OHVTA President Represents Valuable Leadership Qualities
Throughout the interview, it became clear that James Jarvis is, undoubtedly, an optimistic, enthusiastic yet realistic type of advocate who understands the importance of building strong relationships as well as the significance of being a humble leader who is engaging, rather than a cocky boss who is controlling.
Jarvis states, “I would not be able to do what I do if it wasn’t for the people I have around me – Thank God for my wife, she has been my motivator and I owe everything to her due to her relentless support. Additionally, if it wasn’t for Dimitri” known to many throughout the community as The Vaping Greek. James continues, “I would not be nearly as knowledgeable and actively involved as I am today, I consider Dimitri a great friend and an influential mentor.
James also highlights how, “The legislative Team at VTA have been a huge help by coming on board to help us with this serious battle – especially Tony Abboud, who is flying here to testify for us in front of the Ohio Ways and Means Committee. Not to mention, every single member of the OHVTA and all my fellow board members have been absolutely crucial to any of the success we have – like I said I’m lucky and fortunate to have amazing people all around me during this process.”
All in all, Jarvis remains calm and collective, hoping to set an influential example for the vapor Industry. He never said this directly, but his enthusiasm and positive energy illustrates a scenario involving James Jarvis and the OHVTA members becoming a vital piece of the puzzle in the vapor battles currently raging on the federal level. Several former OHVTA board members now work for the leading national level pro-vapor groups known as AEMSA and SFATA.
So Much to Do, So Little Time
All praises aside, James knows that there is still much work to be done. He says, “It is certainly a plus to have people you can count on around you, but if we don’t do the work, then this whole thing, our entire careers could be over.
So, we will be battling to the very end – we have a great support system and we’ll finish this with dignity. Right now our main focus is to continually educate.” Mr. Jarvis certainly has a contagious demeanor of confidence and realism that will make any advocate want to join in on the fight.
This specific state tax hike is becoming an imperative “Call-For-Action” for the advocates within the U.S. vaping community. It seems inevitable, that if a 69% tax hike in Ohio passes just 6 months after a 40% tax increase in Pennsylvania, then all the states will surely start falling like dominoes – creating local panic amongst other state’s advocacy networks.
For the very first times since their announcement, the FDA regulations will seem far less concerning compared to the more concentrated threat over excessive taxation Why? It should be obvious that if the state governments ultimately extinguish the industry from their local communities, then there will be no industry for the FDA to ultimately regulate.
In summary, the tax increases on vapor products are a “Trojan Horse.” At this point, there is no doubt, the government is determined to beat the vapor industry one way or another, proving that money is more important to them than actual people and the status of their health and well-being. Therefore, vape advocacy has a chance to prove it is a solidified foundation of professional operators. What will you choose?
A Representation of the Tax Hike
Nothing “American” comes to mind, when reflecting on what this tax hike represents. Taxing a consumer product already targeted by harsh federal regulations with a severely high percentage on a state level to the point of no return for the state’s industry?
This is not an American practice nor is it reflective of Republican values. So, why is a Republican Governor in America practicing this non-conservative, un-American tactic to governance? More importantly, is Gov. Kasich genuinely considering the potential outcome it could have on the state?
To fully explain the severity of the situation, what the OHVTA is battling at the moment is Ohio’s Governor has proposed a 69% wholesale tax hike on vapor products with an additional $1000 annual licensing fee for any company in-or-out-of-state doing business in the state of OH. This tax raise would undoubtedly wipe out 800 small businesses, leaving the owners with a near extinct livelihood.
As a result, from the business closures among brick and mortar vape shops, nearly 5000 jobs will also be eliminated. Ironically, the state’s vapor industry jobs would be vaporized into thin air, with obviously no need for replacement workers, as vape shops will cease to exist.
Does that seem helpful for the citizens in the state of Ohio? Do the math – as the saying goes, “numbers don’t lie.” Does the Governor truly understand what the vape culture represents? Is he aware of the potential repercussions this may have on the state and ultimately the nation as a whole?
For the Sake of All Those Who Vape
It is crucial to further analyze what is unfolding in Ohio in reference to the 69% vapor tax proposal. It is vital to understand this will be the 3rd time the state has had to battle such an enormous, industry shattering tax which they’ve defeated twice before with the assistance of Big Tobacco.
Big Tobacco certainly has a dog in this fight as well and surely makes a strong ally in legislative matters. The OHVTA has been diligently disciplined in this difficult quest for another victory. Every advocate across the country must consider what this could mean for the United States if a tax this high actually passes into the annual fiscal budget in a historically influential state.
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