Interview with Malice Doll of the National Vapers Club
By David Desrosiers
Vape meets as far as the eye can see! Big meets, small meets, local meets, national meets. I love vape meets and have attended all kinds of them, mostly the smaller local variety. Last September I made a journey to that jewel in the desert, Las Vegas to attend Vape Fest 2013. It was my very first national level vape meet and I was like a kid going to Disneyland for the very first time. I had no idea what to expect. I’d been to Las Vegas before, but not since the Luxor was pretty much a brand new hotel.
At the time I was working at a great vape shop in Phoenix called Butt Out and we were going as vendors at the event. After we all got settled in at the Flamingo, a process that was less painful than I feared as the hotel lobby was flooded with a constantly moving near crush of colorfully dressed people speaking languages from all across the globe. Right away I saw a slight man in the check in line with a great bushy white beard and black glasses. Holy cow, Zen is here! Now I start to get really excited! After getting settled in and making the appropriate first night party stops we went to bed for all of an hour and a half trying in vain to sleep through the excitement of it all.
The next day we all met in the room where the meet was set up. It was huge! Any bigger and it’d be an airport terminal or a blimp hangar. It was early in the day yet and the doors for the event were hours away from being opened. As we set up our vendor table I noticed one woman that was busily striding through the room. She was impossible to miss. Tall, I mean tall! Dressed in eye catching gothic attire and topped with an outrageously fashionable wig that matched her dress. I had no idea who she was at the time but took her for a person of some authority and made note of her purposeful if not slightly harried movements. After we got our vendor table set up I started to pay more attention to others in the room figuring out who was who and just what in the world was going on. Part of that was learning more about the National Vapers Club and why they are throwing this gigantic vape party in Las Vegas. I learned that NVC uses the money from these events to fund research on vaping and e-cigarettes to help us combat the foolish regulations and bans that are pressing in on us in so many places around the country. Needless to say I was very pleased by this and had the immediate sense that these were some really cool people doing a lot of work for some really awesome reasons.
The whole weekend was kind of a blur of people, questions, conversations and a lot of walking and elevator rides. Although it wasn’t what most people call a Vegas vacation, I still had an amazing time and got to meet some salt of the earth folks and a hero of mine or two.
Fast forward. It’s now February of 2014. I finally had a chance to cross paths with that unmistakable tall woman in the gothic attire and become acquainted with who I know now as Malice Doll, Consumer Proxy for National Vapers Club and Volunteer Coordinator for Vape Fest.
Spinfuel: Who are you, Mal? Where do you come from? When did you start your journey from smoker to vaper?
Malice Doll says:
My name is Malice Doll, I’m from the Dollhouse of Debauchery and I started vaping in 2008, actually. I was smoking for, uh, 24 years about a pack a day. It was actually when the tax hit for cigarettes, it was the day before that tax went into effect and I was at the mall and there was the “Smoking Everywhere” kiosk and I was like, oh, what the heck is this? So, we went and talked to the guy and and paid way too much for a crappy 401. So I went home and tried to use it and it sucked. (laughter) I threw it against the wall, I stomped on it, I think I ran over it with my car. It wasn’t working and I was upset, so my boyfriend, we call him The Pig, he was online and he said “maybe you’re just doing something wrong.” So, he started looking things up and found ECF (Electronic Cigarette Forum). So, I got started on ECF and got to now everybody over there, got know, a lot of the real old people, a lot of them aren’t around anymore. Eventually I left ECF and became one of the eaaly members of Vapers Forum with all of us ‘misfit vapers’, or, whatever you want to call us. From there we just started meeting everybody and the in 2010, we were all just hanging out and said ‘you know, we should all get together and hang out and so that’s how Vape Fest was born in 2010 in Virginia. Since then we have had two a year every year since 2010.
Spinfuel asks: How big was the first Vape Fest?
Oh, my gosh, there was a couple hundred people, maybe, but it was so nice! Everyone was there! Pure Smoker was there and Vaporcast was there. A lot of people from the forum were there, Jason from Elctro Nic Stix was there and Chad from Zikwid, NHaler was there as well as Cisco. It was really nice and it was really fun! We all had a blast and said we should do this again, so we just kept doing them and that’s how Vape Fest was born.
