Sunday, December 10, 2017

Paint me green and hear me roar!
Confessions of an e-liquid mixologist.

Hi my name is Kim, but everyone calls me Skip. I’m an ex-smoker. I’m grateful I have lived long enough to experience the joys of not only being a Mom and Aunt, but also to be a Grandma and now a Great Grandmother. That makes me sound old!!! I’m only 59 and I’m the oldest person in my Mother’s family. Most of us have family in their 70’s, 80’s and even 90’s. At this time in my life, I’m not that lucky. Smoking has killed off all my maternal elders.

It is not only the early death of my elders that is heartbreaking, it is the fact that smoking almost killed my son when he was 29. There’s nothing more scary than the phone ringing before sunrise and a faint voice saying “Mom, I need you. I think I’m having a heart attack.” A helicopter ride, emergency surgery, and a couple of stents in his heart later, my son was lucky enough to survive. We’ve all heard that smoking is dangerous, but who would have thought that 2 packs of cigarettes a day could cause enough heart issues to almost end the life of someone who is only 29?

As an unemployed single Dad, the medical expenses brought on by that heart attack were devastating. The warning by his cardiologist to quit smoking or never see his daughter grow up was sobering. Thus began the exploration of this thing called “vaping”. My son tried it and with in a week, he had quit smoking. He soon began to feel better, sleep better, and breath better. He was so impressed by how life altering it was to start vaping and quit smoking, it became his mission to help other parents escape an early grave and live longer for their kids. He sold everything he could, his truck, tools, stereo, guns, and other possessions to raise enough money to open a vape shop. He’s been in business now for 3 years, and is so very proud of the fact that his shop has helped hundreds of people quit smoking.

A well known e-liquid manufacturer in Minnesota took my son under his wing and taught him the craft of making e-liquid. There were many conversations between them about what types of devices and flavors appeal to smokers, because the more motivated the smoker is to use the products, the more likely smokers will succeed in quitting smoking. This mentor stressed to my son that vaping helps on many levels, and it’s not just a nicotine thing. Smokers smoke for emotional and social reasons. The act of smoking at certain times of the day or in certain situations becomes part of a smokers daily routine. Even though smokers know they should quit, they get pleasure from smoking and this makes it harder to quit smoking. A good vape shop is going to make sure that the products they sell are easy and convenient for a smoker to use, fill the needs of having something go from hand to mouth, can be used at times a smoker usually smokes, and fills that need to bring pleasure to the smoker. This gave birth to my son’s second company, when he started manufacturing e-liquids.


I am known for being a good cook. I take pleasure and pride in creating new dishes that appeal to those who eat what I prepare. The thought of creating e-liquid flavors that would appeal to adult smokers intrigued me. I did the “Mom thing” and used my skills to help my son create all the flavors his e-liquid company sells. I never took a dime from his company and refused to be put on the payroll. I’m well known in my community for volunteer work and advocacy efforts for many causes. The thought of helping to develop products that would appeal to adults and help save lives was right up my alley! I put months into developing the lines my son’s company manufacturers. There were countless hours working with his customers, having them try different combinations of flavor and providing their input into what appealed to them. I find these adult smokers have a wide variety of needs. There’s one customer who needs liquid with no flavor at all, there are people who want their vape to taste like tobacco, and there are those who never want to be reminded of tobacco again. The creations my son manufactures fills all those needs. No flavor, tobacco, fruit, dessert, bakery, candy, coffee, and alcoholic beverages are all represented in his lines. We’ve learned that adults like flavor, like a large selection of choices, and those flavors motivate them to become ex-smokers. I’m so proud of the part my creations play in saving the lives of people in my community!

I smoked for over 40 years. I tried to quit for over 20. Nothing worked long term for me. To be honest, even though I knew I should quit, and I tried to quit, and I was somewhat motivated to quit, I don’t think deep down inside, I ever really WANTED to quit. Without that driving force of the want, I think I was always destined to fail at quitting. One day, my son gave me my first vaping device. I dual used for 4 months. I still didn’t “want” to quit smoking, I just knew if I was around the vape shop, I should vape instead of smoke. One day I realized I had quit smoking. I had to think back a few days to figure out when I had smoked my last cigarette. I’ve been smoke free for 2 and ½ years already! I’m no longer embarrassed to stand in line at a grocery store, because I know I don’t smell like an ashtray and offend people anymore!

