The Great Vape Hoax of 2016

As the majority of people realized only minutes after reading Julia’s spectacular post yesterday on the China ban of e-cigarette exports, the post was, of course, a “prank”, a “gag”, a “shenanigan”. The Great Vape Hoax of 2016.  It was not malicious in any way, or at least it was not meant to be. And although some of you are disgusted with Spinfuel right now, or feel betrayed, and believe we acted viciously, I suppose a heartfelt apology is in order. If that is the case, if you feel victimized, rest assured, you have our sincerest apology.

If you’re still reading this you might be interested to know how this Day-Early April Fools prank came about.  Continue reading to understand how the Great Vape Hoax of 2016 happened, and why.

Behind The Great Vape Hoax 

The hoax was planned and executed by Atom Vapes, with the full support and “trigger pulling” by Spinfuel. Atom Vapes spent a huge amount of time, effort, and probably a fair amount of money, putting it all together. The twelve fake newspaper websites alone took a while to put together. Needless to say, our friends at Atom Vapes felt passionate enough about the future of our “freedom to vape”, including “what we want to vape”, “where we want to vape”, and “how we want to vape” to risk the ire of Vapers to get the point across.

Here’s Sean’s explanation for this hugely successful hoax:

Hey Guys,

As you’ve probably heard, the recent rumors regarding the ban on China’s E-cig exports are not true.

It was an awareness campaign organized by Atom Vapes and coordinated with various Vape publications (Spinfuel Magazine, Vaping360 and GuideToVaping) and executed in the spirit of April the 1st.

We want to take a second to apologize to any and all people that we may have offended, confused or misled.

This was an eye opening exercise, we wanted everyone for just 1 second, or 1 minute to feel what happens if one day the vaping industry goes up in smoke.

 If you take a look at the articles we posted and replace the names of the Chinese government representatives with our own government representatives, the picture starts to make a lot more sense.

We estimate the campaign to have reached 500,000+ Vape businesses and customers. Analyzing the engagement, discussions, and comments really demonstrated how negative regulations would seriously affect the entire industry from its grass roots.

We have just demonstrated the kind of reaction that would occur if the regulations currently in place were to ban 90% of the products on the market. Or simply make it so that only big tobacco owns the rights to e-cigarette patents and uses them to keep disposables on the shelves of big chain stores instead of bigger hardware devices in Vape shops.  

This sounds far-fetched but believe me, there is a lot at stake, regulations hit the entire EU in May and the US soon, so everyone of us needs to get involved.

The message we were trying to portray was simple, please start participating with advocacy organizations such as CASAA, AMERICAN VAPING ASSOCIATION, SFATA, THEVAPINGMILITIA, NOTBLOWINGSMOKE, EFVI, TVECA, and ECCAUK and get your voice out there. There are 10 million of us, 10 million voters who demand that our politicians represent our true motives in their respective houses of congress.

There is a bill right now on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown in California that is waiting to be signed, if the bill is signed, it would classify e-cigs in the same category as tobacco products. I say we show our support and let the governor know how much this industry means to us.

I have included some links below to advocacy groups that are fighting on our behalf right now. If you have any other questions or concerns on how you can get involved please email me directly at [email protected].

Sean Davis
Atom Vapes

Links to Vape Advocacy Organizations



As a manufacturer based in China we design and produce hardware for various European and US brands as well as our own brand. We have our own set of problems with Chinese regulatory issues but are equally concerned about on how regulations around the world will affect our business and our friends/clients and the general Vape community. May 2016 is going to be crunch time for the European Vape community and beyond. It is likely EU regulations published will have many similarities to pending US regulations and in many ways will influence other regulatory bodies globally. It’s extremely important the Vape community stands up with one voice against these strict hands of government. – Sean

Did Spinfuel Have to Go Along?

Absolutely not. We were invited to play along, as were several other online vaping publications, and after hearing the true intent of this hoax we enthusiastically agreed to execute the Shock n Awe as the originating post with our Opening Salvo. Amazingly, we tweeted once, posted to Facebook and Google+ when the post was made. The rest of the day we did nothing. It went viral on the power of the message. We were stunned.

We chose Julia Hartley-Barnes to write the piece because Julia is our best in-house writer, and she can express things in a way others here cannot. Julia’s post was mind-blowing, organic, and structured in a way that makes us all very happy that she uses her powers for good, not evil.

Our reasons for going along with Sean and Atom Vapes are explained in Sean’s letter above, and Sean is 100% right that we should all be concerned. But are we really?

Words are cheap. We can all bomb Twitter with our outrage over all the taxes and limitations occurring daily in towns, cities, and states around the US, but what we people really doing? The number of Vapers that actually take the time to call their representatives, to protest outside the government buildings, to VOTE for candidates that support our right to vape, are but a minority. We must do more.

So, take a day to absorb the Great Vape Hoax of 2016, think about what we accomplished with “bad” news, and then begin to think about what we can ALL do to show our governments that they cannot take our freedom to vape away from us, they cannot tax us into oblivion, and they do not have the RIGHT to decide for us. We are responsible for our own lives, we do not need a Nanny-State, nor will we accept one.

We must begin to act with ONE VOICE. We are 10,000,000 strong folks, we have a voice, let’s use it.

Now, let’s forgive, hug it out, and become what we need to become; an army of vapers that will fight for our rights. If it takes a revolution, so be it.

John Manzione/Publisher