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December 29, 2014

EOY 2014 Summary

The Year of the Vape 2014 comes to an end.

Having taken some time to digest and chew on the year’s events, insights, slights, and many examples of willful ignorance, here I go:

The short version:

  • Vaping has been proven on paper and in real life to be magnitudes SAFER than smoking tobacco. Period.
  • Too many people WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER appear to have lost the ability to use logic, critical thinking, and plain old common sense (in other words, willful ignorance).
  • Vendors need to work with advocates closely in order to keep the market open. No More Ambivalence.
  • While China may have the majority of manufacturing of vaping gear, the Philippines does not have the same shut-down for production during the Chinese New Year. Look for more to come from Pinoy Power. The Philippine/US connection is much more effective than the Chinese one when it comes to this. Custom mod makers are very much up-and-coming.
  • Both government and private interests are dependent on the Master Settlement Agreement, the $ is declining and the entities that rely on that revenue stream are not being proactive.
  • The grifters have arrived in the “conference and consulting” arena.

Highlights being the major increase of consumers getting involved w/advocacy. The lowlights being the low-lifes. The astounding amount of FUD. The stupid twitter posts and articles by people who are PAID to know better.

From a hopeful beginning in January, I had set my sights on cultivating even more contacts and interactions with vape shops, vendors and advocates to foster the acceptance of vaping. It quickly became apparent that my focus needed to change from working outside sales to advocacy. By spring, the ANTZ were very much on a roll manipulating elected officials, the media and others that vaping is just as bad as smoking. With lots of $$ to create FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, & Doubt) and paid people to do their dirty work (and if you don’t think pushing poorly written legislation, co-opting public health departments and their funding to manufacture hysteria isn’t dirty…well.).

Not only in the US, but in the EU, Australia, and Mexico have or are planning on outright prohibition of the use and sale.

What else was startlingly clear is the lack of participation in advocacy. It is dismaying that vendors are happy to have us work on their behalf to sell w/out having to commit themselves. Advocates are largely doing this on their own time, on their own dime w/out monetary compensation as opposed to the PHO’s (Public Health Officials), private organizations that use taxpayer’s money to keep the issue confused and thus try to smother the access to vaping open systems.

CASAA, Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives is purely volunteer run and has been working tirelessly for YEARS to promote constructive discussion, verifiable data and information to educate the educators and public at large. Membership is free and all donations are tax deductible.

To augment CASAA, the Vaping Militia was formed. Membership is paid and all donations are tax deductible. The VM uses that $ to coordinate actions on a more local and regional level- getting word out when and where there are proposed ordinances, legislation and other roadblocks to a practical approach to making the distinction between tobacco and lab created liquid nicotine extract. In other words, sugar does not a cookie make.

The launch of AVA, with long-time advocates Gregory Conley and Kevin Skipper to focus on PR.

The growth of SFATA, an industry trade group that works closely with advocates.

Open systems? What’s that? One of the FIRST questions you should be asking anyone who claims to be an expert or consultant on vaping.

Why that question-

1. Open systems are when the consumer can re-fill and re-use and have a wide choice of the flavor and nic level of the e-liquid. Whether a tank, a clearomiser, or glassomiser, the big difference between pre-made cartridge v. open systems are a whole lot of pro’s for the consumer.

The tried-and-true “Gillette” business model. Expensive and brand limited replacements v. open source, including DIY. Also, cutting out innovation by making it very expensive to compete (See proposed FDA-CTP Deeming Regs costs for application)

>>If this first question has you scratching your head, get out of the vaping industry.<<

2. What happens around the end of January and into the second week of February?

A: Chinese New Year. The one holiday a year workers get to visit with family, rest and take care of personal business. That means production, shipping and most office workers are AWOL.

3. What are the FDA-CTP Deeming Regs?

A: FFS.

4. How can you tell which companies are in to make a quick buck, to share their knowledge with others AND make a decent living, or just amoral? Besides a mission statement, certain things don’t change. Customer Service, promotion of vaping in general and supporting the real deal.

5. What are your priorities?

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