The FDA’s War on Vaping – I am Disgusted – Non-IT Related

There are many reasons why I am disgusted by the current state of our government but one that is hitting me the hardest is all these new regulations on the vaping industry. Why? Because I am involved with the vaping industry and have seen many close friends quit tobacco through it successfully after other methods failed.

The new regulations that are in effect are so strict that a vape shop cannot even help customers with their devices in any way or else face steep fines. They cannot tell anyone that it is safer than smoking (despite there being actual medical studies showing it is safer than smoking). They cannot recommend flavors or proper nicotine levels to help people quit their smoking habit.

Want to see what this is doing? Just watch this video: https://www.facebook.com/MommaVape/videos/vb.1606220196312192/1743170175950526/?type=2&theater

Eliquid makers are being hit hard with PMTA filing fees for each product that will cost over $500,000 PER filing that *might* get approved. If they do not they will have to pull their products off the market and close their businesses.

Thousands of jobs are disappearing as shops, online stores, and ejuice makers are closing their doors because they have no other choice. Millions more people are going to die from Tobacco use that could have been prevented by switching to vaping.

America needs to get their head out of their asses and realize that all the “danger” that is being spread about vaping is just propaganda that the mass media and the FDA are spreading. Chicago has even managed to “find” millions of dollars to launch an all out billboard and ad campaign against vaping (see the image at the top of this post).

Why would they do this?

They take every angle to try and make this industry seem evil, including the classic “think of the children” bullshit that has been use to push through other unfair and unconstitutional legislation in the past. If you are that worried about your kids smoking or vaping then talk to them and be a better parent. It is not MY problem if you don’t know how to raise your children properly.

Big tobacco is NOT vaping. Vaping is thousands of small businesses that are trying to provide a living for themselves and provide a safer alternative to smoking. Vaping IS a safer alternative (source) to smoking. They just want to keep you hooked and dying.

Preparing for the Chicago/Cook County eJuice Taxes – Get your nic fix without getting screwed

As most people in Cook County and Chicago know they are imposing a crazy high amount of taxation on our eJuice products. On the bright side, the eJuice with no nicotine is NOT subject to the taxes (source: CityOfChicago Website).

Why is this good? Because with a little common sense and proper preparation you can purchase the nicotine free ejuice and add the nicotine to whatever level you want. For simplicity’s sake I am going to use examples for 10ml, 15ml, 30ml, and 120ml bottle sizes with a nicotine base of 100MG.

Getting Started:

I am going to put this disclaimer up front here.

NICOTINE IS VERY DANGEROUS AND MUST BE HANDLED WITH CARE.

BE VERY CAREFUL THAT YOU MEASURE OUT THE CORRECT AMOUNT WHEN ADDING TO YOUR JUICE.

IF YOU SPILL ON YOURSELF OR ANY OTHER SURFACE WASH WITH SOAP AND WATER IMMEDIATELY.

I WILL NOT BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE IF YOU GET SICK OR KILL SOMEONE/SOMETHING/YOURSELF.

Now that is out of the way lets get started. Here is what you will need to purchase. I am putting links to my recommended vendor as their shipping times and quality are very good.

  • Unflavored nicotine base (select your VG/PG level, I prefer 50VG/50PG to not disturb my blends)
    • 1000ML Size – Best Bang for the buck – BUY
    • <1000ML Size – Good for if you can’t swing the $50/1000ML – BUY
  • Good quality nitrile gloves
    • 5 pairs – BUY (You can buy these anywhere and in larger quantities, they are usually black or blue in color)
  • Various Syringes
    • Awesome Starter Kit – BUY

Actually Mixing:

Now that you have all the supplies all you need to do is setup a CLEAN area where if you spill you can easily clean up. Keep pets and kids away from this area while you have the nicotine out and especially when it is open.

Put on your gloves. Open the nicotine/ Measure out the amount for the desired nicotine level. Inject it into the bottle and shake. That’s it. The flavor will not be altered and you will have nicotine at the desired level in your juice!

Nicotine Easy Table (For using 100MG Strength Base)

1.5MG 3MG 4.5MG 6MG 12MG 18MG
10ML 0.15ML 0.3ML 0.45ML 0.6ML 1.2ML 1.8ML
15ML 0.23ML 0.45ML 0.68ML 0.9ML 1.8ML 2.7ML
30ML 0.45ML 0.9ML 1.35ML 1.8ML 3.6ML 5.4ML
120ML 1.8ML 3.6ML 5.4ML 7.2ML 14.4ML 21.6ML

 

I hope this is helpful for you and thanks for ready! Vape safe and vape on!

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
Dist.
Commissioner
Phone
Email
1
Richard R. Boykin
(312) 603-4566
[email protected]
2
Robert Steele
(312) 603-3019
[email protected]
3
Jerry “Iceman” Butler
(312) 603 6391
[email protected]
4
Stanley Moore
(312) 603-2065
[email protected]
5
Deborah Sims
(312) 603 6381
[email protected]
6
Joan Patricia Murphy
(312) 603-4216
[email protected]
7
Jesus G. Garcia
(312) 603-5443
[email protected]
8
Luis Arroyo Jr.
(312) 603-6386
[email protected]
9
Peter N. Silvestri
(312) 603-4393
[email protected]
10
Bridget Gainer
(312) 603-4210
[email protected]
11
John P. Daley
(312) 603-4400
[email protected]
12
John A. Fritchey
(312) 603-6380
[email protected]
13
Larry Suffredin
(312) 603-6383
[email protected]
14
Gregg Goslin
(312) 603-4932
[email protected]
15
Timothy O. Schneider
(312) 603-6388
[email protected]
16
Jeffrey R. Tobolski
(312) 603-6384
[email protected]
17
Sean M. Morrison
(312) 603-4215
[email protected]

 

Comma delimited email list:

 

[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

 

SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS

 

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 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/e-cigarettes-an-evidence-update).

 

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.

Sources:

http://blog.casaa.org/2015/09/chicago-il-local-alert-oppose-extra.html

http://blog.casaa.org/2015/10/cook-co-il-oppose-e-cigarette-taxes-in.html

http://www.cookcountyil.gov/2015/10/14/preckwinkle-presents-fy-2016-executive-budget-recommendation/

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-emanuel-budget-town-halls-0825-20150824-story.html

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-chicago-electronic-cigarette-tax-met-20150910-story.html

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

-AND-

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: ChicagoCompleteStreets.org).

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: DMLP.org)”. 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.

Closing

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: http://www.brenthoffman.com/listings/l0240.html
PDF of Listing: http://www.brenthoffman.com/pdf/ThompsonBridge2100Info.pdf
PDF Mirror: https://www.timothyhoogland.com/dl/ThompsonBridge2100Info.pdf

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)