Vape Radio #91: The Electronic Vaping Coalition of America (EVCA) Could Bring us all Together!

October 17, 2017

Today we have a treat, and maybe an introduction to an organization you might not be familiar with. It’s called the Electronic Vaping Coalition of America, or EVCA.

Could they be the glue that brings this industry and OTHER groups together? We don’t know and you may be more clear than I when you listen to the entire episode.

In Dallas in November the VAPE Showcase will bring Mark and Congressman Duncan Hunter and several trade groups together at one place, possibly for a round table, get shit done kind of meeting. Meanwhile, some facts about Mark and the EVCA.

  • Mark was the first 18-year-old elected as a County Board Supervisor in Wisconsin
  • Mark has decades of political experience as a leader as well as a strategist
  • “If you want to change things, you must change them from the inside,” per Mark
  • At age 21 Mark started working behind the scenes for politicians after losing a congressional race and has run many since then
  • Mark has seen all aspects of politics and understands “the system” and “who you know”
  • Mark became the chief of staff for presidential candidate, Herman Cain, and took him to #1 in the polls for six weeks with NO money spent, just using social media
  • Mark smoked 3 packs a day and still smokes, but is greatly reduced
  • In 2015 Mark bought a Texas e-cig company, moved it to Wisconsin, and then found out about the deeming regulations. He was motivated by profit and personal conviction
  • Mark has had discussions about those regulations with Sen. Ron Johnson (R) and Paul Ryan (R), Speaker of the House. Wisconsin is a significant state…
  • EVCA combines political expertise along experienced business acumen
  • Ron Johnson was dismissed by the FDA, but he remains a powerful force. The vaping community rallied and helped in his reelection
  • Vapers DO have political clout and power!
  • “A Billion Lives” movie premiered in Milwaukee to reach out to political leaders
  • Vape Showcase (Nov 4-5) in Dallas could be a turning point with a goal of Consensus
  • Efforts are being made to repeal the deemings, or modify to make more sense
  • Duncan Hunter will be the keynote speaker, the first time a politician of that size will speak
  • There is hope for the vape industry!
  • There is enough business for all of us and we can all have a voice!
  • You can fail by yourself, but you cannot survive alone!
  • Contact Mark through www.evapingcoalition.org.

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Vape Radio 90: Indiana Regulations Update – Are You Ready?

June 11, 2017

The state of Indiana has seen its share of challenges in the past few years.

Former Governor Mike Pence signed a bill that limited the number of liquid manufacturers to less than six. These six companies had to adhere and conform to insane standards and unless you were able to comply, you could not sell liquid in that state.

Turns out there were underhanded dealings which included dirty politicians, casino money, and even cannabis influencers! The FBI has an ongoing investigation, but we’ll let that run its course.

Today’s show is about the present and the future, more than the past. You can review what happened before on Vape Radio #87 when we interviewed Eric Gotting, the attorney that represented vaping interests in the state. I’ve also written about it several times in VAPE magazine when I called it “The War of Indiana.”

Can you sell liquids in Indiana today? Yes, but you must be approved and get registered.

Today Amy Lane, founder of the Indiana Smoke-Free Alliance, ISFA, will be providing an update.

Links Discussed:

What you'll hear today:

  • A short recap of the Indiana Right to be Smoke-Free lawsuit which strangled the vaping industry in the state
  • Retail shops went from 204 shops to 162 in just 8 months
  • Then governor, Mike Spence, our sitting Vice President, may indicate the Fed’s view of vaping
  • Indiana has been a (negative) lightning rod for abusive state regulations
  • Marijuana dollars were involved with this legislation! Others include an Indian casino, securities firm, and politicians, plus lots of “Big Money” and may involve RICO violations
  • The FBI has an open and active investigation…
  • State politicians were misinformed about “public health” and how dangerous vape was
  • That law has been revoked by the 7th Circuit but is still in place
  • This ruling set a great precedent for the vape industry, thanks to Keller and Heckman LLP, attorneys that represented the industry
  • Businesses must register (as a foreign entity), pay a fee ($1000), obtain a permit, and there are many new options
  • Old laws have been “repealed and replaced”
  • Cole-Bishop may be off the table now but may return. This process can take years, just like most other processes
  • Vapor Technology Association (VTA) is leading the charge in support of the industry
  • ISFA membership is just $99 mo. to stay on top of information and education
  • Contact Amy at 765-432-8841or visit isfaboard@gmail.com, www.INSmokeFree.org
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Vape Radio 89: PA Vape Tax Update - Interview With Chuck Huff From The Pennsylvania Vape Association

