Officer Elections

Election pinned on noticeboard

Over the last month, the UT Smoke Free Association has been accepting nominations for President and the Social Media & Promotions Manager positions on our officer board. The nomination period has come to a close today and our general members have been asked to review the nominees and cast their vote. The voting period is open through May 2nd and we will announce your new officers on or about May 5th.

We want to thank everyone who applied and decided to harness their passion for the industry to help make our Utah vaping family stronger through leadership and industry advocacy. Good luck to both and we look forward to working closely together. ‪#‎vapefam‬

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Random Liquid Testing


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As part of our organizational standards, we perform random testing on liquid purchased in the state both from in-state and out of state e-liquid manufacturers.  We primarily test for nicotine concentrations to ensure the liquid falls within the +/- 10% variance as required by our standards and by what is considered to be best practices within the e-liquid and pharmaceutical industries.  We also will be performing more detailed tests to ensure there are no unauthorized ingredients being incorporated into any of the liquids.

 

In early January, the Salt Lake County Health Department issued a press release regarding random sampling they performed on e-liquid throughout the state on liquid purchased during August 2014.  They provided us a copy of the test results which we analyzed and validated against the results they provided.  We committed at that time both to the health department and the public to performing the same test on the same brands and flavors of liquids but wanted to give it enough time to allow new batches to circulate in to ensure we test a more recent batch.

 

Also occurring the same week as the SLCO press release, we finalized the agreement between the UT Smoke Free Association and Terponix, a local Utah analytical laboratory specializing in e-liquid testing.  Through this new relationship, we procured and sent the same flavors of one of the manufacturers tested by the health department.  After speaking with the Pink Spot team, they agreed to allow us to publish the results which are below.  You will see below that all liquids tested are within the +/- 10% variance allowed by our organization standards which demonstrates that their mixing process in their laboratory is working as designed.  Pink Spot has been a huge supporter of our organization since our formation in 2011 and we’re proud of their accuracy and processes and are not surprised by the results.  Based on the tests, we feel you can purchase their liquids with a high level of confidence based on product accuracy, quality and service.

Pink Spot test results

 

The Utah Smoke Free Association will continue to perform random sample testing on all liquids throughout the year and beyond.  The Board and our members all agree this is important enough for us to finance and we are happy to do so.  As we find tests that are concerning, we will be working directly with the manufacturer (regardless of source) to ensure they are both aware of the results and we can work with them to resolve any process errors that prevented a successful test.

 

Update: We also received this week the test results from a Big Tobacco product that we wanted to share.  We feel everyone including our health department will find this information interesting and frightening at the same time…

vuse_test

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Age Verification


The Utah Smoke Free Association is the first statewide vapor industry association that has taken steps to control access to vapor products at the point of sale through the use of technology.  All members of the association have agreed to utilize electronic active age verification at their point of sale to ensure underage consumers do not purchase from our stores.  All members also participate in the SFATA Age to Vape program and will soon undertake specialized training in the Utah “We ID” program.

NoID

Our members have the option of using either a hardware based (scanning gun) or software based (smart app) system for their ID scanning system.  Many of our members have a requirement to scan the ID of every customer to ensure full compliance with the law.  Penalties for selling to minors can range from up to $300 for the first offense and up to $1000, civil penalties and revocation of their business license for multiple offenses so they take the scanning process as though their business depends upon it; because it does.  Our members make up the highest concentrations of electronic active age verification participants in the country and are highly regarded by the health department, legislature and law enforcement for the steps they take at the point of sale.

scanner smartphone

For any non-member interested in deploying the hardware or software, feel free to contact us for more information on how you can show your commitment to controlling underage access to vapor products.

 

Here is some media stories on our innovative verification program:

Guide to Vaping

ABC4 Utah

Salt Lake Tribune

Ecig Advanced (and KUTV)

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Battery Safety


All batteries can explode, and it can happen with electronic cigarette batteries. Which is a shame, as every single incident we have heard of so far has been avoidable. If you follow the correct safety procedures, e-cigarette battery explosions are very rare – about 1 in 10 million. To enjoy vaping safely, follow the simple rules in this infographic (click the image for a larger version).

