Taxing of eJuice in Chicago and Cook County


As you know I vape and I have 2 small ejuice brands that I have made in a lab that a business partner of mine runs. That being said because I care about vaping and it’s positive impacts it has had directly on people’s lives that I care about I tend to follow the news on what is happening.

Currently all vape devices and liquids (ejuice) are subject to the standard sales tax rate of all other items in retail stores. Right now since Cook County and Chicago are so far in the hole financially they are trying to fill that budget gap by gouging people that vape.

Here is what they are proposing:

Cook County is proposing a $0.20/ml tax on all liquids
Chicago is proposing a $0.25/ml tax on all liquids ON TOP OF THE COOK COUNTY TAX.

This means that if you buy a bottle of juice in Chicago you will be paying $0.45/ml in taxes on top of the price of the juice and sales taxes. For example the Equinox line that I launched a few months is a 120ml bottle for $35. With those new taxes that $35 bottle just became a $89 bottle of juice. The county and city are literally making more money off the juice than my lab, the distributor, and the shops that actually put the work in to sell the juice. This is absolutely infuriating.

Taxing legislation like this is only going to push people back to cigarettes that will just end up in more health problems and deaths from tobacco use. Not to mention that this will literally put all these shops (especially the ones in Chicago) OUT OF BUSINESS. Most of these shops are run by small business owners and they have said they will not be able to keep their doors open. On top of all that you are going to have people making juice on their own and selling it on a “black market” or sorts.

What can you do to stop this? You can CALL your aldermen and representatives and tell them that YOU DO NOT SUPPORT THIS. Explain WHY you do not support this and what negative impact it will have on the community. I have included information from the CASAA website here so you can get in touch with the right people.

Please also take a moment now to send emails and make phone calls to county commissioners. We have provided contact information and talking points below.
Cook County, IL
Board of Commissioners
Richard R. Boykin
(312) 603-4566
Robert Steele
(312) 603-3019
Jerry “Iceman” Butler
(312) 603 6391
Stanley Moore
(312) 603-2065
Deborah Sims
(312) 603 6381
Joan Patricia Murphy
(312) 603-4216
Jesus G. Garcia
(312) 603-5443
Luis Arroyo Jr.
(312) 603-6386
Peter N. Silvestri
(312) 603-4393
Bridget Gainer
(312) 603-4210
John P. Daley
(312) 603-4400
John A. Fritchey
(312) 603-6380
Larry Suffredin
(312) 603-6383
Gregg Goslin
(312) 603-4932
Timothy O. Schneider
(312) 603-6388
Jeffrey R. Tobolski
(312) 603-6384
Sean M. Morrison
(312) 603-4215


Comma delimited email list:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,




1) Ostensibly, taxes on traditional cigarettes are intended to discourage use. However, due to the fact that e-cigarettes and other smoke-free tobacco products are estimated to be 99% less harmful than smoking, discouraging use is counter to goals of reducing smoking rates.


2) Other governments are taking exactly the opposite approach; Public Health England (the government public health agency) recently explicitly endorsed a policy of encouraging smokers to switch to e-cigarettes and vapor products (


3) Sin taxes are regressive. The smoking population, those switching to vaping, is disproportionately made up of poor and low-income people. Sin taxes place unnecessary burdens on an already financially challenged group.


4) Imposing a tax on these products will drive consumers to shop in neighboring counties that do not have a similar tax. Concurrently, consumers will be encouraged to shop online for better deals, sending even more money out of the community. Local businesses will not be able to compete, be forced to close their doors, and jobs will be lost. This is bad for the county and will result in less revenue, not more.


5) It is important to note that vapor products are already subject to a general sales tax.


6) Taxing e-cigarettes in a manner similar to how cigarettes are taxed sends a confusing and inaccurate message to would-be adopters that these two very different products present similar risks.  The result of this message is that more people, those that otherwise would have switched to a smoke-free product, will be encouraged to continue smoking.


Hiding Behind the Badge – Strong Arming with Lawyers and Some Progress

On August 30th, 2015 I published an article on here regarding the ongoing accident case when a Chicago Police Officer struck my vehicle when he made an illegal right turn from a bicycle lane. Yesterday I received a Cease and Desist letter from the lawyer that is representing the Chicago Police Officer demanding that I not only remove the blog post from August 30th, 2015 but a tweet that did not even mention the officer’s name. I have since redacted the officers name and informed the lawyer that I will remove his identifying information but I will NOT be removing anything that is not mentioning his name directly. The Chicago Police Officer that hit my vehicle while making an illegal right turn will just be referred to as “The Officer” or something similar. If you want more information feel free to contact me via this page.