Certain things really bother me. Like when anti-tobacco activists do things to destroy my pride in being an ex-smoker and helping other people quit smoking. They demonize me for vaping, something which is 95% safer than smoking. They accuse me of advocating for vaping for the money, instead of my heart felt need to help others. They accuse me of being a part of big tobacco. I’m a broke, toothless old woman - trust me, I don’t get a dime from big tobacco! The most hurtful thing of all, is to pervert the effort I put into creating flavors of e-liquids to appeal to adult smokers and accuse me of marketing to children, of trying to addict the next generation of kids on nicotine.

Not once did I create a flavor and go “hmmmm, I bet a 12 year old would like this”. Not once. I’m not a monster, I’m a mom, an aunt, a grandma, and a great grandma. All I wanted to do is help people quit smoking so they could live long enough to enjoy their extended families. I wanted to help people quit smoking so kids would no longer be exposed to 2nd hand smoke. I wanted to make the world a better place. 

If that makes me a monster....




Skip Murray ~ a.k.a. "Momma Vape"
Tobacco Harm Reduction Specialist - Minnesota Smoke-Free
Member of the Board of Directors - Tobacco Harm Reduction 4 Life
Forever a fan of the movie "A Billion Lives" - Watch it and learn! http://abillionlives.com/ 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Do The Right Thing

RANT ALERT!!!!!!!!

Many of us are out here working hard to save our right to vape. Not only our right, but the right of all smokers who desperately need a way to quit smoking and haven't tried vaping yet. The smokers who have failed over and over to quit. The ones who feel they've been given a life sentence of shortness of breath, continuous respiratory ailments, and stinking like an old ashtray. Some are only 18 years old and some are over 80. Each and everyone should have the right to try any method they want to get them to quit smoking! We should ALL as adults be free to choose.

Now comes a lot of people trying to pass a partial prohibition, by changing the age to smoke, chew, or vape to 21. The ones who are convincing our lawmakers that young adults 18-20 aren't developed enough to make those choices and should be prevented from buying these products. PLUS, they argue by changing the age we will close the "pipeline" of "tobacco" products to those too young to smoke, chew, or vape. They claim 15 year olds don't know people over 21 who would buy these products for them.

Let's say you're fighting this tooth and nail, fighting for our freedoms, fighting to save vaping, fighting to keep it available to the 19 year old who already has a smoking problem and wants to quit. Let's say YOUR community is looking at a Tobacco 21 law. Let's say you have a member of your City Council who WAS AGAINST prohibition laws like Tobacco 21. WAS????????? Why would their mind be changed? Well, think about if you went and had a meeting with that Council person as an advocate for vaping and the council person told you they are now thinking of supporting Tobacco 21 because they caught their 15 year old vaping, and the kid admitted that somebody 18 bought the products for them!!!! What do you say to THAT???????? Battle lost, as that council member is now very motivated to join the army fighting to PASS TOBACCO 21. (Yes this really happened)


If you are one of the dumb asses buying for minors, come see me. I'll show you just how much damage a great grandma can do to stupid people. You are now my enemy. You are not an ambassador for the benefits of vaping, you are the poster child the anti-vapers are going to parade in front of the media who will plaster you all over the 6 p.m. news!!!! You are the reason that cities, counties, states, and countries will be motivated to change the minimum sale age to 21. You are a fool.

#NoEcigs4Kids
#NoSmoking4Kids
#NoChewing4Kids

If you don't understand what NO means, go back to Kindergarten and try again. Quit vaping, get the **** out of our way and stop destroying this life saving industry for the rest of us. Get your pacifier out of your mouth and think of others for a change. GROW THE **** UP and be the ADULT you are supposed to be. There's this thing between your ears called a brain, I suggest you start using it.

You are the reason people are going to DIE!







Let that sink in for a bit.