We would like to thank our friends at ECigaretteDirect for this information and encourage you to go to their site for more detailed information on battery safety.

 

E-Cigarette_Battery_Safety_Infographic

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Wyoming Vape Meet


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On Saturday April 25th from 5pm to Midnight, our vaping brethren from Wyoming are hosting their 2nd annual statewide vape meet (https://www.facebook.com/WyomingVapeMeet).  Don’t let the location fool you, these vapers know how to throw down.  At last year’s event, they had nearly 400 vapers attend in a small apartment complex clubhouse.  This year is going to be bigger, badder and lots more fun.

 

This event is being sponsored by our good friends at Straight-Line Vapors and Steam Vapor Company with exhibitors from all over the state.  They will have a cloud comp, vape trick contest, juice tasting, tons of prizes, DJ, food and drinks and much more.  The Utah Smoke Free Association has also been asked to come speak to the crowd about advocacy and to help keep their boots marching.

 

We know this is a LONG haul out to Cheyenne and it’s the weekend before Vape Summit but how many times can you get 2 big events within a driving distance of Utah?  Let’s show our vaping family in Wyoming some of that love and crash their party!  2 of the UT Smoke Free Association board members will be leaving SLC early Saturday morning to make the drive so if you want join in our convoy, just let us know!

 

 

You’ll probably want to grab a hotel while you are there because the ranch is fully booked up.  So to make it easy, here’s a map of all the hotels nearby.  The Quality Inn is the closest to the ranch and is about a 15 minute drive down highway 87 but certainly there are many options just a few minutes further North.

 

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The Vape Summit III

vape summit

The Vape Summit provides an amazing opportunity to connect with industry professionals and providers of vaping products and services. In addition to access to resources for raw materials, suppliers, distributors, and name brand products, The Vape Summit will be highlighting new releases, product exclusives, and limited time discounts only available during the event. Those who are interested in gaining more information, education, or insight into the vaping industry may also benefit from the event, including investors, celebrities seeking endorsements, and other interested parties. At The Vape Summit 3, many important announcements and industry initiatives will also be unveiled.

The Las Vegas Convention Center will take center stage as The Vape Summit takes over the North Hall which is over 350,000+ sq ft and over 500 vendors are expected to exhibit their product.

Utah will make a HUGE impact at this event with the first ever state section of a national vape event.  So far, the following Utah businesses will be setting up at the event (some may not be in the dedicated Utah section); Vape Affliction, VC Wholesale, Diehards, Leo Liquid, Humble Wick & Wire, OVapes, Doc Mod, Vape Star, Diamond Wire, Urban Vapor, Peak Vapors, Twisted Juice, Tronic and more!  There will be numerous product launches not only from around the country, but from Utah as well.  If you can only attend one event a year, this is the one to plan for!  We expect well over 150 Utah vaping aficionados to make the trek down to Las Vegas for the event so it’s a trip of all trips.

 

Event Details
Thursday, April 30, 2015 – Saturday, May 02, 2015
Thursday and Friday will be strictly a business to business expo with the consumer expo opening on Saturday May 2nd (or possibly the afternoon of the 1st).
The Las Vegas Convention Center
3150 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109

To register: https://www.regonline.com/register/checkin.aspx?&EventId=1700163

 

There are obviously many choices of hotels to choose; on strip, off strip, Freemont and more.  Choose what you prefer however many of the Utah delegation are staying on Freemont Street at the 4 Queens.  If you would like to stay at the 4 Queens, just call the hotel (800-634-6045 Press 1 for Reservations) and ask to be placed under the group reservation for the “Utah Vapers” group.  You will want to confirm before booking to make sure there are still rooms in the reserved block. If they happen to let you know that there are no more rooms in the block, contact us using the contact form here on the site and we will get more added and let you know when it’s done so you can book.

