Vaping News

Soprano sings for New Jersey

As the vaping market grows so too does the number of inexperienced or inept people attempting to profit from it.

Share on:
Vape meets are a wonderful opportunity for vapers to sample new liquids, handle new devices and chat to those selling or making them. They are enjoyable experiences for everyone as they meet up with old friends and make new ones. Unless you went to “Vape Expo New Jersey”.

Vape Expo New Jersey promised 141 stallholders in a 130,000 square foot exhibition centre. The likes of Suicide Bunny, Ruthless, Vapor Shark and Cuttwood were waiting to say hello to vapers travelling from across the USA and it looked set to be a fantastic weekend in a state yet to hold an expo.

The thing is that there’s a very good reason New Jersey had not previously held an event – vaping is all but banned.

Attendees stumped up $25 Friday for the B2B day or $10 over the weekend of the 18-19th July for the public days. Those visitors who were allowed entrance that is. And of those who managed to enter the sparsely attended event they discovered that the state took its ban on vaping in venues open to the public seriously.

Edison and Middlesex County health officials handed out 66 citations totalling $50,000 in fines over the course of the weekend. Vendors were initially told they could let the public try their juices but this was swiftly stopped; sampling was only allowed with the use of scent cards unless people ventured out to the sun drenched car park where a fetid skip containing rotting waste created a pungent tone.

The organisers, Andy Balogh and Don Miller, claimed they were professional businessmen, they claimed they had sought legal help in coming up with their circumvention of the clean air law and they claimed to have made no money from the event – the latter refuting the initial assertion.

State Senator Joseph Vitale, visiting the event with his team of health enforcers, declared that “although this is a ‘private event,’ and “membership only,” and a “private venue” - “None of this works. The vendors were warned over and over but they chose to ignore the warnings.”

Those able to gain entry bore witness to a disaster including a car promoting cannabis, juice mixing being carried out on the floor of the venue and women pole dancing. Phil Busardo commented on the presence of one vendor, Sour Batch (who bear a striking likeness to a popular children’s candy): “Is that guy even old enough to be in the expo? Zero business experience, zero business sense.”

The local paper wrote: “As word spread late Saturday afternoon that health officials were issuing $250 fines for people who vaped indoors, some vendors and patrons started to pack up and leave.”

Jay Elliot, director for the township Division of Health and Human Services, said: “At my request they shut the doors at 4 p.m. (Sunday), it was scheduled until 8 p.m., to address vaping by the attendees at the event.” The organisers put up a sign saying the event was full.

A poster on Reddit summed up the event: “The New Jersey vape expo was possibly the biggest disaster in the history of vape meets.”

Phil Busardo video 1

Phil Busardo video 2

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

Join the discussion


Parliament Fears Two

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs faced questions from a Conservative MP and, oddly, a member of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Vaping News

Harm Reduction For The Rich

The United Kingdom risks becoming a harm reduction country only for the wealthy, according to Michael Landl of the World Vapers’ Alliance

Vaping News

Sacrificing Health For 2p Cut

Tory Government alienates vaping voters with its mission to cut tax by an unaffordable 2p to attract voters by placing a tax on vape products in the forthcoming budget

Vaping News

Scotland Announces Single-Use Vape Action

A ban on the sale and supply of single-use vapes in Scotland is due to come into effect on 1 April 2025, under proposed legislation published today