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The Importance of Advocacy in Today’s Vape World

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[Editor's Note: FDA Regulation prevents any industry member from claiming and informing the public that E-cigs are a healthier alternative to smoking. We strongly recommend that you consult your doctor regarding the effect that vaping might have on health. The information contained in this article is solely based on the views and opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Vape Dispatch LLC.]


Problems Today

The problems facing the vaping industry today are becoming disastrous. No, this is not referring to the potential health consequences of E-Cigs, it is referencing the potential harm in regulating such revolutionary devices.

Scientific experiments have proven that E-Cigs do not contain a large majority of the harmful carcinogens and other toxins that exist in Tobacco and Cigarettes.

  • E-Cigs do not contain tobacco
  • E-Cigs do not involve combustion
  • E-Cig users may be able to avoid the consumption of ash
  • E-Cig users may be able to avoid the consumption of tar
  • E-Cig users may be able to avoid the consumption of carbon monoxide

Listed above are highlights of a few of the harm reduction benefits that accompany using E-Cigs in comparison to combustible tobacco. There are many, many more...

Don’t take it from us, take it from other highly knowledgeable and reputable sources, such as the Public Health England study featured on USA Today, The Guardian,and The Economist.

Linked below are articles summarizing scientific research publications that provide information which suggest that E-Cigs have the ability to reduce smokers exposure of harmful chemicals found in combustible tobacco:

USA Today - Smokers Should Switch - Vaping Healthier Than Tobacco

The Guardian - (Science) - The Evidence - Vaping Safer Than Smoking

Economist ~ E-Cigs Healthier Than Smoking

E-Cigs were first developed in China in 2003, while eventually being introduced to Europe and the US around the year of 2006. The reason for innovating such a product is due to one sole reason: E-Cigarettes contain life-saving potential that helps smokers rid themselves of tar, carcinogens, and other harmful constituents.

The FDA procedures have increasingly grown with significant tensity over the past few years, thus enacting an immense amount of regulatory procedures that are crippling the American vapor industry’s ability to provide a lifesaving technology to millions of smokers.

The agency even went as far as to declare the use of E-Cigs among the youth to be of “epidemic proportions.” Such a negative connotation surrounding E-Cigs is primarily due to one thing: The mass of the media. The media has played a major role in spinning the FDA’s “epidemic” statement severely out of proportion.

Consequently, the media has displayed negative images of vaping as well as vapers as a whole, while also making an attempt to criminalize the industry. The media has given massive interest groups that are dedicated to reducing the rights of vapers a very powerful tool in which they can use to lobby against vaping.

Note, we do not, in any way, support the use of nicotine products among minors, though we do support those who are of proper age. Recently, the FDA has been demanding imminent regulatory action regarding E-Cigs amongst them, threatened to ban the sale of most flavored E-Cigs in stores nationwide. Say goodbye to mango pods and the flavors that have become a part of your daily routine.


In order to determine whether or not the increasing regulation coming from the United States Government and Bureaucratic Agencies are befitting or even necessary, one must look at the situation from a bird’s-eye-view. Comparison is key. So let’s look at the US regulation in comparison to the approach the UK gov takes.


In the United Kingdom, free healthcare is ubiquitous. Therefore, its government is encouraging citizens who smoke to make the switch over to vaping due to the scientific evidence conveying that vaping is healthier than smoking. The UK government even offers incentives to their citizens to make the switch over to vaping because it saves them boatloads of money on medical expenses.


In contrast, the United States government has been more interested in collecting the money coming from the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA). In essence, the United States government views vaping as a threat to tax funds. Rather than care about the well-being of its people, our very own government is more concerned with benefitted themselves through the medium of taxation.


The simple matter of the fact is that tobacco and nicotine products will never fully be practiced with abstinence by the American population. Amongst the least harmful way for humans to consume such products is through the medium of vaping.


Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR)

THR is geared towards implementing a harm reduction approach. The HRA is the combination of applicable strategies and ideas aimed at minimizing the negative consequences that come from drug use. Michael Russell established a variation of this approach when coming up with the Tobacco Harm Reduction Theory. This ideology is based on the notion that in order to reduce the harm produced by consuming combusted tobacco smoke, one must switch to less harmful and toxic products which also contain a nicotine delivery medium. This enabled him to develop the infamous nicotine gum that so many of us use today. What causes cancer is the burning of carcinogens being expunged from a tobacco product and then being inhaled into one’s lungs, not the inhalation of nicotine.

The FDA is using the power of the sword in the case that we are presented with today. They are abusing their governmental power of regulation and political/social outreach to the fullest extent in order to make E-Cigs become extinct. In order to delude the occurrence of a nationwide ban on nicotine products that appeal to children such as flavored E-Liquid. If you don’t recognize this and act to prevent it the FDA as well as corporate lobbyists get their way, then you might as well say goodbye to the vaping industry as a whole.

  • No new flavors
  • No flavors in general
  • No vape shops
  • No online sales
  • No new technology
  • No new innovation
  • No new. No nothing. No vaping...

YOU must act out of advocacy for the essence and survival of vaping.

 

What is Advocacy?

