Dear Gorilla Vapes Family,
Yesterday I, along with hundreds of vaping activists including several Gorilla Vapes employees and many other shop owners and employees, spent the day in Trenton expressing our opposition to the current Flavor Ban Bill(S*3265).
It is clear to me that our legislators have spent time and energy creating this bill and mostly have good intentions. What was also clear to me was that these legislators didn’t, and still don't have enough knowledge or experience to do something that will actually solve the problems that do exist.
The Bad News: the bill was passed through the committees and, in all likelihood, will be signed into law on Monday.
The Good News: All of your holiday cards, phone calls, emails and our strong presence at yesterday’s hearings have created hesitation in some of the legislators minds(those that actually listened to us instead of chatting, walking out, or playing on their phones). An amendment was made to the bill and instead of this bill becoming law effective immediately, we have a 90-day grace period to “sell off our stock”. During this 90 day period, we will continue to contact legislators to inform them that flavors are a huge part of the success of helping adults quit smoking, with your help we are hopeful we could get an amendment that works in our favor.
I personally believe the legislators who actually paid attention, learned a great deal about vaping, and how stores like Gorilla Vapes are quite literally saving lives. It is also my belief (maybe I’m naïve) that we might still have a chance at getting a substitute bill passed that will address the concerns of our representatives, while also not taking the choice away from adults, creating a massive black-market, taking away thousands of jobs, and aiding and abetting Big Tobacco.
The current bill is a knee-jerk reaction to the recent hysteria that conflates the issues of underage use and “vaping-related illnesses”. As you all know, banning flavors does not solve either of these problems.
Underage use is an issue we can all agree on must be addressed. As stated several times throughout yesterday's hearings using FDA statistics , vape shops have a less than 1% rate of non-compliance to ID checking (which is still too much) while gas stations, convenience stores, and online purchases are the main culprits in underage sales. The solution here is simple: treat vapes and e-liquid as we do alcohol. Purchasing any vape or e-liquid should require digital ID checks in 21+, licensed vape shops. Licenses should be taken away as a result of violating.
As for the “vaping-related illnesses”, the CDC has finally admitted that the problem was coming from street drugs. Illicit THC-Cartridges with cutting agents, namely Vitamin E Acetate, were found to be the common thread in these unfortunate illnesses and fatalities, NOT with nicotine-based e-liquids purchased from legal vape shops.
We have offered our time and experience along with studies and statistics to our NJ legislators. Our goal will be to create a bill that will address the issues without taking your choice away. As always, we will use our expertise to continue educating our customers and the general public, including those elected officials. Gorilla Vapes is here to stay- we are not going anywhere and plan to continue the fight for all of our rights to use vapor products.
We will need your help in the coming months, so please stay tuned! We are in this fight together.
- Nick Jurczyk
Owner/Founder Gorilla Vapes