Sunday, April 13, 2014


Me, Rich, and Liz - A lesson in decorum

Not long ago I received an email from AVA President Greg Conley telling me that Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty were holding a press conference to announce the introduction of a bill to stop the marketing of electronic cigarettes to children.

I shouldn’t have to say how ridiculous the idea behind that bill is, but I definitely wanted to act upon it. So I drove to Hartford, Found my way inside of the capitol building and to the room where the press conference was being held. I met Greg Conley there, who had driven from Albany, NY to attend the conference. He stepped off to speak to some reporters, and I was greeted by a woman (whom I later discovered was Esty's aide) who held out her hand and was very cordial. When I told her I had met up here with Greg for the conference, I was quickly dismissed.

The conference began shortly thereafter, with smiling person after smiling person introducing themselves at the dais and commented on such a wonderful idea that Blumenthal and Esty had manifested. When it was time for them to speak however, the atmosphere became a bit more grim.

  Esty and Blumenthal approached the dais and expounded upon the sinister danger that lurked in plain sight everyday – the terror of electronic cigarettes. The dead horse had been dragged to the capitol building to be beaten once again to the mantra of colorful packaging, fruit and candy flavors, and cartoon characters.

Greg and I had our own commentary about what was being said. Not loudly or obnoxiously mind you, but apparently utter silence is the only acceptable environment to participate in when in the presence of an elected individual. Nonetheless,their claims that e cigarette companies were attempting to lure children in and that adults don't like colors, cartoons, or candy and fruit flavors was utter nonsense.

When it came time for questions to be asked of Blumenthal and Esty, Greg made his way to the opening of the semicircle of reporters and cameras that had gathered. One of Esty’s aides had anticipated Greg asking questions, so she stood directly in front of him, attempting to block his path. Greg stepped to the side and forward, assuring that he would be both seen and heard.

  When the moment presented itself, Greg announced himself and asked Blumenthal about earlier stances the senator had taken to ban electronic cigarettes from adults. Blumenthal chose to sidestep the question. Greg then told the senator that his ban on advertising to adults was an attack on free speech, to which the senator seemed equally as shaken, and offered no substantial answer to Greg.

  During this time Esty’s aide kept flailing her arms around Greg, shushing him and urging him to “move on”. Is that how things are done when a seemingly unpopular opinion is presented to a politician?

  When it came my time to speak to the senator, I was nervous. All of my life I had been told to hold elected individuals in some sort of higher regard than of others, or my own.  Greg had told me to be aggressive if I had wanted to present the question to Blumenthal, so I raised my hand and my voice a few times and was finally called upon.

  Per the suggestion of Greg, I asked the senator why flavorings in electronic cigarettes were being vilified, when the fastest growing section of manufactured alcohol was those that had flavors like cake, strawberry, and even gummy bear, as congresswoman Esty had commented upon. I asked him why he was not holding a press conference to warn the public about the evils of flavorings in alcohol?

  Blumenthal stammered and sidestepped the questions I had asked, and Esty’s aide flapped her arms at me and shushed me as well.  As I stepped away from the reporter’s area, I came face to face with another vape shop owner who told me, “well that was harsh”.

  I told her I needed to be aggressive in order to get their attention. She did not seem to understand that In order to get the opportunity to speak, I had to break the accepted rule of behavior when around elected individuals, which seemed to be “ Behave and speak in a manner which only furthers the agenda of said politician“ The attention of a politician is exclusive to those who further  their cause. However, this does not mean I have to sit idly by and wait for an opportunity to speak that may never come. If Politicians, lobbyists and companies have the right run roughshod over the one thing that has helped my health improve, Then I have the right to resist their assumed ability to do so.

   Being able to look a U.S. Senator in the eye and assertively demand answers about electronic cigarettes was an experience I will not soon forget, and it blows my mind that when these opportunities arise in the state of Connecticut, that of the sixteen or more e cigarette vendors in the state of Connecticut, only ONE showed up!  I do not dismiss the everyday things that make people unable to show up at hearings, etc., things happen.  However, if something was happening in my state which affected the customers whom I rely upon to earn a living, then I would at least make some kind of effort to have a presence there, if not for the general principle that vaping is being attacked everywhere.

  Not too long ago I was intimidated by speaking to elected boards and officials. After speaking my mind to Blumenthal and Esty I realized that contrary to popular belief, you can break the barrier of maintaining a so called "decorum", in an assertive manner and without being rude or causing a scene.  You can ask questions. You can demand answers. Being a politician does not grant you superpowers which make you immune to accountability, or to the public which elected you.The only thing that denies us the opportunity to be heard, is the courage to speak our minds.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Diary of a mad Vaper - Caveat Emptor

