A Post Apocalyptic Look At Mob Rule After Vaping Is Criminalized
It’s New Year’s Day 2022 and New York mobster Big Gino ‘The Vape’ Vialli slams his meaty fist onto his desk scattering bottles of short fill e-liquid everywhere. Yet another truck load of illegal vape gear has been seized on the Canadian / US border and he’s not a happy bunny at all.
His crew shifted uncomfortably – they know he’s running low on his favourite smuggled e-liquid – 3mg Tropika – and the last time that happened heads rolled or should that be bodies rolled into the Hudson.
“How much did those goddamned Feds snatch this time?” he snarled his dark eyes hooded.
His consigliere Tony ‘The Toot’ Tisali stepped forward.
“The lot boss” he said flinching inwardly waiting for either a punch or a face full of spittle.
Gino The Vape glared at him,
“10,000 SMOK TVF199 tanks and 10,000 SMOK Alien V756 mods?” his face reddening in fury. “Tell me the 12 Monkeys juice got through?”
“Sorry boss” said Toots taking a step back, “we brought in the nicotine free short-fills but those FDA sniffer dogs found the nic shots in the tyre wells and…”
Gino The Vape cut him off mid-sentence grabbing him by the throat and forcing him against the wall.
“That’s the 3rd goddam shipment busted this past month – we have a fkn dirty rat in our crew and I ain’t gonna stand for it!”
He let The Toot go and slumped back into his chair opened his draw and pulled out his last bottle of 12 Monkey’s Harambe. It wasn’t Tropika but it would do until the next consignment due to be brought in next week – unless of course the FEDs intercepted that too.
He waved the crew away and they fled almost blocking the door in their haste to get out of his sight. Sighing he picked up the phone,
“Sammy,” he said an almost plea in his voice, “Can you do me any 12 Monkeys but none of that cereal flavoured crap – not enough fruitiness for me?”
He grunted and slammed down the phone. If Sammy ‘Sub Ohm’ Stanoli was out of 12 Monkeys it meant only one thing – New York State was dryer than prohibition 100 years ago.
He slumped deeper in his chair and blew a huge sweet cloud,
“How the hell did we get here” he said out loud.
The Rise Of A New Breed Of Mobsters – The Vapesters
The cold hard facts are simple. On January 1st 2021 the USA not only banned vaping and flavoured e-liquids but criminalized it too. That left the millions of diehard vapers with no choice but to stop completely OR return to the embrace of Big Tobacco and Pharma.
But vaping was a pull. It was cooler than coffee – healthier than cigarettes and that nicotine hit left your mind clear and focused. After all fighter pilots had been taking it for years with the blessing of Uncle Sam – so where was the harm?
It was a bad time for US vapers to say the least – if you were caught with vaping paraphernalia? Jail time. Three strikes and it was life in the Big House baby. As more and more vapers were jailed the Big Prison Complex thrived and in an ironic if not sick twist – in a deal made with China many prisoners worked for nickels assembling vaping starter kits for the rest of the world.
Big Tobacco stocks in particular soared as did death rates from lung cancer but the US Government didn’t care – tax revenue was booming – the corporations were happy and all was rosy in the garden.
Speaking of the garden – marijuana was now legal state wide and the mob and the cartels had seen a huge chunk of change removed overnight from their smuggling and illegal dope sales.
Eying new opportunities the mob spotted the need to replace Mary Jane with nicotine and after a couple of enterprising mobsters brought in a small vans loaded with Canadian bought starter kits and e-liquids, a new breed of mobsters appeared – the Vapesters.
Just like their counterparts during those dark dry days of prohibition the mobsters quickly began making huge profits. And where there’s profits in the underworld there’s violence.
The War On Vaping – Just Say No!
The Mexican drug cartels still seemed to have carte blanche in bringing coke into the country but the legalisation of marijuana meant they too took a huge hit in profits.
Sounds crazy but there was more profit in nic shots than nose shots and a coke epidemic boomed across America as border officials and the cash strapped DEA fought a losing battle against the tide of snow flowing into the country from the south.
The whole might of the US Government was focused on just one thing – the War On Vaping.
The Mexican drug lords tried to use known drug smuggling routes to bring vape kits and juice into the US but were thwarted at every turn and eventually those rings were smashed never to return.
Nicotine and vape smuggling was even too risky for the most fearsome of Mexican drug cartels it would seem.
The DEA had half of its resources stripped and moved to the coffers of the AVA – the fearsome and brutal Anti Vape Agency.
Nicotine was public enemy number one and the FBI –and the AVA led by the so called untouchables of the FDA were on a mission.
With the vape smuggling routes closed down in the south it was all eyes on Canada where vaping whilst not only legal was a booming business bringing in profits and a healthier populace.
And that…is where the mob stepped in.
The Vape Wars of 2021
Back in the days of prohibition mobsters shot the shit out of each other on the streets of America as they vied to bring booze to a thirsty country. As I said where there’s profit in the underworld violence is sure to follow.
At first the last two remaining old school mob families of New York kept the peace each keeping a wary eye on the others vape smuggling operations.
Profits continued to soar as the black market saw a 30mg short fill selling on the streets via dealers at $70 a pop – over $100 if you added a nic shot.
