By Gabriel Benson

David Goerlitz is an inspiration.  The former Winston Man’s passion for the vaping industry and tobacco harm reduction are infectious. One only needs to listen to him talk at an event, of listen to his heart wrenching interview in A Billion Lives to be moved by his passion for the cause. 

The Vaping Advocate was lucky enough to sit down with our friend David Goerlitz to discuss the crazy past year for vaping, and what the future holds for David and the industry.

The Vaping Advocate:  You have been an anti-cigarette advocate for years, but now with the lead-up to and release of A Billion Lives, did you ever imagine becoming an icon for vaping advocacy?

David Goerlitz: Having been a part of the film and realizing I was only a small part of its content, I feel I was a decent thread in it especially being along side so many respected experts in their field. doctors like Farsilonis, Yach, Human, Satel, Danko, as well as tobacco harm specialists like Godshall, Kershaw, Bates, and others was truly an honor. It didn't change me too much since the film didn't unleash me.  I've been saying the same things for almost 3 decades ad nauseum.  It was just a vehicle for more people to hear it.  Unfortunately, only about one-half of 1% of vapors ever bothered to go see it. Please someone correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I've been told, ONLY about 100K vapors and smokers bothered to go see it here in North America and abroad! That's pretty sad when there are almost 9 million vapors in the U.S alone.   

 It was a great documentary in my opinion, but 10 - 15 K  vapors will attend a Vape expo, convention or extravaganza to get free crap, but won't support a film that will help save the industry from extinction.   In my humble opinion, it goes back to the fact, that only 2% of the people are doing 100% of the work in advocacy to save the industry.   The film brought a lot of questions to the forefront.  The experts verified what I and Bill Godshall have bees saying for years.  The film also helped countries like New Zealand, and Australia, and Hungary as well as others to keep the conversations going to at least putting the life changing industry "back on the table for discussion" before an all out ban on Vaping took hold.   Again it's real sad that more big partners in the Vaping industry and Community FAILED to back or support a great effort to raise the level of awareness proportionate to the havoc being wreaked on the Vaping Industry and Vapors alike.

The Vaping Advocate:  So, based on your previous answer what has changed for the vaping industry in the past year?

David Goerlitz: Truthfully, the changes are/were expected.  For example;  California's fiasco and corruption in Vaping.  Bad people making bad laws.  On the other hand, Indiana had success in reversing horrible and unconstitutional laws.   Hundreds of Vape shops in Pennsylvania closed because of exorbitant taxation that wouldn't let them survive.  I'm sure that I can safely say the Army wasn't big enough to fight the folks in local, state and federal government when these alleged lawmakers and health care NAZIS were throwing knives and spears at the bullseyes on the back of vapors and shops and mostly what we did was return fire with marshmallows and nerf bombs.   

 We really needed a bigger and better Army to support the state Vaping associations and some of the industry trade and consumer groups attempting to stand up and be heard. Too much infighting, accusations, and obnoxious narratives being hurled at the industry insiders and warriors trying to move forward and be productive and successful.  Very disheartened by the egos and greed I saw taking place.   I guess lots of people believe that BIG DOGS actually DO EAT FIRST ! Not sure where I fit in, as I'm not a manufacturer, store owner, coil or mod builder, distributor or marketing expert, but I do KNOW that I saw how the same attitudes in the Anti- Tobacco and Health care organizations did the same thing;  Greed always outweighs fear in my opinion.  

 While the industry at the state level wait and see attitude takes over, I think the Vaping Community has to fight harder and be more aggressive than it has if it is going to sustain itself regardless of what President Trump does and the new leadership in the FDA. Hopefully, someone will repeal and replace all the nonsense surrounding the predicate date and the Cole -Bishop amendment as well as thousands of hidden anti-vaping language buried in bills and budgets at the state and federal level.

The Vaping Advocate:  You said you are not sure of your place in the vaping space, but we do need you.  Tell me about your new home at Unique E Cigs?

David Goerlitz: As of April 1, 2017 I decided to represent Unique E Cigs, Inc. located in Liverpool, N.Y.  They have a flavor line  that I believe in with the quality ingredients that are some of the purist and cleanest that I have ever seen - and I have seen a lot.   We chose each other because of our unparalleled commitment to helping change lives. They own and operate 11 stores in NY State and Ga.  Their President and General Manage are heavily involved in Advocacy and quality Customer Service.  The management is involved in the NY State Vaping Association and is tremendously active in Albany and has the pulse regarding all aspects of government bureaucracy and taxation.  

 I represent their line and their commitment to excellence in the community and with their customers.  They seem to share my dream in helping people who want to quit smoking OR at least just cut down.  They also share my vision on how best to educate the public about Vaping being a Life Changing System to enhance their lives.  It really is quite simple and not awfully profound.   I have the name and reputation in the industry and they have the quality products that make us a winning team hopefully.  They are giving me the opportunity I've been looking for and others did not.

The Vaping Advocate: What do you see is your role in the Vaping Community?   

David Goerlitz: I see myself as an educator in the Vaping Community.  Sadly, Policy changes are made when their is greed and financial opportunities are abundant.  The lawmakers are really nothing more than Poverty Pimps and they pick on the weak.  I have very little forgiveness in my heart for those people who lack compassion for those struggling, and for physicians who have taken an oath to do no harm.  They need to be dealt with but as I said earlier, when the army doesn't give a rats ass and only a few are doing 10% of the work it becomes time to go back to basics and "just do the right thing.”


Gabriel Benson

The Vaping Advocate




Gabriel Benson