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Angelino vapers socialize at Labor Day meet

Joey Mariano is a man with a mission. A mission to support vapers in Southern California, and to grow the community. United Vapers, the organization Mariano founded and promotes, sponsors "Vape Meets" all around the Los Angeles area, where vapers socialize, vape together, form networking alliances, and have a chance to try the products of more than 40 sponsors, vaping supplies dealers from all over town. And all of it is done with the exuberant flair that is Mr. Mariano's trademark.

On August 31, United Vapers will follow the time-honored American tradition of seeing off the summer with a Labor Day weekend celebration. (The actual holiday takes place the following Monday, September 1.) The UV Vape Meet on Labor Day weekend will feature "Vape Games", a series of picnic-style team games, non-vaping-related, that promises to be "the biggest, most fun, and most organized vape meet you’ve ever attended." Sounds like a classic Labor Day Picnic, that quintessentially American event.

"The Vape Community has been through a lot together," says the program announcement, "and we deserve a big party to celebrate our unity through it all."

Teams of Vapers, 4 to a team, will compete in games entitled "Swing It", "Tripod Relay", "Buckets", "Water Snap", and "Obstacle Course", all games requiring no special athletic skills. But two of them will involve water, so sneakers/tennis shoes will be de rigeur, and a spare shirt is recommended. Details of the games, and also the prizes, will be revealed in a series of hints on the organization's InstaGram page.

The team registration fee of $20 will be waived for the first 5 teams, and for any registrant who has submitted comments to the FDA

Sponsors will offer other prizes as well, and Halcyon Vapes and Wyze E-Liquids have already chipped in to offer a raffle prize. Ballistic Vape will sponsor a "Vapecon Qualifier Cloud Contest," offering prizes in Men's and Women's Divisions.

The Meet will be held at Studio City Vapor, in Valley Village, California, just west of Burbank on the northwest side of Los Angeles. Of course there will be food and music as well.

If a Labor Day picnic seems a trifle out of the ordinary for a vaping event, this should come as no surprise, for there is nothing ordinary about Joey Mariano. He is committed to fostering community spirit in the vaping community, and he is clearly the kind of organizer who can make things happen.

"That's what's so exciting about vaping – It's become a community," he said in a recent interview. This feature of vaping is not unique to Southern California or to Mariano's organization. From the grass-roots organizers of EFVI (the European Free Vaping Initiative) in the European Union, to the fashion trend-setters following Mischa Barton's vaping style tour in Britain, to the sophisticated New Yorkers in the Henley Vaporium of Lower Manhattan, to the vibrant disco dance floor of Oklahoma City's Community Bar and Vape Lounge, to Mariano's picnic-style Vape Meet in SoCal, vapers have indeed become a community.

This has happened because of a fortuitous combination of factors during the first decade of e-cig use: the unregulated environment, the word-of-mouth spread of information, conviction of the product's life-saving character for people threatened with death, and the opposition of pestiferous nanny politicians trying to score political points by opposing something they don't understand.

Whatever has created it, the community thrives, and people like Joey Mariano promise to grow it bigger, and happier, and more influential. 

Happy Labor Day!

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