This morning I was thinking about the lengths that vendors will go to in order to get a sale - from putting sleazy looking women in their ads, to claiming that their liquids are somehow magically better, or that a certain device makes them look "cool" or will somehow make them a more intelligent and attractive individual. It may seem doubtful that vendors do these things, but unfortunately I have seen and heard these things occur, and I am certain that I am not the only one who has.
   This blog post, or rant ( maybe it's a brant) has to do with honesty - it has to do with the ability of not all but some e cigarette vendors ( and non vendors, but let's stick to one subject for now) out there to "spin" the efficacy of e cigarettes into something to line their pockets with at the expense of the vaper. Vendors keep trying to cram an old and outdated business philosophy into the paradigm of electronic cigarettes, and the truly sad thing is that customers continue to accept it.
     A person on the verge of switching to electronic cigarettes has come to a big real milestone in their lives. As many of you are aware, former smokers have gone through a lot of frustration before finally being able to switch to electronic cigarettes.Trying all of the products out there that are supposed to help a smoker quit but rarely do, until they finally happen upon electronic cigarettes.
    What happens then? unfortunately, they get taken by a vendor who could give a damn about what they have chosen to do with their health, and take advantage of their naivete'. They railroad the new vaper into buying either sub standard devices and liquid, or sell them something they do not understand, or do not need.
      Don't get me wrong, there are vendors out there who actually care about people instead of being a pack of greedy fucks. They themselves know how crucially intimate a person's health is, and will do everything that they can to help new vapers confidently go in the direction that they need. If the honest vendors did not exist, vaping would not have gotten as far as it has now. It would have fallen by the wayside like so many other good ideas that got ground into the dirt by greed.
    I have said it before, and it bears repeating - Vaping does not have a conventional business paradigm. It is not a pair of shoes, or a bottle of soda. Because new vapers are deeply considering their health, they first and foremost expect one thing - honesty. If you sell someone a crappy watch, it's one thing. If you sell them a crappy e cigarette, you are pushing them down a path back to cigarettes just like every other dissappointing quit smoking product did.
     And that is why we scrutinize vendors and products....and scrutinize them again.....and then scrutinize them some more until the vendor is either backed into a corner of being honest, or provides us the answers we need from the start, and we are satisfied. We scrutinize like this because contrary to the opinion of the dishonest vendor, we do care about our health, very much so.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Diary of a Mad Vaper pt.1


Most of us start out in vaping from humble beginnings. Whether it is a gas station stick batt, or a kit we bought at the mall, or a plastic wrapped ego batt with a pressure fitted carto, or a 510 we bought online. The fact is, few- very few- people have started on their journey with electronic cigarettes by purchasing a high end device right off the bat and if you did, well good on you and have fun with it.
What I am really addressing here is those in the vaping community who for some reason buy a high end device, and then look upon their fellow vapers like they are so much dog shit on their shoe. I am sure you have run into someone like this at one point or another and if you have not, consider yourself fortunate. It blows my mind how people will forget the first time they felt that they no longer needed to light a cigarette, or the morning that they woke up and realized that they didn’t cough their lungs out.
Instead, they choose to look down on others for the devices that they choose and the choices they make regarding electronic cigarettes. I really have to ask the question – why??
In a world that is steadily growing more diverse with devices, accessories and e liquids why the hell would you bother to take time from your day to attempt to diminish someone because they made a healthier choice in their life? The fact is, we should congratulate one another for stopping smoking. Whether we use a Caravela or a V2, an eGo batt with a clearo or a Nemesis with a Steam Turbine, all of us are not smoking. Going about criticizing other’s choices in vaping not only makes you egotistical, but it makes you look like an asshole. People like this forget one of the golden rules of vaping – what one person likes, another will not. It is because of stick batts that people were able to discover they didn’t need cigarettes. It was because of ego batts that people discovered that they could vape longer. It was because of atomizers, cartos, clearos and tanks that people are able to improve their vaping experience as they see fit to, not because you believe they should do it. So to all of the vaping snobs out there, take a step back and evaluate what works for you, appreciate it, and then shut the hell up. Because if all the fancy devices suddenly vanished from the earth, I would bet my favorite setup that they would be back to an ego batt before you could say Atmomixani.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Photos : Innokin Itaste 134

                         Some Photos of the 134 for those of you interested in having a closer look:


It has been in my hands for just a few hours, putting it through the paces, a review will follow soon. Initially, yes it is big, yes it is heavy, and yes it hits well.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Do what you love, love what you do


On a personal note...

    I have heard it said before, " It's not what you do, it's who you are". and for the most part, that statement has held true for me. However, what happens when both aspects of that statement combine? I have had the opportunity to become an embodiment of that question.
  Recently, I was laid off from my position as a youth counselor. It was a sad thing to think that I would not be a part of the process that helps change the lives of kids in a positive way. All of the years of seeing kids build themselves into confident competent individuals was worth the stress it involved at times.
  So I found myself asking  "now what?" the economy is not really terrific as far as jobs are concerned, and a job search in the psych field can be a lengthy one. Then I saw a post on facebook that changed all that. I read about a desired job position that would change my life in a very interesting and familiar way.

        Northeast Vapor Supplies, a local brick and mortar here in Branford, needed staff to help in their store. I have always heard it is best to work doing something that you love, and vaping is definitely something that I love. So I decided to apply and after my interview with April, I began my new venture the next day.
  In the morning I made way commute to Branford, twisting and turning through back roads and farmland until I made my way to the store. The day was a whirlwind of new vapers, experienced vapers, all different kind of vapers and for once I felt like I truly enjoyed what I was doing. Helping someone choose their first kit and seeing their enthusiasm reminds me of when I started vaping, and reminded me of what it is all about. So now I get to experience that on a regular basis, and meet and talk with fellow vapers. Pretty terrific all the way around. I'll keep you updated =)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

***** Evod Battery Recall ******

A recall has been issued for Evod batteries. An email sent from Heaven Gifts to vendors:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

FDA changes date of "deeming regulation"

A Notice of promised rulemaking (NPRM) for the deeming regulations from the FDA that was originally scheduled for April of 2013, has now been updated, and scheduled for October of this year:

 The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act) provides the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), as amended by the Tobacco Control Act, permits FDA to issue regulations deeming other tobacco products to be subject to the FD&C Act. This proposed rule would deem products meeting the statutory definition of "tobacco product" to be subject to the FD&C Act and would specify additional restrictions. 
For a frame of reference, here is the Definition of a tobacco product according to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act:

 ‘(rr)(1) The term ‘tobacco product’ means any product made or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption, including any component, part, or accessory of a tobacco product (except for raw materials other than tobacco used in manufacturing a component, part, or accessory of a tobacco product).
The FSPTCA can be read here 
The change in date for the NPRM can be read here


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