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October 14, 2021
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  Executive Directors Message  








We recently read a news piece from NJ News 12 on air pumps as service stations and their "unreliability." This reporter is usually accurate, however, he failed to investigate the other side of the story: There's a huge cost to provide air. It's not necessarily just the cost of electricity, it's also the expense of rude and inconsiderate motorists who may not even be your customers abusing your property. I have already contacted this reporter and let him know that in the 23 years I owned my station, there were numerous times I didn't want to provide air anymore as motorists destroyed hoses and air nozzles, sometimes day after day, and it was a tremendous inconvenience to always have to replace these parts. It's the same as non-customers asking to use business bathrooms, people that aren't even your customers come in and make a mess and are total slobs. Small businesses do not have the luxury of having a maintenance crew that is dedicated to keeping things in working order.



This week, a man in New York pleaded guilty to participating in a wire fraud conspiracy which defrauded New Jersey of over $19 million in motor fuel tax. He and others devised a scheme to falsely represent to his fuel supplier that his motor fuel distribution company was delivering fuel to gas stations in Delaware, when, in fact, his company was delivering fuel to gas stations in New Jersey, avoiding the state's fuel tax. This is a perfect example of why law enforcement is sometimes tough on you for conducting inspections to make sure you are complying with the law. This man cheated and was able to sell gasoline a lot less per gallon than any of his competitors, therefore, both motorists and his competitors (NJGCA members) were being cheated. I've said this before and I'll say it again, we have zero tolerance for cheaters. See our most recent press release, which was picked up by Insider NJ for proof of this. Being a member does not protect you from being turned in by me, because I will always protect my honest members. 



On Wednesday, the FDA formally authorized a type of e-cigarette/vaping product for permanent retail sale. Specifically, it approved the Vuse Solo Power Unit, Vuse Replacement Cartridge Original 4.8% G1, and Vuse Replacement Cartridge Original 4.8% G2 products (all tobacco flavored). These products are manufactured by the tobacco giant RJ Reynolds. This means that they have determined that the sale of these products "is appropriate for the protection of the public health", which they have done due to the significantly lower amount of toxins and carcinogens when compared with traditional cigarettes. This does not, however, mean that these products are healthy, or that anyone should use them unless they are already a smoker and have been unsuccessful in quitting through other methods. The FDA has been clear that any attempt to market these products as healthy, safe, or "FDA-approved" will be cracked down on hard.

There is a complicated backstory to this announcement. In 2016 the FDA "deemed" that all vaping products were being marketed illegally and needed FDA approval to be available for retail sale. After years of legal fights they won and ordered that the manufacturers of these products needed to submit lengthy and complicated applications for approval by September 2020. Over a million different products were submitted from hundreds of manufacturers (mostly vape shops and their suppliers). These applications had to prove that the sale of their products were "appropriate for the protection of the public health", using lengthy scientific studies. In the year since, the FDA has rejected 98% of these applications, making their sale illegal. These Vuse products are the first that they have approved for sale (they also specifically rejected about ten other flavored Vuse products). The applications from the other big manufacturers, including Juul and likely most if not all of the products commonly sold in convenience stores, are still pending. While it is technically illegal to sell a vaping product whose application has been rejected, the FDA has stated that all their enforcement efforts are directed at the manufacturers, not at individual retailers. In fact, the FDA does not even publically list which products it has rejected, so retailers could not comply even if they wanted to go above and beyond.

The authorization for these specific Vuse products though does mean retailers can confidently sell them well into the future. The FDA does maintain that they could cancel their authorization in the future, specifically if teens start using these specific products in large numbers. So far, however, the FDA notes that teens have been uninterested in tobacco flavored products. NJ state law prevents the sale of all flavored vaping products other than tobacco. You can read the FDA's announcement HERE

We expect there will be other products authorized at some point in the future.



We are less than a month away from industry week and hoping to gather NJGCA shop owners by inviting our auto repair members to SEMA/APPEX in November. This conference is vital in order to build on the professionalism that is required to run a shop today. It is beneficial for colleagues to be together, learn together, and have fun together. We are building all of those things into what is known as industry week in Las Vegas or the SEMA/APPEX shows. I'm sure many of you not only have heard of these two shows but may have already attended in previous years. We want NJGCA members to attend together and even bring your spouse! We recently included details for a group trip we are organizing to Red Rock Canyon, 7 Magic Mountains, Boulder City & Hoover Dam a day before the conference officially kicks off in order to build collegiality amongst our members. If you are interested in more information on the conference and any other events we are organizing that week, please contact Joe Ocello at joe@njgca.org. See the announcement we emailed to members yesterday and register HERE.


Be Well -  

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director




  Training Class Schedule  

All classes held at NJGCA HQ -- 4900 Route 33 West, Wall Township, NJ 07753

Contact Nick De Palma at Nick@njgca.org to inquire about potential trainings and class dates



  News Around The State  



For 1st Time, FDA Authorizes Vaping Brand, Saying It Helps Smokers Quit Cigarettes

Heath officials on Tuesday authorized the first electronic cigarettes in the U.S., saying the R.J. Reynolds vaping products can benefit adult smokers. The Food and Drug Administration said data submitted by the company showed its Vuse e-cigarettes helped smokers either quit or significantly reduce their use of cigarettes, the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. Tuesday's first-of-a-kind decision is part of a sweeping effort by the FDA to bring scientific scrutiny to the multibillion-dollar vaping industry after years of delays.



$80 Oil Is Here. Is $100 Next?

For the first time since late 2014, US oil prices are back above $80 per barrel - a boon for the energy industry, which was battered during the pandemic, but bad news for the economic recovery as winter approaches. What's happening: West Texas Intermediate futures, the US crude benchmark, finished Monday at $80.52 per barrel. The price for November delivery is up again Tuesday, putting the commodity on track for its fourth straight trading session of gains.



Major Firms Mandate Vaccines Ahead of OSHA Rule

Last month, President Biden announced a sweeping vaccine mandate for federal employees and contractors, plus companies with more than 100 employees as part of a White House action plan to address the latest rise in COVID-19 cases in the United States. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is currently writing the rule, but it could take several more weeks before official guidance is released, so the White House is pushing companies to go ahead and enact a mandate now, reports the New York Times.


N.J.'S Gas Tax Fell By 8.3 Cents a Gallon. Here's Why You Won't Feel It at the Pump

New Jersey cut its gas tax by 8.3 cents a gallon last Friday - a 16% drop in the state tax on gasoline - but most motorists probably haven't seen it reflected in lower prices at the pump. And it's possible they never will, according to advocates for the people who sell gas and those who burn it. . .Because service stations buy such large amounts of fuel at a time, they typically have gasoline or diesel on hand that they had already purchased at the old tax when a new rate takes effect, Risalvato said. Therefore, the station owners have to keep selling that gas at the same price they were charging when they bought it at the higher tax rate, in order to recoup what they had paid. If stations immediately cut the pump price to reflect the newly lowered tax rate, they would essentially be paying for that tax cut out of their own pockets, Risalvato said. "If he's got his delivery on Thursday, before the tax cut takes effect, and it takes him five days to sell it, he's going to lose money on every gallon he sells," at the reduced tax rate, Risalvato said.




  Energy Information Agency Weekly Retail Gasoline Prices  

Each week, the Energy Information Administration publishes a list of average gasoline prices for the previous three weeks. NJGCA will begin including this list with the Weekly Road Warrior. Remember, these prices are reflective of self-serve everywhere except NJ.




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