 

We hope to see everyone at the big event in a few weeks.  This is going to be an incredible event with the largest Utah presence ever and I for one am looking forward to being with the best vaping community in the country…but remember

 

vegas
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Support Advocacy

advocacy

Everyone needs to watch this video and pay special attention to what the various lobbyist organizations are telling you.  The attacks on the industry have shifted in the last year away from direct attacks on the consumers and are now focused on regulations, bans, smear campaigns and lawsuits against the business community.  This kind of attack requires different tactics which only organizations familiar with the state level landscape can effectively help with.  Watch this video and scroll down when you’re done…

If you can’t get involved in advocacy because your competitor is involved in advocacy, get out of the industry now.  We don’t want you here…when you’re both out of business, it’s not going to matter.  It’s just THAT simple!” – Vaping Militia

With lobbyists, you are renting their relationships.  They have the relationships [with politicians], you don’t.”  “Some lobbyists I deal with go for $15-20,000 per month.  If you are a business owner, the value to you [by joining an organization] is you are not writing a check for $15,000 per month.  If you can’t write a check every year for $60,000 for representation, you’re better off joining forces with your competitors.  You don’t have to like them, you just have to survive together” – Pamela Gorman, NJOY

“State organizations have the ability to pool the money together and send it where it needs to go.  You don’t have to track it” – Florida Smoke Free Association

So with all that said, you might wonder about the Utah Smoke Free Association.  How are we funded?  How many of the Utah shops are “surviving together” to fight not only for their business but that of their competitors AND for all the consumers’ right to vape?  Do YOU want to remain in business or are you only in the industry to “ride the wave”?

 

Our Funding

In order to be fully functional and help the industry survive in the state, this image below is where we stand as of today.  Approximately 80% of our funding goes directly to fund the lobbyists.  The remaining 20% is for general administrative costs that it takes to run the organization.  No board member is paid a salary.

UTSFA Funding Status

We are currently funded through 15 paid members with 21 locations and 3 affiliate members; and this only has us just short of the half way mark. CASAA, SFATA, AEMSA, AVA, and the other national organizations are all incredible organizations do not provide the Utah industry full time professional lobbyists; so it’s critical that everyone realize that we as your state organization are the only ones that have organized for experienced and professional lobbyists for YOUR business and OUR industry.  You should still support the efforts of the other organizations as each one has a unique place in the industry but we all work together for the common good; but only state organizations directly fund the state-level fight that keeps YOUR business IN business.

 

You are encouraged to join the Utah Smoke Free Association as soon as possible as this will be a HUGE year and if we cannot be involved in the fight, none of us may be in business in the next year…If you don’t believe me and haven’t watched the video, do so and you’ll understand.  If you are ready to join in the fight and be a part of one of the longest running and most respected state organizations, head over to the Professional Membership page for more details.

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Myths & Truths

In light of all the lies, propaganda and misinformation circulating right now courtesy of the CDC and the California Health Mafia, I thought it would be fitting to include a poster that is going out to all our member shops.

UTSFA Truth Poster

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Congratulations ElectronicStix

The Utah Smoke Free Association would like to congratulate ElectronicStix in Ogden on their successful ID check during a recent underage sting.  ElectronicStix takes a very serious approach at checking IDs using the Bar & Club ID software and requires employees to scan every ID (regardless of the customers age) before selling any product to a customer.

Considering that failing a sting can result in fines, criminal penalties and the loss of a business license; ID checking must be a very serious step in the retail sales process.  ElectronicStix continues to do things right and we are proud of your on going accomplishments and for setting a high mark for the industry!

 

Click the image below to see a copy of their audit letter received alerting them to their success.

verified

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Organizational Change

The Utah Smoke Free Association is happy to announce that Darrel Schildknecht has accepted the role of Manufacturing Director with the organization. Darrel previously held the role of President as we got up and running and this new role is a natural fit for him due to his extensive experience in the vapor industry with both retail and manufacturing. Please join us in welcoming him to the Board of Directors!darrel

Since he has vacated his role of President, we also will be taking open nominations for the next month to fill his vacancy. Along with this vacancy, we also need to fill the role of Social Media & Promotions Manager to help the organization and our members grow their business reputations online.

If you would like to apply or nominate someone for either of the two open positions, please apply at the following location. After the closing date, the general members of the association along with the Board of Directors will hold a formal voting session to fill the vacancies. http://goo.gl/forms/68mhDOiJbe

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