Now moving on to the updates.

Since the blog post I have received a letter requesting an interview with an officer in The Officer’s district. I have made many attempts to call him but he works the night shift and doesn’t work every night. I will be making another call tonight around 10PM to see if I can catch him then. I am very curious to see if this will go anywhere.

In addition to the interview request I received a Cease and Desist letter from Herbert Law Firm demanding that I remove the blog post and my tweet from the night of the accident.

UPDATE: I did some research on the lawyer that The Officer had send me the letter and he himself is a Chicago Police Officer and is the internal attorney for the FOP. What a surprise.

The tweet in question:

I have removed the identifying information that would link The Officer to the article. I also removed any posts that I could find that I sent out to various social media pages as comments. I emailed the lawyer with the law firm that sent the letter informing him of the changes and deletions last night on 10/5/2015 around 7PM CST. I went on to state that I would not be removing the tweet or the blog posting as there is no identifying information linking these to The Officer that had the lawyers send me the letter.

Now on to the letter. (Attached to this post with the identifying information of The Officer removed)

In the letter that I received they covered the following:

  1. Stating that I struck The Officer’s vehicle
  2. Stating that bike lanes are standard lanes and vehicles are allowed to drive in them
  3. Stating that the dashed lines mean that you can enter said bike lane
  4. Stating that my blog post and comments submitted to various social media posts were defamatory towards The Officer’s personal and professional character
  5. Stating that if within 21 days from the date of the letter (October 2nd, 2015) I do not remove the blog post, tweet, or any other information that The Officer will be suing me for defamation

Now that we have those points made I would like to dissect them one by one and show where they are wrong.

1. Stating that I struck The Officer’s vehicle

This is pretty cut and dry if you read the last post. The Officer was turning from a lane that was not for cars and struck the passenger door and passenger side quarter panel of my car.

2. Stating that bike lanes are standard lanes and vehicles are allowed to drive in them


3. Stating that the dashed lines mean that you can enter said bike lane

On the 2nd page of the letter the lawyer says that “A bike lane is a travel lane, like a standard travel lane”. Let’s stop right there. The Chicago website and their laws state that “Motorists are reminded that parking, idling or driving in bike lanes is illegal in the city of Chicago.”. Interesting. In the City of Chicago Title 9 of the Municipal Code section 9-40-060 it clearly spells out that cars are not allowed in these lanes unless it is to cross over them to enter or exit a parking space, stand, or on street parking (Source:

Screenshot from 10/6/2015 of the website in case they decide to change it.

Screenshot from 10/6/2015 of the website in case they decide to change it.


Now take a look at the pictures below from Google StreetView showing that there was a bike lane where he turned from. Also note that on the screenshot showing the actual turn lane this was at the same intersection but on the OPPOSITE side from where The Officer made the illegal right right turn from the bike lane. I have included this to show that this is how a turn lane looks when there is a bike lane with it. You can clearly see that the StreetView matches up with the pictures I took on the night of the accident (attached to the original post). That being said there are NO “dashed lines” in the lane that The Officer used, the lawyers letter is trying to say that there were dotted lines.

4. Stating that my blog post and comments submitted to various social media posts were defamatory towards The Officer’s personal and professional character

As per the letter they state that defamation is defined by the Illinois State law as:

  1. The defendant made a false statement about the plaintiff;
  2. There was an unprivileged publication to a third party;
  3. Fault by the defendant amounting to at least negligence; and
  4. The publication damaged the plaintiff.

Now I have not made ANY false statements so we can cross off number 1. The Officer seems to think that he can make any statement he wants, true or false, and it suddenly is true regardless if it doesn’t match up with reality (the intersection and what happened).

I can see how number 2 may be relevant and as a courtesy that is why I am omitting The Officer’s name from this post, future posts, and redacted it from the original post. This however does not make the information false. I still stand behind everything that I have published as 100% true and factual. With The Officer’s name removed this no longer applies.

Number 3 however means that “This standard requires that the defendant either knew the publication was false or believed the publication was true but “lacked reasonable grounds for that belief.” (Source:”. Again the publication is not false and I do have more than reasonable grounds for my side. It was meant to expose what The Officer is doing to me and what took place in a means to get my money back for the damage that The Officer caused to my vehicle during the accident.

The last one is cut and dry. According to the letter it stated that it damaged his personal and professional character. However it’s still true what took place on that night and everything that happened up until then. If this is how he handles things, it is probably not his first time bullying someone just because he wears a badge, so I have to argue that seeing how he is handling this it is likely how he is. I have a hard time believing it damaged his character (personally or professionally), he does that all on his own without my help.

