Press Releases

For Immediate Release:

Press Contact: David Alga
Phone: 510-999-1301

I stood up to the California Department Of Public Health Tonight

March 25, 2015

First off, I'm David Alga, owner of Bodyrock Products, LLC in San Leandro, CA. We produce and distribute the Totally Vaped Out, Sweet Tooth E-Juice, and Hard Cocktails E-Liquid lines. Tonight I attended the Alameda County Board Of Supervisors' Unincorporated Services Committee Special Meeting chaired by Alameda County District 4 Supervisor Nate Miley, an advocate of our vaping community, in Castro Valley, CA at the local library. On the agenda tonight was an update on the E-cig Use Ordinance in Alameda County, CA. This ordinance has been passed around for almost a year now, being rewritten and passed back and forth between the supervisors and the MAC board (Municipal Advisory Council).

My original intention was to go and support our local vape shop (Ready Set Vape, Castro Valley, CA) and owner Ben Jewell. I've frequented many of these meetings in our local area, and nothing much comes out of them but some rewording, delays, and speeches and comments by advocates and disapproving citizens in our community. I had no idea what I was up against until the agenda item discussion began.

A little history before I begin... A few months ago, a document was filed by the California Department Of Public Health via the California Department Of Justice, naming my company, along with 17 other e-liquid companies, in a California Proposition 65 complaint. California Proposition 65 requires companies within California selling nicotine liquids and products to list warnings on their webstores and packaging:

California Proposition 65 Mandatory Warning Text:
California Proposition 65: This product contains nicotine, a chemical know to the state of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. Not for use by women who are nursing, pregnant, or are planning to get pregnant.

These warnings are listed on the side panels of all of our e-liquid bottles, at our age-gate on our website, and on the Terms & Conditions page on our website, which must be read and checked with a mouse-click before a purchase is made.

Today, a registered letter was sent to my company by the California Department of Public Health, accusing us of violating Prop 65, and "targeting our marketing to minors", citing our Instagram posts with some contracted models (all of whom are over the age of 21) and our "ice cream cone drip tips" as something that would appeal to children. What at first seemed like a scare-tactic was now becoming more of a reality, with a warning to implement a "3rd Party Age Verification" gateway to prove the ages of our web customers, a demand to remove "underage advertising" such as our drip tips and pictures of our models, and comply with California Proposition 65 guidelines, with a compliance date of April 7, 2015.

With an intense fear of public speaking and lack of sleep, my prior intentions had been clear: to support the pro-vaping speakers at this meeting, sitting in the back, filling a seat, and listening attentively as I usually do. I had no pre-prepared speech or notes when I walked in, only a few of our "Vaping Is Not A Crime" stickers and some sample 30ml bottles of a few of our popular flavors to show after the meeting was adjourned.

Listening for an hour or so to some unrelated topics, such as housing development, tree ordinances, and a possible ban on polystyrene packaging materials within the county, the agenda item was up next. Supervisor Nate Miley introduced the item, along with his disapproval of the wording and grouping of vapor products in with tobacco products. He then introduced 2 gentlemen seated next to him: representatives from the California Department Of Public Health. My stomach dropped.

The representatives began discussing an ordinance within our unincorporated area of our county (Alameda County), including their "definitions of e-cigarettes" and vaporizer devices. Their intent was clear: to ready a ban on all indoor use of e-cigarettes, prevent sales to anyone under the age of 18, and prevent all unassisted "sampling" of e-liquids/e-cigarettes, with no exceptions for vape shops. Vaping would fall under the same laws as smoking tobacco products, and all e-liquids and vapor products would be considered "tobacco products."

My heart began beating rapidly as I became angered at their acceptance of the same flawed data from the $75 million smear campaign, seen in the anti-vaping commercials and at They discussed the increase of poison control center calls in the last few years, the "facts" that e-cigarette use isn't a proven cessation tool from smoking, and that our industry is targeting the nation's youth, stating that more 8th grade students had tried flavored e-cigarettes than analog cigarettes.

