a historic showing of consumers the following afternoon. On September 11th, he’d already stated bans were coming.

It didn’t matter what I heard. The Office of Management and Budget had already cancelled appointments the week before. None of that mattered, we were already knocking on his WE, The People’s door. We were prepared to make a unified statement about our CHOICE for less harmful products remaining available.

Many had already arrived, more were on the way, and you could feel the passion.

I want to thank EVERYONE wearing those vests. They were invaluable in keeping this rally safe and smooth.

They said it couldn’t be done

Humor me: If you’d told me I was going to be in D.C. – at the White House – because I stopped smoking….. well – here I was with what I hoped to be thousands of others. Why? Because we’re adults. Because we’re consumers. And small businesses. And we’re all frustrated and angry.

We were in our nation’s capital – to have our voices heard, to exercise our rights and responsibility: “The right to freedom of association is recognized as a human right, a political right and a civil liberty” as so many had done before us.


For YEARS

We’ve listened to PHINO’s (Public Health In Name Only) lie. They’ve altered presentations. We’ve watched them conduct themselves with bias, without accountability, interpreting, manipulating, and misrepresenting “dangers” and hyperinflated youth data.

For YEARS

We’ve been completely dismissed… ignored. Preempted, with hostility. Talked down to. Talked over. Not included in the conversation. We’ve been lied to in court hearings, lied about in the press. Small businesses (and consumers) have been accused of “marketing to children“.

For YEARS…

…we’ve been called what could not be further from the truth: Addicts, Anecdotes, Bots, Impugners, Sheep, Shills, and worse. (I am kind of fond of being called a bot, though.)

For YEARS…

…despite the fact that there are plenty of examples of reasonable regulatory steps, “trusted public health experts” and non-governmental organizations quietly sit with mouths clamped shut, standing with hands open, choosing demanding (and hiding cowardly behind) Master Settlement Agreement funding, instead of putting forth effort by making an already less harmful choice for the world – better.

THOSE people hide behind the illusion of “helping”.


I’d heard “we should go to Washington” so many times, I didn’t care if there were 9 people or 90, or 900, or 9,000.


For YEARS…

we’ve watched politicians demanding (and recently invoking) bans for anything but cigarettes. We’ve watched media vultures – gnawing on every buzzword like “deaths” of unrelated, illegal products – to bring it all full circle… to regulate, restrict, tax & ban any and all forms of less harmful products, and flavors.


So yeah, I was excitedly in our nation’s capital… with a growing crowd of pissed off people fighting peacefully for freedom of choice against the threat of BANS of less harmful adult flavored products for everyone across the country, and quite possibly the world. If they could get away with this, what other abuse of power and criminal acts can non-governmental organizations and “public health ‘experts” get away with? Knock, knock, Mr. President.

NO more.


If you build it, they will come

While it may not have looked difficult for this to have been accomplished, preparations and logistics HAD to be handled. This was White House property. There was National Park Service & Secret Service to coordinate EVERYTHING with. There were all volunteer marshals for safety & logistics – and it couldn’t have been done without them in place.

The United Vapers Alliance planned & coordinated anything and everything that could have been thought of (<-video). This was not just pulling into the park with the family and having a picnic. This was the nation’s capital. Anyone or everyone “could” have been removed at any time by the National Park Service or Secret Service at their discretion – for the slightest infraction.

There were rules for everyone to follow & abide by. Restrooms were at least a ten-minute walk away. A first aid station. Assigned people for talking to the media. There were to be no bags left unattended. Permits to be obtained. We wanted to be HEARD, so stage and sound had to be rented and set up. Signs were ordered. Radios were needed. The coordination and the flow of speakers… cleanup… and leaving the park just the way we’d found it.

All we were waiting on were YOU, the people. We knew they were coming from Alaska, Georgia, Tennessee… New York… Ohio… Florida… and they were coming by the busload… some were already in the park and coordinating the days event.


Wait… Secret Service said we had to vacate the area, (we knew it could happen) because President Trump was flying out. When the Secret Service says move, you MOVE. Most went across the street to the Washington Monument.

This photo was stolen approximately one gazillion times from, and credit to: John Glauser

While almost everyone waited across the street, the President flew directly OVERHEAD… so he SAW us… He must have thought – that many people must be serious if they’re willing to travel, stay, congregate, and assemble peacefully as WE, the PEOPLE, in Washington, D.C. on a cold Saturday afternoon.


