Nick Green is one of the most high-profile personalities in the vape industry; his passion for helping people navigate the vape sector, his honest reviews about products, and his commitment to vape advocacy have earned him widespread respect. With 138,000 followers on Instagram and almost 300,000 subscribers on YouTube, Grimm Green, as he is known, has played an integral role in a new brand of community-building revolutionized by technology and epitomized by the vape sector. In utilizing these networks to promote advocacy, he has proven to be an invaluable part of the vape community’s awareness-raising efforts and we are grateful he took some time to sit down with us and answer our questions!
REAL TALK: You made the switch from smoking cigarettes to vaping seven years ago and seem to have never looked back. Had you tried any approved smoking cessation methods prior to that? How did you discover vaping and when did you realize it would change your life?
GG: All my past attempts to quit were just the “cold turkey” method, which I don’t really consider quitting as each time was more like a long pause in my smoking. The longest I went was two full years… then one trip to Las Vegas, where you can smoke almost anywhere, was enough to pull me back in. It was actually while planning this trip that I got on Google and searched for “fake cigarettes”—this was back in early 2009.
I knew that if I went to Vegas I would smoke, and I thought that there had to be something out there that could maybe simulate smoking, but wasn’t actually smoking. Turns out there was.
TRAILBLAZER: People tune in at an incredible rate to the three reviews and one vlog that you release on your YouTube channel each week! What inspired you to dedicate so much of your time to the vape community? How has it felt to watch your following grow over time?
GG: It’s funny—when I started out back in 2009 I had no plan or agenda regarding YouTube. I got an ecig, I didn’t smoke for 48 solid hours, and I thought it was so cool that I just wanted to tell people about it. I dove head first into the community, which back then was maybe 1,000 people, and I started learning everything I could and buying all sorts of different vapes, atomizers and juices. I just reviewed everything I bought… again, keep in mind that this was back before the first big battery mod had ever been made.
Over time I started gaining viewers and subscribers. It took about a solid year before I got my first 500 subscribers. I was blown away when I realized there were 500 other people out there who cared about what I had to say, at a time when there were literally two other vapers on YouTube… it’s not like it is today with hundreds of them.
TAKE A STAND: You continue to be an outspoken advocate for the vape industry. While morale remains high, many are concerned as the future seems uncertain. Which advocacy efforts resonate with you and inspire hope on a personal level?
GG: If you’re a vaper, you need to advocate. There’s no way around it. It’s been an uphill battle since the beginning. I uploaded a video back in 2010 that was all about “fighting the California e-cig ban.” We have faced opposition since vaping came onto the scene. We are a disruptive industry. I got thrown right into advocacy from the very beginning and I knew that If I wanted to continue not smoking, I would have to fight to defend vaping.
The future of vaping has always been uncertain, as far as I’m concerned; the important thing is to remain diligent and stay the course. We have had many, many wins in the past as far as positive vape legislation, but for some reason people only focus on the negative.
VAPE BLOC: We appreciate your practical approach to politics during the climax of our industry’s regulatory challenges, admitting that right now you are a single-issue voter and encouraging others to adopt the same approach. Do you envision our community forming a voting bloc?
GG: I’m a single issue voter for now, yes. Vaping is what matters to me, vaping is what matters to a lot of other people as well. There is so much going on in the world right now in the grand scheme of things… genocide in Venezuela, ISIS, corporate corruption… so asking the general population to focus on vaping is a struggle. I want people to vote for vaping, but I certainly can’t blame others for not making it a top priority… although if we’re being really honest, vaping is symbolic of many other issues in our society… for vapers, it’s personal, but many more are disturbed by the far-reaching implications of these regulations.
BUSINESS CLASS: As a vape business owner, what bothers you most about the FDA’s deeming regulations? What’s the number one piece of compliance advice you’d give to a small vape company? Are you planning to move forward with compliance at all costs?
GG: The thing that bothers me most is how clearly out of touch the FDA is with what is actually going on in the vape industry. The language and wording they use often times doesn’t make sense, or is very, very vague.
At Namberjuice We’re totally committed to the registration process, and fully intend to have all our products registered before the December deadlines. On top of that, we’ve been working with all of our suppliers and plan to also meet the secondary deadlines for full ingredient registrations for all our products. The future is not entirely clear for the industry, but we’re committed to meeting every registration deadline along the way.
My advice would be to keep helping this industry grow. We need to keep growing and grow so big, with so many vapers that we can’t possibly be ignored. Join your local SFATA or SmokeFree association and donate money to the R2B SmokeFree lawsuit—the industry lawsuit that can possibly change these laws in our favor. I hear shop owners and vendors all the time that feel $43 a month for SFATA membership is “too costly”… it just drives me insane. If you’re not willing to pay your dues to affect real change that can save your own business, then get out of the business.
HANDCHECK: What is your favorite set-up? Since so much has changed in our industry just in the few years since you discovered vaping, what default set-up would you most recommend for a new vaper today?
GG: For a brand new vaper, a mouth-to-lung setup is ideal. My favorite mouth-to-lung setup, which I still vape to this day, is the Aspire Nautilus Mini. It’s an awesome vape for smokers, in my opinion. My daily setup looks quite different from that. I’ve always loved the HexOHM mods; I love the look, I love the fit and finish, and I love the durability and reliability. Reliability is the most important thing I look for in a mod. If I had to pick only one mod, it would absolutely be the HexOHM 3.0.
I’m a dripper so RDA’s are my daily bangers. I love the Goon, I love the Recoil and I love the TwistedMesses.
THE FUTURE LOOKS GRIMM: How do you envision the vape industry in one year? Looking ahead, a lot of people are predicting bootleg-style tactics as in the Prohibition era, which could be potentially dangerous, including from a public health standpoint; are authorities making the same mistake? What are your thoughts—is this Prohibition? Would you agree that our industry overwhelmingly supports sensible regulation?
GG: Without a doubt this is prohibition through over-regulation. One year from now I would love to see the FDA follow the example of places like New Zealand, the UK and Paris, and actually embrace vaping as tobacco harm reduction.
The most crucial thing we have to accomplish is changing that 2007 predicate date. We need full, safe and legal access to vapor products. Sensible regulation is always an interesting topic. As it stands right now, I don’t even know what sensible regulation looks like. To me “sensible” is too subjective of a term. What we need are clear black and white rules and regulations that actually make sense, and will be value added to the industry.
A lot of my background is in food manufacturing, so I understand things like MSS, HACCP, and GMPs. These things translate easily into liquid manufacturing and actually make sense. We need safe liquids, and we need safe devices to vape them on.
Thank you so much for sharing with us!
The Inspiration Series:
- Inspiration Series, Part I – MARIA
- Inspiration Series, Part II – WORLDWIDE VAPERS
- Inspiration Series, Part III – RELIK TRIBE
- Inspiration Series, Part IV – BMI ROSE
- Inspiration Series, Part V – DREW
- Inspiration Series, Part VI – AARON BIEBERT
- Inspiration Series, Part VII – AMY JEANETTE
- Inspiration Series, Part VIII – DANIEL WALSH
- Inspiration Series, Part IX – SABRINA
- Inspiration Series, Part X – MARIA @juicyclouds
- Inspiration Series, Part XI – GRIMM GREEN