I'm grateful the MAJORITY of people obey the law and don't provide adult products to minors. I thank you for being a good person and doing the right thing. If you catch any of those who do break the law, do me a favor.... knock them up the side of the head and tell them it's a message from me.
Do the right thing, don't give ANYTHING meant for adults to kids! ~ Momma Vape

Sunday, June 4, 2017

I've Got a Question about CONtrol

I've been wondering about some things....

Wasn't the purpose of Tobacco CONtrol organizations to help reduce the number of people who smoke? Isn't their job to educate others of the dangers of smoking?  Is it just me, or is it true that the reductions in the number of people who smoke have gotten low enough that the folks over at Tobacco CONtrol are getting a little nervous about keeping their funding and their jobs? Smoking Rates Drop To Record Low (article)



How else do we explain the war on the vapor technology industry? An industry that has HELPED tobacco control show successful drops in the number of people who smoke - including the number of YOUTH who smoke? Why wage war on a product that is saving lives if the only "crime" this product has committed is to help anti-tobacco and public health organizations achieve their missions to lower the number of people who smoke? Why wage war on a product that contains NO tobacco, if your mission and funding is to reduce SMOKING and the use of TOBACCO products?  Some of Tobacco CONtrol's funding comes from the pharmaceutical industry, is that a conflict of interest? See: E-cigarette critics get research dollars from industry competitors

Why do these organizations have stockpiles of extra money that they aren't spending on their mission, and yet asking for raises in taxes to increase their funding? Is it because so many people have quit smoking there is less Tobacco Settlement Funding and they are getting nervous the money tree is going to die? Are some state governments catching on to the CON in CONtrol? Is that why North Dakota withdrew funding for BreathND? See: BreathND had a $55 million dollar surplus! (article). andAnother article about BreathND (here) 

Why do organizations like ClearWay MN (which is funded by 3% of Minnesota's Tobacco Settlement funds and profits from their investments) asking in 2017 for MN to fund their QuitLine program when ClearWay is funded for such things until 2023? (Legislative update from ClearWay MN)



Why at one time did some of these groups fight a bill to ban e-cigarette sales to minors? "The American Cancer Society; the American Lung Association; the American Heart Association; the Missouri State Medical Association; the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians; the Missouri Academy of Family Physicians; the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids; and Tobacco Free Missouri have all previously called on Gov. Nixon to veto Senate Bill 841." See: Governor vetoes bill that would ban e-cigarette sales to minors (here) Why do these groups now make out vaping as an evil empire run by Big Tobacco that needs to be subjected to FDA prohibition in order to "save the children"?



Why did one of these organizations secretly negotiate the terms of the tobacco settlement AND dip their fingers into the rules that gave the FDA power over the tobacco industry (and any non-tobacco industry the FDA chooses to "deem" a tobacco product)? (Read "Untold Story" here) (More info here)

Why did this organization who lobbied for NO FLAVORS negotiate to allow Big Tobacco to KEEP menthol flavoring?  Read about MentholGate: (here) (and here) (last one here). Why do tobacco CONtrol groups now lobby for a ban on menthol tobacco products? Was that a clever ploy to guarantee future battles and job security? APA joins Tobacco Free Kids to recommend ban on menthol flavoring in tobacco products (here). Does this new push have anything to do with the rising popularity of vaping and the big push by the anti-tobacco folks to now make this life saving industry the "new" enemy of the children? Are these groups using kids and the threat of Big Tobacco antics as a scare tactic to rile up the public and the law makers to wage a new war and thus ensure future job security for these groups? Will these groups go to ANY means to further their agenda, including telling lies to the public and media? (See "Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids' Lying Has Got to Stop" here)



Why didn't these organizations fight to get RID of tobacco, instead of negotiating deals that would make sure tobacco would be legal forever and therefor making sure they'd always have a battle to fight, an endless source of funding, and good paying jobs? FDA Creates Database for Grandfathered Products (here)
Infinity = the busy work / busy body mission of tobacco CONtrol