May 15, 2017

Chuck Huff, the president of the Pennsylvania Vape Association tells us the effects on the vape industry in my old home state and how it has decimated the vape industry there. Entrepreneurs that risked their hearts, souls and money have been ruined in some cases and it ain’t over yet. The worse may still be yet to come.

Last year the state of Pennsylvania approved a 40% floor tax, which is what we’ll be speaking about today.

And in my current state of California, the deal breaker just passed last year known as Prop 56 which is even worse. On top of the legal age to vape being raised to 21, we haven’t quite seen the effect, but the tidal wave is closer and growing. We’ll explore that one in future shows.

But for now, sit back and listen to the tale of PA. It’s not Halloween, but this story may scare you worse than any manufactured terror.

The free and easy days of the vape industry are behind us, and aside from the challenges of competition and negative press, we have two major foes when it comes to regulations. One is the Fed, the FDA, who lowered the hammer last August with the deeming regulations. On top of that we have 50 more enemies in our midst. They are the individual states and the challenges of dealing with some of their actions.

Starting early out of the gate was Minnesota who instituted an insane tax on nicotine. That was followed by others and one that we spoke about in detail in show # 87. The state of Indiana. They pretty much eliminated all out of state suppliers into the state, but recently that law was overturned and ruled unconstitutional by the federal Appellate court

 Links Discussed:

www.PAvape.org

What You'll Hear Today:

  • Chuck Huff is the President of the Pennsylvania Vape Association. They are affiliated with VTA and work closely with many other advocacy organizations
  • Any seller from out of state that sells to PA residents must be licensed
  • A consumer who purchases online from an unlicensed seller is considered an “unclassified importer” and required to pay the 40% tax directly to the Department of Revenue.
  • The PA Vaping Association is dedicated to education and later added on advocacy due to threatening regulation
  • The 40% “floor tax” was introduced in 2014-15, but removed. It was brought back the following year and is now law, effective June 31, 2016. The state allowed a grace period to make payment until December 31, 2016.
  • The “wholesale value” of all standing inventory is taxed, whether sold or not. Unsold products are taxed as well.
  • The state has the right to audit for misrepresented amounts.
  • The vape shops still pay a 6% sales tax BEFORE the floor tax is implemented
  • The floor tax is rarely used in any industry.
  • The tax was designed to offset budget shortfalls but may backfire due to shop closures. Some regulators have said that the tax may have been a mistake and is destroying small businesses. This creates empty storefronts and unemployment.
  • Consumers are required to pay the tax on out of state purchases, too.
  • Any seller from out of state that sells to PA residents is an “unclassified importer”.
  • There were 450 “active” vape businesses in the state before the tax went into effect. Since then over 100 stores have closed. These closures cannot be directly attributed to the tax, but it’s a serious impact. Stores continue to close…
  • Anecdotal evidence shows that some vapers have gone back to smoking…and shops have seen up to a 40% drop in sales.
  • There is a movement to overturn these laws and show that less taxes are collected rather than more.
  • Contact Chuck at chuff@pavape.org or visit www.PAvape.org
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Vape Radio 88: A Billion Lives interview with Aaron Biebert

April 11, 2017

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past year you have heard about this movie called A Billion Lives.

It was the brainchild of director, Aaron Biebert, a nonsmoker, who was intrigued by this new thing he heard of called “vaping.” As he researched the market and looked into the history of vaping, some bad things surfaced. Those bad things included efforts by competitors, primarily Big Tobacco and Big Pharma, to squelch the industry.

The Big Boys were threatened by our world, and they should have been. They ignored vaping for a remarkably long time and when their market share eroded they decided to get on board. They bought Ecig companies. Some started their own. Then came the bad shit: the smear campaigns. The negative publicity. Evidence of collusion between anti vaping organizations that surprisingly, were also against us.

