“With myriad options from which to select your next e-liquid products, whether it be as a retail or wholesale customer, allow me to offer you a comment on practicing due diligence prior to making your decision. As the SFATA Utah Chapter press secretary, I’m more intimately familiar with the inner workings of e-liquid manufacturing than the average consumer, which is why I am freely offering up my perspective. For full disclosure, I am also the lead account executive for Drapor Vapor, a subsidiary company of Tronic Vape. In other words, if you’re a liquid manufacturer, I’m in the trenches with you every day, all day. Yes, I realize flavor is of paramount importance to most consumers. However, as you may well know, flavor is but one minuscule piece of the overall picture. To make informed decisions about what you buy and vape, you must ensure that a company practices due diligence by researching three things: the product, the business and the business’ procedures.
When assessing the overall quality of a product, my attention turns to suppliers of raw ingredients. I am invariably concerned with the quality of nicotine, VG, PG and flavoring. Let’s face it, better ingredients yield better final products, and I am safe in assuming most consumers would tend to agree with me. Cheaper priced, bargain brand nicotine is not conducive to premium e-liquids. In fact, the variation in taste is typically noticeable.
Perhaps more crucial than the quality of a product is the caliber of the business making it. For my own peace of mind, I demand to know whether a manufacturer establishes two very simple—yet rarely achieved—safeguards on the back end: insurance and toxicology reports. Reputable companies should be carrying liability coverage policies on their e-liquids to protect both the retailer and consumer against potential medical claims. More to the point, regular, thorough toxicology reports conducted on e-liquid products should be readily available to retailers who are carrying the product line. Although these toxicology reports are not cheap, by any means, can we really put a price tag on the health of consumers? Obviously, the question is rhetorical, yet I find myself frustrated that so few of the companies with whom I’m familiar are doing these things.
Finally, due diligence involves being compliant with current regulations and policies at both the state and federal levels. Childproof caps, shrink bands, and Prop 65 warnings are the obvious essentials, but I tend to favor doing business with companies who stay ahead of the regulatory curve. For instance, implementing labels that list exact percentages of raw ingredients, along with the flavor profile, is not only more informative and convenient, but also going above and beyond what is currently mandated by law. Purchasing a SFATA membership, or even subscribing to the free CASAA email newsletter, are great tools to gain more insight into how this industry will be regulated. Remember, it isn’t a question of if, but when and to what degree.
So, in summation, be vigilant, informed and smart in deciding to whom you will give your business.