Why does Tobacco CONtrol, who fought to make sure that all tobacco products are to be kept behind the counter, now run around and take little surveys of the POS (point of sale) areas at your local corner store and complain that it's full of tobacco products and signs showing what they cost? Is this "busy work" just a ploy to look like they are working to fight smoking, and make such a big deal out of it to make it appear they are still needed? New Rules for Tobacco Retailers (here) If we don't want YOUTH to be influenced to be aware of, around, and exposed to tobacco products why does tobacco CONtrol recruit youth to do POS surveys on tobacco products? Store Assessment Tools (here)

Why are Tobacco CONtrol people now making themselves out to be "public health" people and blasting little local stores not only for having tobacco behind the counter, but for having alcohol, sugary drinks, and pre-packaged foods in their stores? Since when did all those things become a "tobacco" product? Just how much CONtrol over our lives do these people want? Pretty soon they are going to try to tell us when we can breath or poop!  Example of Tobacco CONtrol Video.

Why do Tobacco CONtrol people use emotional ploys and claim everything is about the children, that we must save the youth, and yet do what they claim others are doing - they market to children? They use ads and videos and show kids looking at, touching, smelling, and EVEN USING tobacco and vapor technology products!!! They accuse various companies of "normalizing" these activities and yet who's ads do you see of kids doing this stuff???? THEIRS - The ads of Tobacco CONtrol!! What kind of evil being claims to be trying to save children while marketing those things to children? What gives these people the right to give children false information and then dress them up all cute and parade them in front of the media and law makers and have innocent kids spread tobacco CONtrol's lies and propaganda? What do they think they are teaching kids? Tobacco CONtrol Teaching Kids About Flavors (video here)  and Kids Smoking Crayons (video here) 

^^ Paid for with Tax Payer Dollars! ^^

The World Health Organization says a billion people will die from smoking in the next century. I think it's time Tobacco CONtrol quits playing their games, quit worrying about their funding and job security and start working towards really saving lives, not just saving a token few and pretending they are working hard to make the world a better place. Let's stop using kids as an excuse and get back on track. Let's get back to helping ALL people quit smoking. As the former Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop,  said back in 1998 Don't Forget The Smokers (article)


I found some interesting answers to some of my questions in the Yale Journal on Regulation here: Baptists, Bootleggers, & Electronic Cigarettes.  The past couple of years have turned me from a very trusting person to someone who finds themselves questioning just about everything I see and hear. I have learned that it is true.... What you see on TV or read on the internet isn't always the truth. Many people are motivated to make you believe what they want you to believe, to protect their own interests. We truly have turned into a "ME" society. I am saddened that parts of life are no longer about doing the right thing to make the world a better place for many people. I hope more and more of us get sick and tired of that and start fighting back.

When we do that, we really will be doing what's best "for the children".

~ Momma 

P.S. Don't believe me that there is this much corruption in Tobacco CONtrol and the efforts of Public Health? I recommend the movie A Billion Lives. As you watch the film, notice the movie mentions ALL the people and organizations who were asked to participate in this documentary and REFUSED......... hmmmm I wonder what they had to hide that kept them from being in a film about Tobacco CONtrol? A Billion Lives available on iTunes

Do you have a tobacco CONtrol question or pet peeve? Feel free to share it in the comments!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Cotton Candy is NOT Marketing To Kids

True story that happened to me in 2015 while working at the vape shop...

An elderly lady walks in the door looking for some "juice". She's looking at the samplers of the premium lines and asks how much a bottle. I tell her $15 - $22. She raises an eyebrow and gives me "the look" and says "if you're taking any of my money, you need to do better than that". I tell her the prices of the house line and ask her what kinds of flavor she likes. She says "cotton candy, I like sweet juice". I apologize and tell her we don't have cotton candy and when she asks why, I explain the whole ANTZ thing and accusations of marketing to children. I get another "look" and she says "honey, you need to get with the program, we were too poor when I was a kid to afford cotton candy, so now I'm having it whenever I want and any way I want it. Now give me the sweetest thing you got and I want cotton candy the next time I come here." So I ring her up, and say "Ma'am, if you don't mind me asking, how old are you?". She looks at me and says "82, I quit smoking 6 months ago and now I'm going to live to be 102." and she smiles, turns around and goes out the door.

