GrimmGreen Talks About the FDA, Social Media and Never Giving Up

He's also launching a raffle with exciting prizes to raise money to fight the FDA


Who's an advocate?

Everyone knows GrimmGreen. The pioneering YouTube reviewer and vape entrepreneur (he owns Namberjuice) is as familiar to vapers as a 510 connection or a 30ml bottle of their favorite juice. He’s been online since 2009, explaining new products, separating the good and bad, anticipating trends, and generally being one of vaping’s greatest advocates.

What? You didn’t know Grimm (real name Nick) was an advocate? The way I see it, there are a couple kinds of advocates in vaping. There are the people who meet with elected reps, speak at hearings, and represent us in the mainstream media. Then there are the people who convert smokers to vapers, growing our ranks and making us stronger as a force for good. Has anyone done more to recruit new vapers and help them succeed and get involved? I’ve always said Nick Green is among the greatest advocates of all.

"The FDA is not going to approve anything"

Now that we’re in a fight for our vaping lives, we’re seeing people in the community split roughly into two camps. Some are choosing to ignore the deeming regulations and just (I guess) hope for the best — or even plan their quick getaways if things don’t immediately go well in the courts. Others are getting more involved, spreading the news, encouraging other vapers to take action, and generally proving that when push comes to shove, they’re in this for the long haul. That’s Nick Green.

Like most vaping advocates, Green doesn’t think the FDA plans on accepting any Premarket Tobacco Applications. ”They’re not going to approve anything,” he told me on a Skype call last week. “Our money is better spent fighting these regulations than complying with them. Once we start complying with them, we’re saying it’s okay. And it’s not okay.” Unlike a lot of vaping reviewers, he’s diving right into the advocacy ocean. He knows what he’s talking about, and isn’t shy about telling everyone the plain truth. The deeming regs are a ban.

Help fight the FDA and win! We can all win!

Boxing Bag

He is putting his money (and time) where his mouth is too. “I’ve been donating to the Right to be Smoke-Free Coalition,” he told me, and he has plans to do even more for the community effort to finance the court challenge to the FDA deeming rule. He runs a podcast with fellow reviewer Ruby Roo (also a fellow advocate; she is a board member of Not Blowing Smoke) called Culture of Clouds, and they’re holding a raffle to raise funds for the R2B suit.

“We’re going to have some sweet prizes,” he said. The first raffle includes an Axis Vapes M17 stabilized wood mod, the full line of Lane Cove e-liquids, a new (and secret!) RDA. Your entry to the raffle will be a donation (of any size, minimum $5) to the R2B suit. And you can donate via Paypal multiple times. You can listen to the episode with the raffle announcement on the CoC site or at Soundcloud.

Here are the official rules from the Culture of Clouds website:

  • You must be of legal vaping age in your state
  • Donate at least $5 to the Right to be Smoke-Free Coalition
  • Email your Paypal receipt to [email protected] – this is your contest entry
  • A random winner will be drawn on Sunday, July 17 at 5pm PST
  • The winner will be announced during Episode 16

What is Vapor Blackout?

He has also taken advantage of his position as one of vaping’s most well known figures to advance the advocacy cause on social media. Recently he joined forces on Instagram with a couple of vaping IG mainstays, Tony Nguyen (@mecha101) and Adam Cornwell (@ohmmine), to push a campaign called #VaporBlackout2016.

Urging vapers and vendors on IG to replace the usual builds and handchecks with a daily message, the trio got a lot of attention. “I know it was a success because people were complaining about the pics taking over their news feed,” Green told me. “The point was to clutter up the feed with advocacy.”

In fact, they got so much attention that someone — he has no idea who — decided to report all the hashtags they used as inappropriate or spam. Once flagged, the terms became unsearchable. “People get their channels flagged all the time,” he explained. “Instagram’s kneejerk reaction is to flag it and investigate it later. We just adapt and keep advocating.” After several days, Instagram unflagged the hashtags.

"I don't have an exit strategy"

Fight or Flight

Green understands that social media alone can’t win the vaping wars. “All you can use social media for is awareness. And to possibly — maybe, slightly — get the attention of a congressman or a media outlet. Social media is not going to change anyone’s mind.” The goal, he explained, is to get vapers involved. “We live in this millennial 2016 world. We want small bits of info, and we want to do as little as possible,” he said. In other words, some people need a push.

And he’s pushing. A return of the Vapor Blackout on Instagram is planned in the days before August 8, the “deeming day.” Additionally, he talks about the deeming ban, the lawsuit, and CASAA membership on every video review and vlog he releases. He certainly looks like someone who has no plans to abandon vaping or the vapers he’s helped through the years.

“I don’t have an exit strategy from vaping,” he told me. “I’m not going to shut down my business. I’m not going to buckle under this nonsense. There are big vendors — shockingly big vendors — who are going to sell vape stuff until they can’t sell vape stuff, and then they have other businesses lined up and ready to go, so that when the vapor industry buckles they can just back out of it.” He sounded disgusted by that, and determined to fight to the end.

Jim McDonald
I spend most of my time studying the regulatory, legislative and scientific challenges to vaping, advocating for our right to exist, and talking with others who do the same. Consider me a source for information, and feel free to agree or disagree with anything I say. I love good coffee and sweet Michigan cherries. My childhood hero was Gordie Howe.