Dear Vape Family,
The past 2 years have been a gut punch to the vaping community. We came together like no other in January of 2015 in reaction to a series of ridiculous proposed regulations on the vaping industry here in Indiana. No one knew the real motives and people behind those proposed regulations. Nor did they know how business owners, many mortal enemies, would banned together not only to fight this monopoly, but also to support each other.
During this time Hoosier Vapers has been at the front of this fight. Camped out at the Statehouse. Organizing rallies, petitions, and letter writing and call in campaigns. We filed a lawsuit in State court, which is still moving forward, and assisted in a federal court challenge, currently on appeal. We successfully turned around the “wild west bathtub juice” narrative of 2015 that degraded small business owners throughout the state. We also obliterated the patently offensive “the good players are getting permits and the bad players are suing the state” narrative spouted during the 2016 session.
After spending over a year trying to get the media’s attention we found a couple of journalists that were very interested in finding the truth in this saga. Those stories, by the IBJ and Indy Star, helped spawn national attention and an FBI investigation. It is no secret that Hoosier Vapers was the source of many of the topics of inquiry by both the reports and FBI investigators. We spent many hours, working with both, to find and expose the truth.
All of this has helped foster a completely different atmosphere in the legislature. Many legislators have spoken to local vape shop owners and have pledged to take this issue up. They see the harm that was inflicted on this industry and community. The vast majority of legislators did not intend for this to happen. They relied on the information presented to them by their colleagues and trusted peers. Our industry was wholly unknown to them and it’s easy to believe that “they just don’t want to be regulated”. But… they have come around.
Over the summer and fall, Hoosier Vapers was working on building bridges with new allies in the Statehouse. As well as preparing a draft bill on how we would like to see the law changed. We finished that draft and had legislators ready to take up the bill.
During that same period a new association was formed, the Indiana Smoke Free Alliance (ISFA). With Amy Lane at the helm of ISFA, they were able to build bridges and an alliance with non-vaping industries that also wanted to see the law changed. Amy was also able muster the national support that we desperately needed, but had been unable to get.
In the fall, ISFA and Hoosier Vapers sat down to compare notes, drafts, and goals for the 2017 legislative session (and beyond). The goals and concerns of our two groups align almost perfectly.
Amy was able to gather enough national and allied support to be able to retain a top notch lobbying firm, Krieg DeVault, which will be well equipped to capitalize on the media, and FBI, attention this issue has gained. I have personally reviewed both their draft bill and legislative plan for this session and am 100% on board.
In the 2017 fight for vaping in Indiana, ISFA and Hoosier Vapers are working together. Only as a cohesive group can we win this war.
Evan McMahon, Chairman
Hoosier Vapers, Inc.