Easy Kill | U.S. Vaping Industry Roiled by Setbacks



i-i bred stafford and this is red watch from regulator watch comm and we're here in dallas texas with shell Hamel how's it going very good thank you so you are a pioneer of the vaping industry in the United States of America explain that to our viewers that's what they tell me years and years and years ago I used vaping products to get off of tobacco products myself it was in 2009 so I have quite a few years of no tobacco and I knew at that point that I had found something that was there really worked because I had tried many different things like like a lot of people I mean you hear this story every time and but when I really knew it worked was when I handed it to my aunt who was I'm gonna die smoking die hard and I handed it to her and she put cigarettes down and I was astounded astounded and so I said alright we've got to do something well I argued with my husband for a year and finally was able to open the vapor bar in McKinney I opened it in 2011 as far as we know for history it is the 4th brick-and-mortar that opened in the nation well so and yeah we started everything very new started mixing flavors at the kitchen table trying to eat what they were awful so how many states are you in um we're in four states so three state excuse me so Texas West Virginia and Virginia how many stores we have eight stores now not only are you an owner and a juice maker but you also are a leader and advocacy tell us about that uh you know I came by it just out of luck alright or maybe maybe the opposite occurs we had a bill in Texas actually we had the first actually the very first thing was Frisco Texas announced that they were going to do a public use ban and we were I think we were the first one in the nation the first city in the nation to do that and so that's kind of that kind of started the ball rolling to where I started realizing you know we got some problems here because people are not understanding what we're doing and our goal is the state of Texas was very quick the next session to in to put 11 bills on the table it started out as five and the next thing I knew it was none and the next thing I knew it was 11 and I was just yeah so we had at the time I was in Sephora for viewers explain what's vada is Osada is smoke free alternatives trade association and back then it was the only organization that generally helped the small businesses to fight bills to understand regulation legislation you know all of these different things that that we didn't even think was really going to come down but of course it did so they helped you in Texas and obviously you must have had some success oh yes we had some success in some huge battles I mean we had 11 bills on the table one of them was rocketing through because if this bill was written by someone it didn't matter what he wrote it was going to get passed and so we had no no choice and frankly there was only one person at the negotiation table and that was us thankfully so we did get to negotiate the villain at the time there were no bills in in the country yet that had gone through Texas was the first one and everybody was up in arms that it ended up being a minor prevention law however it did have some significant you know disciplinary actions in the event that those things happen so everybody was up in arms that we actually you know allowed the law to go through I didn't have a choice oh it's gonna go through really really really really ugly or it was gonna go through with us at the table and so but then of course law after that the other ones started coming out with the taxation and this that and the other and so ours looks really pretty now but I mean it was it was a hard-fought so you're operational in Texas though after it's all done yes oh yes and everyone is I think fairly in Texas is fairly comfortable and understands the law and and it's fairly easy okay so that's a win there hasn't been a lot of wins in the US house there no no and and unfortunately we're getting it at all sides if you don't get it from the city you get it from the state if you don't get it from the state you get it from the Health Department if you don't get it from Health Department I mean it is coming from all sods and so it's a fight constantly and you have to be on your toes you have to be on your toes because at any point a government agency of some sort can be in your door and if you're not on your toes you can get caught completely unaware and that's what we don't want because anything that happens inside these shops affects these customers and affects these customers we take away a smoker who needs this as an alternative method so that's the way I look at it so the groups that are out there to help in the fight provide our viewers a map of the advocacy landscape what are the groups out there at a national level that are you know working on their behalf ok so you have VTA you have Sephora you have a VA and you have kasaa and for the most part you have a Mesa and for the most part all of these are your main groups there have been a couple of them that have cropped up but falling away those are your your core groups what what does each one of them do what's their responsibilities and roles so VTA and Sephora in a VA for the most part help generally help the businesses the small businesses to thrive in this legal and legislative arena and help to kind of facilitate how to fight how to come together and in a state or in a city or whatever the case may be cos saw is more for consumers so they're going to reach out to the consumers when there's a bill that has been introduced inside a state to get them you know engaged send in letters or what have you and then AMSA is a standards organization