“History is full of disapproval of or objection to something “someone else” didn’t like.” ~ Me.


President Trump was gone, but We, The PEOPLE, were NOT.

The Secret Service were extremely kind and held traffic for us WE, The PEOPLE to get back across Constitution Ave. Here we are streaming back into the park after the flyover.

Back to business at hand, folks – back in the park we go. We’re coming back in…and more were almost here on various buses. (One of my photos.)

YOU, the people, came.

The vast majority of us use flavors. We’ve TOLD them that. It has been submitted to the FDA. Without linking it all, authorities HAVE data.

We came to speak our collective minds. We were #LOUDER. (Thanks, Sherwin!) We are, and have been tired of being lied to, lied about, and ignored.

Speakers spoke. The crowd listened. “We Vape, We Vote“.


How many were in the crowd? I don’t know the total number in attendance at this historic event, but I know I missed finding and meeting some of you. That’s how many came. So, speculation of numbers? More than 9, more than 90, and more than 900. Hats, hoodies & sunglasses disguised (us) some of you – but I found a few… gratefully, a few, like Amanda Wheeler, found me!

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, outdoor and closeup
The amazing Amanda Wheeler & I!

I wandered around – surfing the crowd –like a bot– listening to the speakers. Taking photos, taking the moment in – still dumbfounded I was standing in eyesight of the WHITE HOUSE with thousands of others who had simply quit smoking, having to FIGHT for our rights to flavors because we didn’t quit smoking the way “they” wanted us to.

Image may contain: 4 people, outdoor
Another image stolen by me and probably thousands of others by now (I don’t know who to credit!)

I saw familiar digital faces, some I didn’t recognize until I heard their name. I shook hands, got hugs, saw Brent Stafford from Regulator Watch covering the event. (See his site for interviews!!!)

Then, while behind the stage I heard Business Insider, Buzzfeed, CNN, Fox, NBC, NPR, and Vice (who said the rally “was relentlessly sincere“), were also there.

Rolling Stone was there. HUH!

One of my photos while James Jarvis spoke.

Here’s a great deal from Lunar Rover!

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I said to myself and others about 5,000 times Saturday: “Holy shit, I’m in front of the White House. It’s about F’n TIME”. And just like that, harm reduction-this cause, is national news…

Whether you came or not, if you read this blog, YOU had a place here in Washington, D.C. on November 9th. YOUR consumer voice was represented. If you weren’t there, you were tweeting and flooding the switchboards (ring, ring, Mr. President) with calls to the White House.


I proudly carried this sign.

“We vape, we vote”.

What was the message? The message was “to educate the public and politicians regarding the benefits of harm reduction via vapor products, and will strongly convey that changes must be made, within the FDA, to provide an economically feasible pathway to market.” (Source) including FLAVORS.

Here’s 28 seconds of Gregory Conley explaining:


Here’s Alex Clark explaining:


You may ask – was this necessary?

After all, President Trump had already left for a football game. Was he listening? Did he care? I’ll answer: YES. Period.

Was this rally important?

  • Was it #LOUDER? YES.
  • Did it make an impact? YES
  • Was the timing right? I’ll get to that.
  • Did this rally change the conversation? YES.
  • Do I think we got our collective message across? Hell yes.
  • Was explaining how our voting power in swing states could change an election? Yep.
  • Was the effort and collaboration of consumers showing their faces in D.C. worth it? Hell yes.

Was it “worth it” to get national press, and for our President, the leader of the free world, explaining on Veteran’s Day, that he’d be meeting to come up with an acceptable solution in less than 48 hours after the event?

Pay attention to CASAA’s words: “...the MAIN STAKEHOLDERS in this issue are the millions of voting CONSUMERS who rely on these products.”

Abso-damn-lutely.

By any means, this isn’t over. This fight has just begun.

Consumers need small businesses, and small businesses need organizations who represent them all – to have their collective voices heard.

Two months after announcing his administration would “clear the market”- to the day, he decided he will “be meeting with representatives of the Vaping industry”.

Did this rally give pressure to change the President’s MIND or give pause to his decisions concerning our freedoms? I certainly hope so.

Link to tweet

The world was watching.

No one had done this before.

Will this event be analyzed or criticized? Possibly, yes.