5. Stating that if within 21 days from the date of the letter (October 2nd, 2015) I do not remove the blog post, tweet, or any other information that The Officer will be suing me for defamation

I have since redacted The Officer’s name from the blog post and made a best effort to remove any postings that I could locate that made mention of his name. I emailed the lawyer stating this update and stated that if there were more postings that I missed to send me the URL and I would remove the post or remove the officers name. I will not be removing the original blog post, the tweet, or this one as there is no identifying information other than it was a Chicago Police officer. It cannot be linked back to The Officer on it’s own.


That is where I am at with all this. Once I get an update from the Lawyer and/or the officer on the open investigation I will be updating everyone. Here are the copies of the Cease and Desist letter that was sent to me by The Officer’s lawyer with The Officer’s personal information removed as to not identify him.

Dr. Crimmy’s EJuice “Lab” – Questionable Cleanliness and Other Information

Another update. Someone found the floor plan from the realtor who manages the building that Dr. Crimmy’s is in and they have a BATHROOM in their “clean room”. Mmmmm poop particles. They are in Suite 1 and you can verify that from the video and their address.

You can also see from the listing that the back of the building is the same from the “lab” photos below. You’re busted Dr. Crimmy’s.

Property Listing:
PDF of Listing:
PDF Mirror:

Dr. Crimmy's Suite Floor Plan

Update from “Matty Ice” who was the one who posted the photos. He even linked to my post. Thanks!

–Original Post Start–
Today on the Chicago Vape Nation page someone shared some photos that an ex-employee posted from their “lab”. You can see the flavorings, VG, PG, bottles, mailing boxes, and even their labels in these photos (posted below). They were initially claiming that they were NOT their photos but then released a video on Facebook (Source: Kevin Lynch (Owner of Crimmy’s) ). I have also attached the video to this post and a screenshot in case they pull it down.

Crimmys Lab Video From 09/23/2015

Facebook Screenshot Admitting to the Lab Photos

Facebook Screenshot Admitting to the Lab Photos

In the photos, you can see that it is a disgusting environment that they were making ejuice in. I myself started out making it in my kitchen on sterilized tables and used standard safety precautions for myself and the ejuice. This this is just deplorable. They have said on their FB video that this was their old location and this is no longer used.

I tried to join their Facebook group, but they are banning any new people that are trying to find out more information in order to keep things quiet. This is VERY concerning as they are clearly trying to cover something up. Even if they have a new “lab” like they are claiming my guess is that due to how tired this guy in the video looks (from cleaning the “lab” all night), the fact that he looks like he has no idea how to wear the safety gear, and they never enter any of the rooms where juice is made makes me question the legitimacy of this all.

That all being said, I will never recommend Dr. Crimmys to anyone and never purchase it again. I will stick with vendors that actually make liquid in sanitary environments whether that be at their homes using common sense or in a lab. If they were OK with the previous conditions of the place it makes you wonder how bad they will let the new one get.

This post is staying up as they are currently trying to get all the photos removed from other places. I will NOT remove these as the truth needs to be heard.

Dr. Crimmy’s “Lab” Photos (Source: Reddit)

The little fitness band that could – My Review of the Xiaomi Mi Band

On my wrist with the OEM Band

Starting this year I have been being more active and taking better care of my health by dieting and working out regularly (weights and some running). I bought my girlfriend a Fitbit Charge HR and while it is pretty great I came across this little $20 fitness tracker. Enter the Xiaomi Mi Band.

While the other fitness trackers do a lot more than this one, what you get for $20 is well worth it. The Mi Band does automatic sleep tracking and step tracking. The best part about it is that you don’t have to do anything. Sleep tracking is automatic and so is the step counter. This device also integrates perfectly with Google Fit so you can have all your stats on your Google account for easy access on any device.

When you buy the Xiaomi Mi Band you need to make sure you are getting the REAL on by Xiaomi and not a knockoff. There are plenty of imitations so if it says DAMI anywhere on the box or listing where you are buying it from this is a FAKE.

When you open the box you get the fitness module, band, and charging cable. You charge up the module with any USB charger and takes about 1 hour to charge to full.

Mi Band Package Contents

Mi Band Package Contents

You slip the module into the band and then download the app to your phone. Now I had an initial issue where I had trouble creating an account in the app but I just went to their website, created an account there, and then signed in on the app.

There’s not much else to it. Just wear it and check the app for your progress. If you want Google Fit integration you can enable that in the app settings. There are also 3rd party apps that you can use to make the Mi Band buzz for different notifications with different colors to let you know you have an email, text, or whatever else you want to have it alert you on. I did not use these apps as I have a Pebble but had I not had a Pebble I would have taken advantage of them.

