Brian Richardson runs the Vapour Den, a store located within waving distance of Stanton Glantz’ workplace. During the fight over Prop E (the proposal to ban flavours in liquids) Vapour Den carried the logo opposing its implementation on its very basic website – albeit needing to scroll down to find it. But it appears the shop’s support for vaping was, at best, luke warm.
“You know, I probably would have voted for it too” – Brian Richardson, Vapour Den
In an amazing turkey-voting-for-Xmas moment, Richardson has spoken to the media about how he would have voted in favour of juice bans: “You know, I probably would have voted for it too. As much as I like to sell vape liquids at my store in San Francisco, I agree some type of regulation is necessary.”
The ban on all flavoured eliquids looks set to be put in place at some point next month – at which point one may wonder what Richardson plans to sell in his store?
“We used to act as a centre to essentially educate people on the alternatives to smoking,” he continued. “My customers used to be people trying to kick the habit. But over the years the demographic kept getting younger. Now people in their 20s are just looking for the latest and greatest devices with new flavours.”
Almost as if Stanton Glantz had written his speech, he added that when he began vaping in 2009 there were only two flavours: menthol and tobacco. This surprised many others who began vaping at the same time and enjoyed a much wider variety.
But, as if this wasn’t enough, he then stabbed harm reduction in the heart with outright lies: “Regulation is necessary today because of the abuse and marketing ploys some of these companies are using to attract kids who may have never smoked a cigarette in their life.”
“What a schmuck Brian Richardson is” - Gregory Conley, American Vaping Association
It becomes a bit clearer when comments by the brains behind NOT Blowing Smoke are factored into the equation, Stefan Didak has written: “I wouldn't want to throw anyone under the bus on purpose but given that the ONE retailer in SF that didn't lift a finger on any of the flavour ban efforts, nor ever engaged in any significant or meaningful efforts in general, decides to talk to the media in that way it really rubs me the wrong way.”
He recounts a phone call to the store where an “unhelpful staff member on the phone told me he had never heard of such a ridiculous thing as banning flavours, that it would never happen, that he very much doubted that was even real and that I should try and bullshit someone else and stop wasting their time.”
Didak then details a conversation with Suzaynn Schick, an associate professor working with Glantz at the University of California San Francisco, told him that “UCSF gets all its vapour products from Vapor Den and that they also learn a lot from them about vaping”.
Planet of the Vapes wrote to Brian Richardson at the shop’s email address earlier in the week. We asked a number of questions and sought clarification on all of the points raised in this article. Richardson failed to respond. We hope that vapers in San Francisco continue to patronise his business and it does well after the flavour ban is enacted.