so they have legislative efforts as well mainly at the federal level though you're not going to see them much in the states and they are for eliquid standards and and trying to create those standards within our industry rather than the fda taking the helm you're involved nationally how is that and how does it look nationally um a big question mark I'll be honest with you I think that everyone is trying to find their way right now Cole Bishop the Cole bishop amendment did not go through so that left a lot of people to try to figure out a different route now and aside from it being extremely depressing and the industry a little wayward I think that everybody's just trying to find their way so cool Bishop explained to our viewers what that was and what happened to it very briefly Cole Bishop is the amendment that was attached to the omnibus bill which would help us to move the predicate date that is in the Tobacco Control Act that would allow vapor products to stay on the market prior to 2016 that would allow them to stay on the market without going through a PMT a which is a pre market tobacco application which inevitably would put every vapor shop and manufacturer out of business because it's too expensive right so basically the FDA deemed vapor products to be tobacco products it did tobacco products have to go under this normal enormous ly stringent absolute laws has to bring new products on the market right because they're modeling it after tobacco right sir so Cole Bischoff from what I understand is what it would have done has said any device that was on the market before August 8 2016 correct which is when the rule went went into effect would able be able to stay on the market correct yeah I wouldn't it would have some regulations to I know it would have to jump through some hoops but some that are doable for the industry but but nothing with regard to products who wishes devices nd juice after 2016 correct everything would have to go through a P market tap tobacco application so that same owners process yes so why was Cole Bishop considered a fix a valued thing well I mean I consider it it was a band-aid it was something to hold that that door opened so that we could have a future moving strategy you know and at the time it was it was necessary it is necessary still because if we don't have that then we can't even be on the market so we were going to change the predicate date the the thought was to prank change the predicate day and then start with that forward moving process from there with innovation and working on the ones you know forward moving but how could you do innovation because anything after 2016 would have to go through the owners process right innovation absolutely it is I mean and as as I said as long as those were on the market we would at least have something that could help the tobacco user to become to be successful but with this as an alternative versus not having anything at all and so I think that was the thought and we were you know the FDA has told us that they cannot change that predicate date that it has to be legislatively done and so that was the first step and then of course several after that we would hope would come to the table but how could it have been the first step when Cole Bishop was first formulated three years ago and then two years ago there was the push to get it into the budget and that failed and that this time apparently it was really close it was almost there it was in but then got dropped is the idea to try again with Cole Bishop you know I think the predicate date changing the predicate date is that the thought process is it well it has to be done otherwise everything on 2022 is gone and we have to go through a pre market tobacco application so it it has to be done regardless whether it comes with another plan moving forward or not it absolutely has to be done it has to be changed inside that forgot that the predicate date has to be changed so from our from our perspective that right watch we covered some other initiatives that were non Cole Bishop related sir last year and you know we're fine we're big boys you know we received a lot of pushback from many of the groups that you were mentioning do you think that there was an inordinate amount of pressure to push people the you know advocacy energy into coal Bishop to the exclusion of any other option I absolutely see where you would say that and I did think myself that yeah I mean it was it was it was pushed very hard I mean see the the short way to answer that ask that question is did the industry put all of their eggs in one basket I I think that yes they did and I think the reason the reason they did that or the reason that I was given that that that was done is because they wanted everyone to focus and have their Congressman we felt like there was there was not as much engagement as we wanted from the industry so if we pushed Kol Bishop as hard as possible then hopefully that would engage other people to call their congressmen and get them involved that way we could have that past meet that first step and then continue from there I see where you're going though because I have felt the same way that we could work a couple of avenues and and I feel very certain that we probably could have gotten the same people to be engaged in different avenues as well not many avenues of one I agree and I think that the premise was that they wanted to make sure that everyone was was really doing it because the problem is is when you can't get them engaged is enough and and get them to call their congressmen and get them to press this issue so that we can get that predicate they changed and they knew that it had to be done and so that looking at that it I can see both sides for