Robert Jack’s Azure Vaping to Close
Despite all the science that proves that vaping is 95% safer than smoking, despite all the attempts to make the FDA see reason, despite all the tons of ink and electrons spent to write about the safety of vaping and the need for ‘light-touch’ regulations, despite all the efforts of all the advocacy groups, despite everything, the FDA has managed to begin the wholesale destruction of an entire industry. Azure Vaping among them.
In a column I wrote several months ago I just could not believe that the FDA would ignore the economic destruction that heavy-handed regulations would cause, and I concluded that the ‘outline’ of the proposed regulations would not see the light of day. I’ve never been more wrong.
Since August 8th every vaper has heard of this person or that business leaving the industry, either voluntarily or being forced out by Federal and State regulations, laws, and taxes. But few of us have experienced up close and personal. It’s like watching a war on a news channel; you know what’s happening, but you compartmentalize it, you absorb it and move on, and it has little impact on your day. Until it comes home. Until someone you know is lost to war does it affect you in a profound way. It’s normal, our compassion and empathy must have certain boundaries or we would not survive as a species if we felt every tragedy as though it was happening to us.
Yesterday I received an email newsletter from the owner of Azure Vaping. I don’t know Rob, the owner, nor has Spinfuel reviewed anything from the company. The only mention of Rob (Robert Jack) to appear in Spinfuel was from a news item in our Vaper News section from February 2014.
The name, Azure Vaping, has been a name we’ve all heard before. This business was founded a year before Spinfuel launched. It was always a name we associated with ejuice and DIY eliquid. Reading the letter in the newsletter was gut-wrenching. It hit close to home. I felt the profound sadness, the underlying anger, and the deep frustration in the content of the letter coming forth from Robert Jack, aka Rob. It is a letter to Azure Vaping’s customers, and it should be read by every vaper around the globe.
I reached out to Rob late yesterday afternoon, asking Rob for permission to reprint his letter. Rob agreed because he understands that Azure Vaping is not the only business that is suffering under the FDA. Rob understands that economic destruction, the personal hardships that tens of thousands of Americans are feeling, or will feel, in the coming months and years.
Below is the letter from Rob to his loyal customers. Read it, let it seep into that part of your brain that allows for empathy, and witness for yourself just what the FDA is doing to our fellow vapers. If this isn’t enough to demand changes or a complete overturn of the FDA Deeming Regulations, then I don’t know what will.
Saving our industry, conserving our companies and our jobs will take more than joining an advocacy group, more than a small donation, it will take each and every one of pulling off a Howard Beale. I am dead serious. – John Manzione – Publisher
FROM AZURE VAPING – ROBERT JACK
For more than 6 years, Azure Vaping (once BlueMist Vaping) has been striving to make the best quality DIY materials and e-liquids affordable.
We were around when vaping was still new, and “vapers in the wild” sightings were major subjects on vaping forums.
We were around when all glycerin liquids were rare.
We were around when dripping on 510 stick atomizers became fashionable, when clearomizers made dripping all but extinct, and when rebuilding turned it all on it’s head again.
This industry has meant a lot to me personally. It brought my family closer, and introduced me to dear friends and valued colleagues.
Vaping has been a way of life for me, and I hoped that my contribution to the industry and community would be my life’s work and legacy. That I was able to make an impact and career of it so early has been a point of pride and satisfaction.
Despite all of that, vaping has seen enemies crawling out of the woodwork. Those who hate the look of it, who create junk “science” to support preconceived notions, and worse.
In the last few months, we’ve seen the FDA deeming regulations announced, and we prepared to handle them. It would be difficult.
Our home state of Pennsylvania levied a 40% wholesale tax on our industry, and included a 40% floor tax on existing inventory, with additional stipulations for manufacturers to force us to mirror big tobacco. That would require significant restructuring.
Finally, we saw new interpretations of both of those, clarifications that meant more expense, lowered profits, and would encourage more and more customers to shop overseas or out of state.
When all is said and done, we simply can no longer survive it all.
Azure Vaping is closing our doors. Our new location has already been shuttered, and our main store and shipping building will be within the next few weeks.
In preparation, we’ve changed much of what is offered on the site, and are adjusting pricing as we begin to sell out of product.
For those who have loved some of our special flavors, if you haven’t already, now is the time to stock up on your favorites.
For those who are looking for large amounts of something special, we encourage you to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and speak to me or to Diana, and we will try to work something out for you.
Many bundles and “grab bag” type products we be added to our site over the next few days at very steep discounts to help us empty our inventory. We will try to be clear as to what types of products (nicotine levels, blends) might be represented on many, and we will also be bundling up some “I DON’T CARE” boxes at even lower prices for those who simply need a variety of liquid to share, re-flavor, mix and recombine. As we inventory the remaining hardware in our shop location, some of that will also make its way to the site. Please check frequently.
This is one of the hardest messages I’ve ever had to write, and I’m going to miss the opportunity to serve my customers.
I’m going to miss you all,
A Video News Story on Azure Vaping, immediately before the decision was made to shutter the business.