Let’s go over the pros and cons of this little device.


  • Small
  • Battery life (Over 50 days)
  • Inexpensive
  • Good build quality
  • Easy to use
  • Completely waterproof up to 50M


  • OEM band broke the first day (still usable, just cosmetic)
  • Hard to find 3rd party or even replacement bands for it (have to use AliExpress or Ebay and order from China)
  • App is not very refined

That’s really all there is to it. The Mi Band is a no-frills fitness tracker that does what it is supposed to do. I had no issues with getting it to sync with my LG G4 and it updated the firmware on the device seamlessly on its own when a new update came out.

The bottom line is if you just want sleep tracking and an accurate step counter this is worth picking up. If you want more than that you will need to look elsewhere. However, there are rumors that a new one with a heart rate monitor is coming out soon. If it does I may have to pick it up. I posted some pictures of the screens and of the 3rd party band I use (purchased on EBay). Enjoy!

Quick Charging 2.0 – What is it and how does it work?

If you have looked into getting a new smartphone in the past 6 months there is a very good chance that you have seen phones with “Quick Charge 2.0” as a feature. While the name itself pretty much tells you what it does do you know how it works and what is needed to use it?

quick-charge 2.0 logo

Quick Charge 2.0 is a standard that was developed by a company called Qualcomm, they make the majority of the CPU’s and other chips in today’s smartphones. The bottom line is that phones that are equipped with the Quick Charge 2.0 are able to charge up their batteries at a quicker rate than phones without it, however, there is a catch.

In order for Quick Charge 2.0 to actually work there are a few things that you need. Your phone itself must support the Quick Charge 2.0 feature, your charger must be a Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 charger, and a good quality USB cable.

I have the LG G4 and my girlfriend has the Samsung Galaxy S6. Now my LG G4 (Verizon variant) does support Quick Charge 2.0 (QC 2.0) but it does NOT come with a QC 2.0 compatible charger, however, the Samsung S6 charger is a QC 2.0 charger.

LG G4 QC 2.0 Working

Now there is spotty information on whether the LG G4 supports quick charging or not but after running the LG G4 on a QC 2.0 charger with a USB voltmeter in between the charger and phone I can see it negotiate the higher power for quick charging. It will however not tell you that it is quick charging like some other phone models.

I mentioned a “good quality” USB cable. I mention this because we all have MicroUSB cables laying around that work but may be finicky when getting them to work with charging. This is because the wires inside are either worn down and partially broken or they are thin gauge wires. I recommend getting new cables that are the 20AWG wire inside for the power wires, I use the TronSmart ones on Amazon (Link: TronSmart 6 Pack 20AWG). However do NOT use the power cables that are for power only as these are NOT compatible with the QC 2.0 chargers, I will explain why.

So you have a QC 2.0 charger, QC 2.0 phone and a good USB cable right? You are all good to go. But how does this charge the phone faster? Let me explain.



In each USB 2.0 cable, you have 4 wires, 2 data and 2 power. The Quick Charge 2.0 specification uses the 2 data wires to allow your phone to “talk” to the QC 2.0 charger to tell it that it is QC 2.0 enabled and what the maximum input voltage it can handle is. The QC 2.0 standard allows for 5V, 9V, 12V, and 20V on the power wires, however, MOST USB QC 2.0 chargers will stick with a 9V power output and not offer the last 2. This is why you need a standard USB cable and not ones that are “power only” cables. The “power only” cables do not have the data lines connected so the QC 2.0 devices will not be able to talk to one another, but it will still charge with the standard 5V rate.

It is important to note that phones that are QC 2.0 enabled and connected to more traditional “high amp” USB AC adapters will pull the additional power/amps to charge quicker, but to do this reliably you must have good quality/undamaged USB cables. Anker, Aukey, and Orinoco have some solid high-amperage USB chargers that I use at home and in the car that charge up my QC 2.0 devices fast. I have verified this using the little USB volt/amp meter inline with the USB cables and high amp chargers. My LG G4 will pull up to 2.0 amps from a 5V source if it can put that much out.

But wait Tim! You said for QC 2.0 to work you need a QC 2.0 charger. You technically do but only if you want to charge at high voltage (9-20V) instead of the standard USB 5V. If you have a high amp 5V AC adapter this will not use the QC 2.0 standard but because it is higher amps it will use the additional amps to charge the battery quick. There are 2 ways to get more power (aka quicker charged battery) – More amps and/or More volts. This has only been true with the newer Smartphones as most of the older ones limited them to the USB 2.0 specification of 0.5 amps maximum.

So there you have it. If you have any comments or suggestions please drop me a line with the contact form on my site.