sure so is there a future for Cole Bishop I I do not see a future for Cole Bishop now that is my opinion and I am I'm just a small town West Texas girl but I will tell you that I think it's tired I think it's tired when I speak to the Senators when I speak to the representatives and all the congressmen some of them I see their eyes closed a glaze over I see them roll their eyes or what have you that it's just tired and there needs to be a different approach there needs to be a different answer so you bring a congressman yes congressman Duncan Hunter a bill right right absolutely what's going on support it oh that's my that's my my side okay that's my position is to support it and the reason why is I don't want some other you know congressmen coming up and going man I'm not gonna help you look what you did to this guy and not only that we need I we need everything we can we can get we need the help no I have to ask though with regard to Duncan hunters bill there has not been a lot of support for it in the last year in a bed yeah why is that you know I think a lot of it has to do with well there's a lot of reasons I mean there's some there's a lot of bad publicity out there that helps about the congressman oh yes yeah that that keeps people makes them a little gunshot you know and I can understand that there is also the fact that everybody wants to push that cold bishop and they draw that attention away from that there's there's a lot of reasons but it you should still support it you should still support you know the bill because it doesn't matter and and the book and the bill does need some help I mean it sees some tweaking of course and it needs some some industry initiative to get in there and really dig into the bones of that bill and and work together to create create a bill that everybody really loves because it's a forward moving bill and I like that so beyond some of the challenges that there might be with congressman hunter what's holding the vaping industry back from fully getting behind it I don't know that there's anything in particularly holding the industry back except for just not the push you don't have that push like you did with the coal bishop and those things like that so you're missing that but understand that that bill can be with another congressman it can be it it it is a good basis a good foundation to build upon so I think the big question that a lot of people have that aren't plugged in like you are is out of all those groups you talked about I mentioned who's doing the negotiation right now with the FDA um there are several of them that have meetings I think that we're trying to open the door to have the negotiations done I believe that VTA has me at a meeting they've they've said that out loud I believe that so far is is coming up I am not certain of the other ones although I do believe that they are working on those but I do know that there has been some some attempts to work that route so you're at the Nexus to an extent of the vaping advocacy world what's your message to the other vapor advocates to the other groups you're working with with regard to what's next I would like to see a humble approach I would like to see a humble approach at the FDA I would like to see someone sit down and say look I get what you want we don't want access to minors we don't want a bad product out there we don't want individuals having battery issues what can we do help me help you to develop something in a regulatory manner that can be forward moving for our industry protect small businesses and keep these products in the hands of those individuals that need them because in the event that this changes in the event that we go through this entire time and we're still left going through the pmta and all those those products are pulled for the market if we do that we are going to lose so many people back to smoking it is imperative that everybody understands that's the goal the ego's the the the push to be the hero does not matter when we have people that will physically be in trouble if we cannot come together and figure out the right approach and I think the approach to the FDA has been this is not allowed and this is not allowed and we won't we won't accept this or we won't accept that or maybe it's just to whomever it doesn't matter and I think we need to change our approach and we need to go to them in a very humble manner has there been a strategic failure amongst the vaping advocacy groups because here we are I think it depends on where you're sitting and for me possibly you know I think that we did what we what we what we could do and thought was right and you know nobody's and they I always say that as long as you know we're sitting here back and complaining going they're not doing anything and then all the ones that are not doing anything or saying you didn't do it right hold on now you know we've got to have a balance here we are an industry that is in desperate need of help we're a desperate industry and shamefully enough we shouldn't be we should be the one that the FDA is fighting for us because we have this wonderful innovative product to help millions of people so it baffles me that we are in this position but we are and so looking forward and looking backward it's a shame that we are are as desperate as we are but we are and we come across as desperate and sometimes we come across as easy kill and I'm I'm ashamed to say that it you know the eCos were there it can't be because there are lives there are lives on the line and the egos have to go away we have to come together desperate does not paint a very good picture I know I don't know what to tell you I got eight shops that I'm and and that serve 57,000 customers that they're desperate to