After the Public Health officials were done speaking, a few other community members came to the podium and voiced their opinions, including a representative from the American Lung Association. Their speeches included facts about the unknown effects of flavoring inhalation, the dangers of nicotine addiction, and the negative effects on the brain from nicotine before the age of 25. The final community member came to the podium with the short statement that "all of these products are addictive nicotine."

At this point, I decided I needed to take the podium and say something. I am in no way a public advocate. I've always preferred to let the other experts speak on my behalf, and I'm always afraid I'm going to lose an public argument and humiliate myself. I always wanted to be a lawyer, but my social anxieties, panic attacks, and A.D.D. would hinder my argument skills.

This changed today.

With my heart racing, I took my position at the podium. I began by introducing myself by name, telling them that I was a lifetime resident of Alameda County, had attended private school through high school, and UC Berkeley. I thanked Nate Miley for his advocacy and support of our industry. The representatives from the Public Health Department were looking down at their notes, as they were slightly uninterested in what the speakers at the podium were saying. Then, I told them that I was the owner of Bodyrock Products, LLC. Their heads lifted, wide-eyed at a face that had now been associated with the name on their documents. A target had now been put on my head, and there was no backing down. Looking directly at them, I asked them to go over their definition of an "e-cigarette" once again. They looked through their notes, and read a generic definition of an "electronic nicotine delivery device, vaporizer, or smoking cessation device." I explained to them that our company does not sell "e-cigarettes." I held up one of our 30ml bottles of Sweet Tooth E-Juice, explained the child safety caps and tamper seals. I told them that our company employs 7 people, who could be collecting unemployment from the state, but instead are California tax-paying employees in a growing industry, and that California now had an estimated 3000 of such businesses. I challenged their data from the poison control center. I told them that of course there was an increase in calls to the poison control center, due to the growing popularity of e-liquids. I explained that when new cold medicines were invented, more calls were probably made. I then asked them, since they were committed to "public health", if they had considered a parallel campaign increasing "responsible parenting." I explained that it's the parents' responsibility to keep our industry's products out of childrens' hands. I told them our stance on keeping our e-liquids away from underage youths, and that our products are made for adult use only. I gave a brief history of Sweet Tooth E-Juice, that the concept was created by a certified personal trainer, who wanted sweet desserts without the calories, and that our products could possibly prevent diabetes, obesity, and other medical problems. I briefly teased our "Not 4 Minors" anonymous tip program (more in a future press release).

Finishing up my unprepared speech, Nate Miley again discussed that regulations needed to be put in place, but that e-cigs shouldn't be classified under the same laws as tobacco. Before I left the podium, I took a risk that I've always wanted to do in a public forum. I said "I'd like to see you do this with any other 'tobacco product'.". I opened the 30ml (0mg - NO nicotine version) bottle of our Delish (Root Beer Float) flavor, squeezed the dropper, tilted back my head, and poured the liquid into my mouth and swallowed. Some of the advocates smiled, and Nate said "I hope you don't turn into a monster after that." I smiled and told the audience to not try this at home, as this was a NO nicotine version, and returned to my seat.

As I said before - I am not an advocate. I am not a hero. I am not any special kind of leader. I am one of the community of people fighting these regulations and smear campaigns. I admit that I should have come more prepared, and next time I will. I encourage everyone to do what I did. Don't sit in the back of the room waiting for someone else to speak on your behalf. Take the stand, whether it's something as simple as reposting vaping facts on social media, or sharing your opinions with the naysayers. We are up against a $75 million smear campaign, littered with lies and false information. Keep up with Find your local representatives and attend these ordinance meetings. Educate yourself with the facts and cite references.

We are under attack. If you are involved in this industry and don't want to see it crumble to the ground, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, before it's too late!

--David Alga
Owner - Bodyrock Products, LLC