Without question, We conducted ourselves in a civilized manner – and had some of the loudest voices in the nation representing you, the people, in a civilized manner.

I have hope that if you were unable to attend this event, you tweeted, called the White House, and saw that if it can be done in Washington, D.C., it can be done anywhere in the country.

I hope it inspires and motivates you to DO that very same thing in your area, and to show up at city and state hearings. I hope it inspires you to be #louder.


Thank YOU.

I’d like to thank ALL donors, speakers, organizations, and importantly, the marshals and all the attendees for showing up to help make this event HAPPEN. I’d like to thank the Secret Service and National Park Service staff for guidance and information crucial to having a successful event.

I thank consumers and small businesses who couldn’t make it, but called the White House, and tweeted, and write their representatives, and continue to keep awareness up all the time.

I thank Sherwin Mena, Tristan Thompson, Matthew Salter, Tammy Michaud, Matthew Elliott, Allen Davis, Cory Amedio, and Matt Culley for allowing me to join them in what was a pivotal and historic moment and effort for this community and cause I love dearly. Fighting for themselves, each other, you, small businesses, and future smokers who have the RIGHT to choose to switch to a less harmful alternative, with flavors of their choice…


Mike Peterson chats with Sherwin Mena, Nick Orlando, and James Jarvis about the rally here.


Jim McDonald just released his article about the rally over at Vaping 360, you can read it HERE.


On a personal note – I reflected quietly – with my mind racing on the drive home… about the awe-inspiring experience, realizing I’d been a part of history. I was VERY proud of us.

In hindsight, I have just one regret for November 9th… I didn’t think to call the White House to oppose a flavor ban between speakers, and invite the President to come visit us from the stage myself… of course, he’d already left for a football game.


Lunar Rover

This blog is sponsored by LUNAR ROVER|Premium eLiquid.

Check them out!

They not only produce cocktail and fruit flavors, they also have a range of tobacco flavors ranging from 0-18 strength.

Here’s a great deal from Lunar Rover!

Simply usevapinglinks” at checkout for 15% off your entire cart!

Lunar Rover thumbnail_300x90


Have you met my OUR friends at vapers.org.uk?

vapersukgraphic.JPG


Are you familiar with Tobacco Harm Reduction For Life?


You can find me here trying to be cordial on Facebook

You can find me here being a bit more evil on Twitter

You can find me here on Instagram

You can also find me on LinkedIn




It’s FREE, have you joined CASAA? Have you added your testimony here?


Keep up with the latest here with the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World


Medical, Research, Science Professionals:

Research:


Politics:

E-Cigarette Politics

You Don’t Know Nicotine

A Billion Lives


#ChangeTheConversation

#YouDontKnowNicotine

Consumers:

Vape Radio

Smoke Free Radio

VAEP : Vaping Education

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

WE, The People

October 1st, Columbus, Ohio Statehouse rally.

Consumers: WE, the people.

That’s YOU.

Over the past few years I’ve seen and heard variations of “we should go to Washington and hold a rally.” Well, dear fellow consumer we, the people, it is beyond time. Suddenly, when President Trump tweeted about vaping, we are IN the national spotlight.

Now is the time for we, the people to come together in one voice – and make our presence known in our nation’s capital. Millions have bravely gone before us, now it is our turn.


“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.

What does that mean to we, the people? As long as you’re of legal age, smoke if you like. Or don’t. To me, it means freedom of choice of a less harmful alternative to smoking.. and that includes flavors.


See the source image
Source

Dateline: December 16, 1773, BOSTON.

Boston Tea Party

I’m confident American small business owners and consumers alike are familiar with the history that helped frame the foundation of the United States.

Enraged by control, taxation, tyranny, and demanding freedom – the Sons of Liberty (merchants/small business owners) decided, defiantly, to throw themselves a tea party in the Boston Harbor. They became #louder.

Before this, boycotts and smuggling – black market – tea was prominent.

Now replace the word tea – with cigarettes. Next, replace the words “No taxation without representation” with “lessharmfulproducts“.


Here’s a great deal from Lunar Rover!

LUNAR ROVER | Premium eLiquid

Simply use “vapinglinks” at checkout for 15% off your entire cart!

Please visit my proud sponsor

Lunar Rover thumbnail_624x90

October 1st, concerned citizen from Akron attending the Columbus, Ohio rally.

This is our “Boston Tea Party”.