20 Comments

  1. Always knew this woman would great things. Way back when I knew her when.

  2. There going to kill alot of people an ruin more life's over cigarettes because if they stop vaper stores or stop it we will suffer I pray not I've smoked 24 years straight an vaping stopped it completely I've been breathing better than ever my lungs have cleared up I can't believe it's true vaps do not hurt you at all hell we breath worse in are open soecity today vaps are saving thousands people wish they could see vaps are gift from God to get us off cigarettes Satan owns the government can't y'all see there trying to stop vaps in some states I'm a reborn Christian why I had to try to find better way to stop that's 100%better I promise my life has changed for better I'm so happy now in Jesus Christ that he gave me strength to stop cigarettes are Satan's cancer stick people I pray for world .

  3. Keep an eye out Canada.The vote is coming up and we need to watch that big Pharma and tobacco companies aren't buying the election.These giant companies are evil and only want your money to enrich themselves.They are not interested in helping poor and working people.

  4. Tabacco companies own the government and vaping is their threat. Wake up sheeple they will ban it in the end and keep the cancer sticks on the market.

  5. thank you for the video, the f.d.a. see's $ and death, what they don't see is the heart brake cancer causes every year, I walked my dad home, and his older sister, and that not only why I vape, but how dare the f.d.a. tell me that camel nonfilters are safer. like I am to stupid to know the difference, and wish to die of cancer, on there grave train of $. now I can taste I can breath and sleep better, and not endanger those I care about, I smoked for 30 plus years, shame on them. thank you for your time.

  6. Reducing the nicotine strength in combustible tobacco products means huge – and I mean HUGE – profit for the tobacco industry and the state (tobacco tax income). Why? We know that combustion kills. But people smoke for nicotine and because of the habit. Reducing the nicotine to half means to double the amount of cigarettes one needs to smoke to get the amount of nicotine one's used to. That doubles the tax income and doubles the profit of Big Tobacco. And maybe even the profit of Big Pharma because desperate smokers will repeatedly try to quit smoking with the help of useless gums, patches or puffers. So it's a 100% win-win situation for the big players and a 100% loss for smokers (they'll die from combustion, tar and toxins eventually), vapers (going back to smoking will be their death sentence) and the smaller businesses in the vaping industry (also a death sentence because they'd be unable to survive commercially). Not bad, FDA. Smart move. What a fraud!

  7. The problem here is that vaping is costing individual states money, lots of money. States depend on the sin tax attached to cigarettes to generate revenue. This has proven to be a great way to lay the tax burden upon the poor. People don't generally care about the poor but would fight bills that would tax the poor directly. However, people are OK with laying down a sin tax, even if it is on products the poor enjoy. If these people quit smoking for vaping, states lose revenue. The answer is to either ban vaping or label it as smoking (a tobacco product) so the sin tax can apply. Evil republicans have been resisting sin tax- they don't care about states losing revenue. Come this Nov, please get out and vote Democrat.

  8. Welcome to the newest form of prohibition, fueled once again by stupidity and money.
    I'll be willing to bet at some point in time Religion will be brought into this, nationality may see it's way in at some point, regulations will become stricter until it's near impossible for shops to stay open, people will complain yet do nothing, and we may see a rise in importation from China and other foreign countries which don't have such ridiculous laws.

    I hope at some time those who vote against vaping get ousted for taking the bribes, sadly that day may never come.

  9. I saw the no lung damage from vaping video on here and other vaping videos so is vaping bad for non smokers i vape despite never being a smoker i dont do it to look cool i like the flavour and relaxtion and other factors SO IS VAPING IS BAD WITHOUT NICOTINE………….

  10. If the industry and the consumers of vaping products do not take up this fight, I can see the vaping industry getting destroyed. Big tobacco and it's supporters in the government are not interested in anything that will get smokers off of tobacco and on to vaping..it is not in big tobacco's financial interest for vaping to be successful as an alternative.

  11. Not one bit surprized Texas would be first.

  12. Schell's recommendation of a "humble" approach to the FDA is a sound one imo & let's do pack up those egos…there's lives at stake here! Thanks again Brent >3

  13. Awesome video keep up the good work

  14. Some GOOD NEWS with the American Cancer Society Position Statement on Electronic Cigarettes in Feb. 2018, which states  "Based on currently available evidence, using current generation e-cigarettes is less harmful than smoking cigarettes . . . .   Individuals should be encouraged to switch to the least harmful form of tobacco product possible; switching to the exclusive use of e-cigarettes is preferable to continuing to smoke combustible products."   (see more at www dot cancer dot org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/e-cigarette-position-statement.html).

  15. Great interview! Vaping saved my life !!

  16. Thanks Brent and Schell! Great interview!

  17. I have bine vapeing for 5 year's and I fell so much better. I noticed it the most when I'm playing with my kids! I'm Canadian but I just don't under stand why the FDA and Health Canada just won't listen to the people! I guess the big money lobbyists just sound better and smarter

  18. VOTE THEM OUT…………ITS THE ONLY THING THEY UNDERSTAND

  19. Great interview and keep up the work Schell Hammel. And thanks for fighting for us vapers and all the smokers who may want to quit smoking one day

  20. Not so "baffling" when you follow the money, smoking smokers are more profitable, and many are on that gravy train.

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