So now, I need to get cotton candy and if anyone accuses me of marketing to children, I'm going to shove that CC up their..... well you know, where the sun don't shine, because anybody who quits smoking at that age, deserves to have anything they want. So I'm going to be marketing to little old ladies. Feel free to share this story, it made my day. She was strong and adorable. 




Love and Hugs!
~ Momma Vape 

Thank-you Vaping In The News for the mention!

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I also play on twitter

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Letter to Youth Fighting the Tobacco Wars

Dear Young Activists,

First, I want to congratulate you on finding a cause you believe in and standing up and fighting for what you believe is right. More people in our country need to do that! You are learning skills that will serve you well for the rest of your life, and that is always a good thing.


Yesterday was #IKickButts day. Youth from around the world spoke up to #EndIt and be the first smoke-free generation! They learned about and taught their peers about the dangers of tobacco use. They pledged to never smoke. It’s a wonderful thing to see a generation of young people push and advocate to make a healthier choice than all the generations before them. You guys rock and I hope you not only stick to your pledge to never smoke, I hope you encourage many others to never smoke or to give up smoking.

The cold hard fact is, smoking kills. It kills the smoker and it kills the people around them.

There are many things in life that are “adult”. Feeding your family, paying rent, drinking, sex, serving in the military, voting, being on a jury are all examples of “adult” things. As young people, it is very normal to want to be treated like an adult. “Adulting” sounds like such a cool thing to do. Sometimes it is cool, making our own choices, following our dreams. The heavy burden of “adulting” can suck at times, it’s more responsibility than we ever imagined.

There is a whole new technology out there that was invented to be the consumer solution to the tobacco problem. For some people, it helps them quit smoking. It was never meant to be a “cool” thing. Sometimes, it’s just human nature to make things bigger, more powerful, faster, etc. Seems like humans can turn anything into a competition. This new technology was meant for adults and millions of adults around the world have used this new technology and have succeeded at quitting smoking. This new technology is often called Vapor Technology, E-cigs, or Ends (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems).

Vapor Technology is an adult product. It’s not meant for kids. I realize that there are always going to be kids that feel the need to break the rules and try “adult” things. I'm reaching out to the youth of the world and asking - no, I'm BEGGING - you to please NOT vape. Don’t put stuff that you don’t need into your body when your body is still growing and developing (yes, in all honesty, I’m also asking you not to smoke, do drugs, drink, etc.). I mention vape specifically because your desire to try an “adult” thing, be it curiosity, the need to experiment, the thrill of breaking the rules, or because you think you look cool is having severe unintended consequences. People who care about youth are very concerned about those of you who choose to vape, even if you vape zero nicotine liquids.

I get people getting concerned. I’m a Mom. I am blessed to a fault with what I call “Momma Bear Syndrome”. Momma bears are very protective and when I see a young person in danger or not treated right, I get angry and my Momma Bear urges go into full swing. There are men  and women all over the world who also have Momma Bear Syndrome. When they see youth doing things that youth shouldn’t do, they feel the need to protect those youth. It is the adult thing to do to protect youth.



Now we’ve come upon a problem between youth experimentation, Momma Bears, and the need to save adult lives, and the lives of anyone exposed to 2nd hand smoke. When young people choose to break the rules and vape, the Momma Bears feel the need to stop them. So Momma Bears are out trying to change the definition of this product that contains no tobacco to the classification of a tobacco product. They are trying to tax it, ban it, and over regulate it. In essence, they are trying to get rid of the entire vapor industry. Your need to experiment could cost people their lives. Many adults have failed over and over to quit smoking. Many adults are finally succeeding at quitting by using vapor technology. We all know if people don’t smoke, lives will be saved.

Do you know any smokers? Do you want to see them quit? Do you want to see them live a long, healthy life? Do you still want the rest of us to treat you like an adult and let you make your own choices? Fine, here’s your first choice to make…



You can choose to NOT vape and do the right thing for your body and have the Momma Bear’s go back to worrying about other things.