Spinfuel: Let’s talk about NVC and what the purpose of Vape Fest is. What kind of research is being done and how is that going?
Well, the NVC has three different focuses. Those are research, education and protection of vaping. We funded a study called IVAQS (Indoor Vapor Air Quality Study). That was what a few Vape Fests paid for. The study ran for a year and a half and was completed in 2012. It’s actually been cited in some of the ban hearings across the country. Part of the protection that we do is we have different scientists and other people that we fly around the country to testify at these ban hearings and try to educate the lawmakers about vaping and going against the lies that a lot of anti vaping people are telling. One of our success stories is in Oklahoma. OVAL (Oklahoma Vapors Advocacy League) and some of our representatives, our Director, David actually has been in Oklahoma and they’ve been spending a lot of time with the legislation and teaching them about the benefits of vaping as opposed to smoking and what happens to people when vaping is banned, they go back to smoking. So, if you’ve been watching the hearings this has been very successful in Oklahoma. We’re seeing that the legislation is coming around. They aren’t basing their legislation. It isn’t based on studies that were done in 2006 and 2007 and all of this older stuff where a lot has happened since then that nobody is talking about and they should be. We also send a lot of literature to vape stores encouraging them to call their legislators, to call their Congressmen because them actually hearing their voices is better than just writing an email or a letter.
Right now we are looking for other studies to do. We are looking into conducting a study on dual usage, because one of the things that keeps coming up in these hearings is anti vaping people saying that vaping just leads to dual usage. We are going to be doing a study on vaping/dual usage to see just how much this is actually happening. We don’t have any studies that actually measure dual usage to see how much this is happening. We’re always looking for new things to do and research to pursue. If any of your readers have any ideas for research they can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Spinfuel: How about education of new vapers?
Yes! We do a lot of education and classes for new vapers. It’s all about community for us, not just the trade aspect of the industry. We want everyone to be included, not just the experienced vapers. We do battery safety classes, which is very important to us especially with a lot of people doing sub ohm vaping. We do equipment classes, legal classes to educate about laws, talk about liquids and other things that new vapers need to know about. We try to make sure that everyone is included. We want everyone to come to our events and feel welcome.
Spinfuel: Tell us a little about the other board members of NVC.
Well, we have our Chairman of the Board is “Rock”, his name is David Barlow and he is a retired pen maker, believe it or not. Our Director is David Kapple and he works for eVapes OK. Our Vice Chair is Shadow Rhelm. She is the Customer Service Representative for Volcano. We have our Finance Director, Cheryl Ricter who works for Cherry Vapes and our Vendor Proxy is Matt Wellman who is with ePipe Mods. Our board is structured so that we have representation from both vendor and consumer groups so things aren’t one sided. That way everyone gets represented and gets a say in what happens.
Spinfuel: We know you are doing research on the general safety of vaping for the public. Are you doing any other research like the study being done by Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos’ study on the safety of the flavorings used in e-liquids?
We are looking at that study. Of course you don’t want to waste money and duplicate research that others are doing. We are watching closely to see what opportunities for further research come out of that study and see if other avenues can be explored.
Spinfuel: We’ve covered a good bit of ground about NVC. Is there anything we haven’t talked about that you would like to highlight?
Yes, I would like to touch on Vape Fest, DC Vape Fest is March 21st and 22nd in DC You can get discount tickets on sale until February 28th. Tickets are $20 for the whole weekend and you can book your hotel on our website www.vapefest.com or you can call the hotel, Hyatt Dulles for reservations and our discount code is GVAPE so you can get a discount on the room.
We’d love to have everyone come out and enjoy the event and we have an after party until 4 a.m.! We’re going to be having classes and we will have a new user table for all the new vapers to come to and learn the basics of vaping and vape safety. We will have raffles as well as silent auctions to help benefit funding of research. There are lots of great prizes at the raffle and you can buy tickets on our website, so you do not have to be present to win prizes. If you can’t go to Vape Fest, you can still have a chance at winning some really cool prizes. Additionally a whole range of items will be available in the silent auction, so come on out and join us for a whole lot of fun!