As Aaron filmed Billion Lives some truths became evident.

When they launched this officially last year, in New Zealand of all places, many took notice and the regulators actually started looking into the research, the science behind vaping. They’re still working on it and the hope is that they may lighten up their objections.

Finally, the movie came to the US and premiered at many vape events. It has been viewed by tens of thousands of people, both vapors and non. It has been screened for legislators and regulators behind closed doors. The hope is that it will give them pause and maybe elicit some common sense. But this is a big paradigm shift and things move slowly.

Today you’ll get the story right from the horse’s mouth so chill out and listen to this journey from idea, to execution, to launch.

Since we recorded this interview with Aaron some progress has been made. After lots of conjecture of how to get this movie in “the mainstream,” it is now available for purchase. The links to do that are in the show notes, so if you’ve not seen it, it’s worth the price of owning your own copy.

What You'll Hear Today: 

  • Billion lives reflects the number of people that are projected to die from
  • tobacco in this century
  • Their first video footage was at a vape fest and he was totally unprepared for
  • the chaos!
  • Billion Lives launched in Spring, 2016, in New Zealand
  • Some anti-vaping regulations got over turned and things may improve
  • Over 200 venues have screened the movie
  • Private screenings have been done for Congresspersons
  • No DVD release while the movie is viewed in theaters
  • They are launching on iTunes and looking to hit #1, then following with others,
  • and taking pre-orders for Blue Ray. ETA: NOW
  • The movie was made for the public and not necessarily for vapors
  • A sequel is a consideration…
  • To contact Aaron or follow: www.abillionlives.com, or follow on Twitter and
  • Facebook
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Vape Radio 87: Drama! Intrigue! Conspiracy! And Finally, JUSTICE In The Indiana Lawsuit

March 7, 2017

 

Lawsuits: no one wants them and if you can avoid them, it’ll be cheaper for you all the way around. But litigation is part of life and business since it follows disputes and disagreements and they are an everyday event.

In this crazy vape world, we have our share of disagreements and sticking points. The biggest one right now, the elephant in the room, is the battle against the FDA. There are currently four major suits against the FDA, initiated by some of the biggest names and players in the industry.

But the one that just plain pissed us off, the one we really, really wanted to win, was the case against the state of Indiana which was brought on by the Right to Be Smoke-Free organization.

Two years ago, a client in Indiana said there was talk about a regulation that would restrict the sale of vaping liquids from outside the state. I said that was hard to believe, but as I researched it, it turned out to be true.

I assured her it would never make it to the governor’s desk. But it did. I told her it would never be signed. But it was.

Many people were outraged and it seems that was a lot of drama, intrigue and conspiracy behind the law. Also, a lot of misinformation.

Our guest, Eric Gotting, was the attorney that took this case to the Federal appeals court and had it over turned. “The war in Indiana” is what I called it in several articles I wrote in VAPE magazine and I said, as did others, that this case is a milestone in the history of the vape industry. A victory for the state would be a very bad precedent that others would follow.

Turns out that the scales of victory tipped in our favor and justice prevailed.

I’ll leave it at that and let our guest share the saga, the story, the drama behind the War in Indiana.

What You'll Hear Today:

  • The Tobacco Control Act (TCA) of 2009 (Federal) encourages the tobacco industry to create more safe alternatives to tobacco which contradicts the Indiana law (state). That creates a contradiction…
  • TCA encouraged the industry to create better options
  • The Indiana attempted to regulate the entire supply chain, including components that come from outside the state Their justification was calling it a “public health” statute
  • States cannot control other states per the US Constitution…”Extra territory regulation” is forbidden
  • Only one security company was approved to serve liquid manufacturers, which indicates influence peddling Plaintiff’s attorneys predicted that this law would eliminate many jobs and cost business and with 90% of liquid coming from out of state it would limit consumer’s options
  • The State judge ruled against the Right to be Smoke Free plaintiffs, which forced the appeal
  • The Seventh Circuit District offers three judges and is the second most important after the Supreme Court
  • The decision was 3-0 and the Indiana ruling was deemed to be unconstitutional
  • No sales can take place YET! The current rules are still in force
  • SB1 was introduced and make eliminate the current regulations but needs to pass the Senate and the House. It may take a few months
  • Was this a “frivolous lawsuit?” Should anyone raise that issue?
  • The issue with calling vaping “smoking cessation” was discussed. Is it because vaping could be construed a “drug?”
  • The Supreme Court has a history of listening to tobacco related cases. Could this go that far? Only 1% of cases go to the Supreme Court, but it may go to a lower level court.
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Vape Radio 86: Understanding the Asian and Far East Vape Market (Part II)