Starter and pod kits reached a high of $150 each that summer whilst the price of dual or triple mods were only for the stockbrokers and bankers on Wall Street. One consignment of JUULs saw the price of each one rise to $250 – it was a crazy time.
It was lucrative but still not a cash machine like back in the day and the Vapesters had a problem – competition, and not just from each other.
During prohibition bootleggers would set up stills in the mountains making moonshine and sell that on to the mob. Vaping was exactly the same with the rise of the DIYers.
These guys and in some cases women had hoarded gallons upon gallons of PG – VG and nicotine and regularly took trips around the country buying cake flavourings in small amounts so as not to tip off the FEDs.
At home they’d home brew in bath tubs and sell the illegal e-liquids to family and friends in bottles disguised as shampoo or bubble bath.
The one thing mobsters don’t like is a civilian stepping into their business and such was the case of Davey DIY Davies. He’d perfected a near clone of Dinner Lady Lemon Tart and he couldn’t brew enough to keep up demand.
The thing was he was a proud member of the VapeFam and as such felt the profits made by the Vapesters was obscene and sold his brew at near 2019 prices. The mob was not happy and after a few warning visits from the crew of Gino The Vape and still no sign of him quitting something had to be done.
He was found a few days later drowned in his own bathtub and the war had begun. Why? Because rival mob boss Mikey ‘MTL’ Maldoni absolutely loved that Dinner Lady clone. So much he’d inhale – exhale and say:
“Damn this shit is good – a little less sweet than the original and that pastry crust is sex on a stick” before taking another and another toot.
Anyway – long story short – Maldoni’s crew was full of young hipster types with beards and snap back caps whilst Big Gino’s boys were hardened heavies with a history of no nonsense security at vape conventions and vaping trick competitions back in the day – tough guys indeed.
It was over in a month with 56 deaths – some brutal beatings and a burning of a stockroom full of Grimm Green caps and t-shirts that saw Maldoni surrender…he fkn loved Grimm Green and made all his girls sleep in Grimm shirts…
Now Big Gino was the Vaping Godfather of New York and he had big plans to expand.
The Vape Easies Of New York
Back in those dark dry days of prohibition America was technically an alcohol free country. As we know the mob and the bootleggers saw that wasn’t the case and huge huge profits were made. ..it’s how JFK’s dad made his millions…
Now the undisputed Vaping Godfather of New York, Big Gino took a leaf from the book of the old mob bosses and branched out.
In the Roaring 20’s a Speak Easy was basically an illegal pub come drinking club – usually with cabaret – where those that could afford it dressed to the nines danced and drank themselves shit-faced on illegal booze.
Big Gino’s big idea was opening up a chain of Vape Easy bars across the city. The first opened in the fall of 2021 and to say it was a HUGE success was an understatement.
Crowds wearing skin tight jeans – hoodies and snap back caps replaced the dinner suits and ‘flapper’ dresses and instead of booze – which thank the Lord was still legal – e-liquids were served in tea pots that had a crafty 510 in the spout. Hip Hop and sometimes Death Metal pounded from the system getting even those tooting on CBD boogying.
Admission was strictly on a need to know – who you were and if you had the cash – and depending on your bank balance you could vape away on 3mg of premium DTL juice and chuck some clouds OR for the real hardcore vapers spend a week’s wage on a 20mg MTL ‘tea cup’.
In the back room where the whales and big rollers sat around watching now banned YouTube videos the cream of the crop would have their pick of premium juice and either old school sub ohm kits or better yet and if you could afford it – get your hands on the very latest kit from China.
It was in this first club that Big Gino had just received the news another shipment had been hit by the FEDs.
Suddenly the door burst open and Tony The Toot burst in surrounded by a sweet billowing cloud of vapour,
“It’s a raid boss…the fkn FEDs are smashing the place up…we gotta get you out of here…”
Big Gino grabbed his SMOK Alien original [worth a fortune on the black market] and grabbed his Cloud Beast King and made for the back door.
Looking back he blew a huge cloud wincing slightly at the almost dry hit and sighed,
“It was fkn less hassle smuggling heroin back in the day…”
He turned on his heels and ran through the tunnel into the New York sewers.
Like all things eventually the illegal vape racket in America stopped being a flow and became a trickle. The Vapesters saw thousands of years of jail time but Big Gino was able to escape the law and now lives quietly in the UK where the supply of 12 Monkeys is an endless stream.
He no longer operates outside the law…instead runs a small vape shop in Cornwall. He’s also shall we say a ‘consultant’ for the UK YouTube vape reviewers – advising them on how to deal with spammers…among other things…
In one last attempt to overturn the criminalization of vaping in America Big Gino ploughed money into Grimm Green’s failed run at the Senate. He’d hoped the voice of vaping in the US could have worked the politics and lobbyists from the inside.
However the vote was rigged and Grimm also joined Big Gino in England. He know lives in Huddersfield and is working on a new line of e-liquids and merch called “It’s Grimm Up t’North”.
The End…or is it?
Note: Obviously this is a work of fiction. However as with prohibition back in the day IF the current war on vaping continues it’s not such a stretch to see this playing out across the country. Bit far fetched you say? Well in 2018 you can be jailed in Australia and other parts of the world for the crime of vaping…history has a nasty habit of repeating itself and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some enterprising hoodlums are stocking up on SMOK and juice right now…