OR………

You can choose TO vape, help get it banned or taxed so high it’s cheaper to smoke. You can be part of the snowball that ends up having more people die because they didn’t quit smoking.

Doing something you perceive to be “cool” or doing something to avoid unintended consequences and having a life saving technology taken away from the people who need it.

1st rule of being a responsible adult - it’s not always about you. Sometimes, you need to make choices for the betterment of others. Your choice will prove to me just how “adult” you are capable of being. Make me proud.

~ From the Momma Bear in Minnesota

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I'd Like To Kick A Few Butts

3/15/2017



Happy #IKickButts Day! A day where our youth are encouraged to not smoke and to take a stand against "Big Tobacco". Kid's, you should listen....

Don't Smoke!!!

While we're on a butt kicking theme, this great-grandma would also like to kick some butts. You see, at 58 years old, I'm the OLDEST person in my Mom's family. All who came before me are gone, most of them smoked or had lives filled with second hand smoke. Smoking has even tried to take out younger members of my family. My son had a heart attack at 29 years old, thanks to smoking.

I quit smoking 2 years ago. I smoked for over 40 years & tried to quit smoking on and off for over 20 years, yes twenty years. I tried every method known to man. Those recommended by my doctor, by the FDA, by google, by friends, by quit lines, I've been hypnotized, criticized, chastised, and baptized with the hate and lack of compassion of the anti-tobacco community. I've tried patches, gum, lozenges, cold turkey, sucking candy, praying, medications, talking, and anything else I could think of. For over 20 years, I was a failure and at each failure, I became less motivated to quit, because I really believed I couldn't quit. 

You'd think that now that I'm an ex-smoker, the anti-tobacco community would embrace me, congratulate me, use me as the old lady poster child to prove anyone can quit. Alas, they look the other way, I am still scorned and hated. I'm still not good enough for them. I advocate heavily for people to quit smoking. You'd think the anti-tobacco community, all those health organizations and public health zealots and I would now be on the same team, out to save #ABillionLives who will die in the next century from smoking.


But here I sit, alone. Nothing more than a leper in the anti-tobacco community. To them, I'm worthless, I am an embarrassment to them. They like to call me names. Accuse this toothless old lady of being big tobacco, accuse people like me of marketing to children, and say I'm doing nothing more than making a buck and trying to addict the next generation to smoking!

What horrendous "sin" have I committed to be looked down upon by the Anti-Tobacco Community? I'm a vaper. I used an e-cig to help me quit 
smoking. That is my crime.

So, dear Anti-Tobacco people, I'd really like to kick YOUR butt. I'd like to call you out right here and now for making a huge mistake that could cost millions, maybe even a billion people their lives. I am NOT big tobacco, the work I do I do for FREE so I'm obviously not trying to make a buck, I want to not only SAVE children from smoking / tobacco, - I want to save all the adults in their lives, so that kids can grow up with extended / active / and healthy families.

I am a mixologist. I create and make e-liquid for a very small company. It is my son's company, the son that almost died from a heart attack 3 years ago. He quit smoking and he helped me quit smoking. And now we both work 7 days a week to help others quit smoking. I refuse a paycheck for these efforts. I have a job I work at overnight, so do not need a paycheck for trying to save lives. I have created several flavors in the past 2 years. I've given careful thought and consideration to what would appeal to the adult customers that buy my son's liquids at their local vape shops.  It has never crossed my mind to consider a flavor that would appeal to a child. When the ANTZ (Anti-Nicotine-Tobacco-Zealots) accuse me of creating flavors to market to a child, I am deeply insulted. How dare you pervert my efforts to save lives into some evil plot where you try to make it sound like I'm trying to destroy lives? My efforts to save lives has given me the opportunity to meet hundreds of others trying to do the same thing. We make liquids, we sell equipment, we give people hope that they can quit smoking just like all of us did. We know, vaping is NOT smoking. We know we are saving lives. 

How many more lives could YOU save, if you joined our team instead of lying and treating us like we are the enemy? I'd so much rather be working for the same cause, instead of sitting here feeling the need to kick YOUR butt.


#IKickButts