Despite efforts to circumvent the movement we, the people, vaping products are removing cigarette tax revenue from the government. That’s what small businesses and consumers we, the people, are doing. This is our “Boston Tea Party”.

#WashingtonDC. Harm reduction. We the people. November 9th.

#Louder.


Who

No photo description available.

The United Vapers Alliance (UVA) was formed as a 501(c)(4) organization earlier this year. The sole intent is to educate the public and politicians regarding the benefits of harm reduction via vapor products, and the right to keep flavors on the market as a consumer choice.


Why:

Because the government is WRONG. Our messaging needs to be clear, simple, peaceful, and united. Consumers, we the people’s rights are being infringed, restricted, and may possibly be extinguished by government actions and policy all over the nation. The time for silence is over. The time to be heard is NOW.  For too long, we have waited for our politicians to do the right thing.  No more.

“So whether or not we choose to believe the FDA’s stated intent to entertain the re-introduction of flavored vapes at a later date, this is, at least, a de facto permanent prohibition for smaller operators.” Source

THOUSANDS of citizens like Susan Ripley (below), have created small businesses, creating jobs by investing in this life-changing technology. Now they are fighting for their rights – along with ours.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing, crowd and outdoor
October 1st, Columbus, Ohio rally.
Photo courtesy Susan Ripley.

How:

United Vapers Alliance will LOUDLY inform Congress and the FDA, that if they do NOTHING, 99% of all vape products will be removed from the market by May, 2020.  United Vapers Alliance will fight for the right to live a less harmful lifestyle and see OUR children grow. 

We are an estimated thirteen+ (13+) million strong, with families and friends who have seen the positive change that vapor products have provided.  If our politicians will not listen to our voices we, the people, then our voices will be heard at the ballot box this 2020 election.

Together, consumers will rally with ONE voice, ONE mission, ONE message, and will shake the very foundations of power in Washington D.C..


When and where

WASHINGTON, D.C.

When: November 9, 2019: 12p-4pm
Where: The Ellipse @ 1450 Pennsylvania Ave NW
WASHINGTON, D.C.


You can find UVA’s website here: United Vapers Alliance

You can find also find & join UVA’s Facebook page here:

United Vapers Alliance


Footnote:

This Washington, D.C. voyage has the same importance for me personally as my trip to Milwaukee did. This is history in the making. Monumental. I want to stand beside you, the people, with some of the loudest voices representing our country, and to be heard. To change the conversation.

This country was founded on we, the people. Someone was standing up for your rights, the rights of others, and those generations who will follow. This country was founded on #louder voices. This is no different. I consider myself one who speaks for many. I hope to see you there, and don’t be shy. I’ll be the 6′ redhead looking forward to standing beside you and shaking your hand.


Lunar Rover

This blog is sponsored by LUNAR ROVER|Premium eLiquid.

Check them out!

They not only produce cocktail and fruit flavors, they also have a range of tobacco flavors ranging from 0-18 strength.

Here’s a great deal from Lunar Rover!

Simply usevapinglinks” at checkout for 15% off your entire cart!

Lunar Rover thumbnail_300x90


Have you met my OUR friends at vapers.org.uk?

vapersukgraphic.JPG


Are you familiar with Tobacco Harm Reduction For Life?

I proudly joined David Goerlitz on his latest podcast: David G Model Citizen.


You can find me here trying to be cordial on Facebook

You can find me here being a bit more evil on Twitter

You can find me here on Instagram

You can also find me on LinkedIn



Are you familiar with GONZO GIVES?  VapeTithing? Do that! #FundTheFuture!


It’s FREE, have you joined CASAA? Have you added your testimony here?


Keep up with the latest here with the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World


Medical, Research, Science Professionals:

Research:


Politics:

E-Cigarette Politics

You Don’t Know Nicotine

A Billion Lives


#ChangeTheConversation

#YouDontKnowNicotine

Consumers:

Vape Radio

Smoke Free Radio

VAEP : Vaping Education

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

Vaping In The News – July 13th, 2019

Vaping In The News covers nicotine, smoking, vaping, snus, heat not burn, e-cigarettes, harm reduction, tobacco control, public health, government, regulations, policies & more worldwide.