February 23, 2017

This is part II of our interview with Keller and Heckman LLP law partner, David Ettinger, speaking to us from Shanghai. Our last show, VAPE radio #85, covered China, and this show expands into Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, Australia, Russia and other areas as well.

It will be an eye opener since you will get a deep, deep dive into the vape market overseas. Be sure you catch our prior show to learn about China proper. See the long list of topics we covered below.

Ettinger has lived in Shanghai for 4 years and follows the market there every day.

There was so much information to cover that I asked him to keep going, so thanks for joining us on Part II.

What you’ll hear today:

  • Countries with NO specific vaping laws usually fall under the category of general consumer law. Some MAY fall under tobacco laws.
  • Some countries treat vaping (and products) under pharma guidelines or medical devices
  • Hong Kong: nicotine is officially classified as a poison. That means it must be registered and controlled. They are pharma products, but can be sold over the counter. VERY stiff fines if not registered.
  • You can hear (and see) see David’s presentation as part of the 12 hour Keller and Heckman Symposium
  • Japan: IQOS (Phillip Morris) has changed the face of smoking. It is a “heat, not burn” product (worth knowing!!), AKA leaf vaporizers (insert picture)
  • This is an easier transition from tobacco, rather than vaping
  • This product has captured 5% of the smoking market in just a few years and will submit for PMTA approval
  • Japan also has a monopoly through the Ministry of Finance and Japan Tobacco, but less than before. The Ministry has been selling shares to generate revenue, but must own 33.3%
  • South Korea: very liberal vape laws, but expensive (heavily taxed), no official and specific regulation of vaping. That may change soon.
  • Heat not burn there big, as well.
  • SE Asian (Thailand): vaping imports are banned, ditto Vietnam, but black market exists
  • Philippines, not regulated, though under investigation, and major manufacturer of vaping products
  • Australia: nicotine is a poison (like Hong Kong) and highly regulated
  • New South Wales: also illegal, must be approved by government and registered (but none are)
  • New Zealand: can import for “personal use”, but limited supply
  • Middle East: Kuwait is unregulated, ditto Bahrain.
  • Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAR: vaping banned. Importation for personal use, not advised
  • Israel: not banned, may be worth watching
  • Russia, not a tobacco product, not regulated by federal government, but may have restrictions more locally

FREE FDA mini course! Access it at: https://tinyurl.com/FDAmini.

A we wrap this up we talked about the adoption of vaping into the mainstream. There is a learning curve and it sometimes takes a long time to get over the fear of new technology.

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That’s it for show #86, so until next time, Vape On!

Are you concerned about PMTA? Do you not have a juice line and want one? Level 13 offers you a turnkey program that can get your house brand on your shelves in just a few weeks.

A podcast is a free downloadable audio show that enables you to learn while you’re on the go.  To subscribe to my podcast for free, you’ll need an app to listen to the show from.

For iPhone/iPad/iPod listeners – Grab your device of choice, hit iTunes, and find “VAPE Radio.” You can download the free Apple Podcasts App and subscribe within. Every time I produce a new episode, you’ll get it downloaded right on your iDevice.

For Android listeners – Download the Stitcher Radio app (free) and search for “VAPE Radio.”  

For podcast lovers – If you already listen to podcasts and have a favorite directory that you are listening to right now, just hit the “subscribe” button and new shows will be added as we post them.

If you don’t have a mobile device – You can always listen to the show by clicking the audio file at the top of this page.  Just bookmark us!

Review us!

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If you post a review we’ll send you a free digital copy of my book, Vapreneur!

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