Vaping Activism and Education at my local Vape Shops. Lessons Learned!

May 13, 2016

Yesterday I spent some time in the field visiting a couple of B&Ms. The Vegas valley has about 70 vape shops and about 200 of what we call a Smoke Shop which sells combustibles, hookah gear and of course Vaping gear including hardware and juice. The three vape shops I visited all know me and my conversations on a confidential basis, were conducted with the owners. I gave each of them the SFATA Overview and Timeline of the FDA Final Rule. Here is a summary of my visit:

  • The greater majority of their customers (around 90%) don’t have a clue about what happened with respect to the FDA Final Rule slaughter. I actually observed this with my very old eyes across perhaps 30 customers. Not a word, question, or concern. I was shocked yet not really. The typical Vapor doesn’t spend all day on ECF or FaceBook like we do. They vape!
  • Generally speaking they found the SFATA document very valuable since it helped them understand the issues. They all knew about the slaughter but had not yet dived into all the details.
  • Naturally, as we walked around the shop and looked at the products, signage, POS stuff, the owners played the “what if I ……” which is perfectly understandable. They know I’m not an attorney and I again made that crystal clear. They stumped me on two issues and I told them I would do my best to get them an answer.
  • Many Vegas shops are in the early stages of organizing a legal protest march down the “strip” and that’s the Las Vegas strip! One of the most famous streets in the world. I can’t wait! They are trying to coordinate this protest march with other large cities and they already have a committee and such composed of shop owners but I’m not privy to their meetings.
  • None of the owners I spoke with have the slightest interest or financial means to get a PMTA for a given skew. They have not heard or learned anything with respect to the FDA slaughter from their “upstream suppliers” desire to get a PMTA.
  • I purchased at full retail, juice from all three shops. Really! I need more juice like I need a hole in the head but that’s my way of offering support. After all, thanks only goes so far, these owners have family’s and employees to support among other things. That’s just my own way of doing things.

So that concludes my own non scientific thoughts. Obviously, your own “out in the field” experiences may be different. I encourage you with every fiber of my old body to hit the streets and see what’s cooking in your neck of the woods. It’s also very apparent to me that all of us need to spread the word to our fellow vapers and the general non vaping public.