Tobacco “control” ~ Dear Senator Warren, the Revolving Door With Gottlieb Didn’t Start at Pfizer ~ U.S. Adults’ Attitudes Toward Lowering Nicotine Levels in Cigarettes ~ This little-known tobacco stock is a big winner from e-cigarette bans ~ Vape Shop Customers’ Experiences of E-Cigarette Use, Vape Shops and the Vaping Community ~ Is low-nicotine tobacco just another WHO smokescreen? ~ Vaping influencer marketing is misunderstood ~ Mouse-Brained Research ~ U.S. federal judge orders FDA to implement 10-month deadline for e-cig applications ~ Vape Manufacturers Must Submit PMTAs in 10 Months or Shut Down


Tobacco “Control”

The title for this is way too long, and doesn’t quite explain the lack of effort by the World Health Organization’s “Framework Convention on Tobacco Control” (FCTC)

Since 2003, they’ve accomplished bullying smokers, taxing smokers, and “controlling” tobacco, but this states there is NO evidence the FCTC has “reducing cigarette consumption” in all those years.

It’s something they’re just not good at. Evidently.

Tobacco “Control”


Dear Senator Warren, the Revolving Door With Gottlieb Didn’t Start at Pfizer

Oh, Dr. Gottlieb. Via Lindsey (with an “e“) Stroud.

Dear Senator Warren, the Revolving Door With Gottlieb Didn’t Start at Pfizer


U.S. Adults’ Attitudes Toward Lowering Nicotine Levels in Cigarettes

Um, yeah. A “web-based panel survey” is the best way to go to determine this, because you know, science isn’t working. Here’s a partial list of who’s FOR more cigarettes.

U.S. Adults’ Attitudes Toward Lowering Nicotine Levels in Cigarettes


This little-known tobacco stock is a big winner from e-cigarette bans

File this under “Keep smoking we need the money“.

This little-known tobacco stock is a big winner from e-cigarette bans


Vape Shop Customers’ Experiences of E-Cigarette Use, Vape Shops and the Vaping Community

Imagine?

Vape Shop Customers’ Experiences of E-Cigarette Use, Vape Shops and the Vaping Community


Here’s a great deal from Lunar Rover!

LUNAR ROVER | Premium eLiquid

Simply use “vapinglinks” at checkout for 15% off your entire cart!

Please visit my proud sponsor

Lunar Rover thumbnail_624x90

Is low-nicotine tobacco just another WHO smokescreen?

See, if when more tobacco sells, you can also file this under “keep smoking we need the money”.

Is low-nicotine tobacco just another WHO smokescreen?

Vaping influencer marketing is misunderstood

I’m confident stating Michael McGrady understands the misunderstanding.

Vaping influencer marketing is misunderstood


Mouse-Brained Research

If “researchers” had a brain the size of a mouse between them…

Mouse-Brained Research


U.S. federal judge orders FDA to implement 10-month deadline for e-cig applications

This could change, be challenged, or ignored. Is my consumer view of this of any substance? Does it matter? Do their claims hold up?

U.S. federal judge orders FDA to implement 10-month deadline for e-cig applications


Vape Manufacturers Must Submit PMTAs in 10 Months or Shut Down

Did you do everything you could do? Are you mad yet? See Jim McDonald:

Vape Manufacturers Must Submit PMTAs in 10 Months or Shut Down


Lunar Rover

This blog is sponsored by LUNAR ROVER|Premium eLiquid.

Check them out!

They not only produce cocktail and fruit flavors, they also have a range of tobacco flavors ranging from 0-18 strength.

Here’s a great deal from Lunar Rover!

Simply usevapinglinks” at checkout for 15% off your entire cart!

Lunar Rover thumbnail_300x90

Have you met my OUR friends at vapers.org.uk?

vapersukgraphic.JPG


I proudly joined David Goerlitz on his latest podcast: David G Model Citizen.

Are you familiar with Tobacco Harm Reduction For Life?


You can find me here trying to be cordial on Facebook

You can find me here being a bit more evil on Twitter

You can find me here on Instagram

You can also find me on LinkedIn



Are you familiar with GONZO GIVES?  VapeTithing? Do that! #FundTheFuture!


It’s FREE, have you joined CASAA? Have you added your testimony here?


Keep up with the latest here with the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World


Medical, Research, Science Professionals:

Research:


Politics:

E-Cigarette Politics

You Don’t Know Nicotine

A Billion Lives


#ChangeTheConversation

#YouDontKnowNicotine

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