In simplest terms, advocacy is the public or social support of specific goals, policies, causes, and even ideas. Advocacy is the act of organizing a group of people and businesses to form a nonprofit organization with the goal of educating and inspiring reform regarding a specific issue. Displaying “advocacy” is offering your own independent support in order to voice the opinions of those who feel as if they are not being recognized and heard.

Advocates are ones in which hold their values and passions sacred, which transverses into the desire for reform as well as global outreach and recognition. Gaining supportive recognition for what you are passionate for, vaping, is vital for the future of the entire industry. If you don’t become an advocate for the rights of vapers, there will no longer be “vapers”.

Just one person, someone like you, can make a difference!


Importance of advocacy

In today’s society we are governed by a Democracy. The foundation of Democracy depicts the overarching idea that such a practice acts out of the interests of the people. One person cannot defeat the government. One person cannot defeat the corporations and interest groups that spend all of their time and money to regulate and illegalize vaping. Although one person cannot defeat such large institutions on their one, one person can make a difference. If you become an advocate for your rights, and advocate for your beliefs, then you will make a difference. With more advocates comes more of a say in what ends up being regulated. The mass of the people can overcome the odds that go against vaping. Although you can make a difference, you can’t do it alone. There are advocacy chapters all across the country that are designed to act out of the interests of advocates. Their ultimate goal is to defend the access of verifiable information pertaining to smoke-free alternatives. Advocacy chapters also make it their goal to help elect officials and influence policies in which support support legal vaping. They are not for profit. All they want to do is help you exercise your freedom and love for vaping.


WHAT can you do & WHO can you support?

As displayed throughout the course of history, every reformative movement starts at the grassroots level. The first thing YOU can do to make a difference is to become an advocate. In order to do this join an advocacy chapter in your state. Together unite against the corporations and interest groups that are abusing their power and spending millions to destroy vaping.

Such a situation is similar to the infamous story of David v. Goliath.

In this situation, the enormous interest groups and corporations embody the Goliath and individuals like yourself depict the courage and strength presented by David. Everybody else was afraid to stand up. David was not. Be like David. Stand up. Make a difference before the Goliaths succeed the interests of the mass of the people. The first step you can take in fighting against the Goliaths is joining your state’s advocacy chapter.

The extent of advocacy chapters available locally, statewide, and nationwide is vast. There are chapters in every state. There is the CASAA (Consumer Advocates for Smoke Free Alternatives Association), ECIG (Electronic Cigarette Industry Group, AVA (American Vaping Association), NBS (Not Blowing Smoke), and many, many more.


Vapor Technology Association

According to the VTA, the Vapor Technology Association is, “The national trade association that is executing a coordinated federal and state lobbying strategy combined with an integrated public affairs strategy to protect the vapor industry.” As stated on the Vapor Technology Association Website,they have a centralized focus on innovation through leadership. With such a keen focus on leadership within the industry, the organization strives to:

  • Ferment the establishment of exceptional public health through the promotion and publicized support of sensible regulations and responsible public policies surrounding vaping that contribute to the greater good of both businesses and individuals
  • Reconstruct the public image and debate encompassing the vapor industry
  • Convert embellished, misleading information about vapor products into knowledgeable intuition
  • Keep the vape market accessible and competitive so that it can become an everlasting industry across state and national levels. Consequently, small business owners and their employees will be provided with long-term protection of their business endeavors and careers.

The VTA is here for you! The organization will always act out of the best interest of you. If you don’t believe us, take it from them. Their Membership Mission Statement is that, “VTA provides numerous ways for interested companies from every sector of the vapor industry to join and support the industry.  We have membership dues that are accessible to all and that will enable us to provide the highest quality of service to and advocacy for our member companies.Our various levels of membership allow you to tailor your willingness and ability to support our industry.  Whether you are a large or small manufacturer, wholesaler distributor, supplier or retailer, YOU can have an impact with VTA which is waging the biggest fights that our industry must wage.”

Make a difference, contribute to the worldwide cause of keeping vaping alive, join the Vapor Technology Association Chapter today!

An example of a state advocacy chapter is the Virginia Smoke Free Association. As stated by the VSFA, “The Virginia Smoke Free Association is about fighting for the rights of Virginia residents wishing to reduce the harms to themselves and their loved ones from tobacco usage through the use of personal vaporizers (electronic cigarettes).” There is an advocacy for-non-profit chapter in each state. If you want to be able to continue to express your feelings and desires through the medium of vaping, you must start advocating today. Join your state chapter as soon as possible!

Below is a comprehensive list of every participating state chapter across the United States:


Alabama

Breathe Easier Alliance of Alabama

Arizona

Arizona Smoke Free Business Alliance

Arkansas

Arkansas Vape Advocacy Alliance

California

California Smoke Free Organization

Colorado

Rocky Mountain Smoke Free Alliance

Connecticut

SFATA - Connecticut Chapter

Dakota

Dakota Vaping Association

Delaware

Vapor Retailers and Manufacturers of Delaware

Florida

Florida Smoke Free Association

Georgia

Georgia Smoke Free Association

Illinois

Smoke Free Alternatives Coalition of Illinois

Illinois (South)

Bistate Regional Advocates For Vaping Education

Iowa

Iowans For Alternative To Smoking & Tobacco

Indiana

Indiana Smoke Free Alliance

Kansas

Kansas Vapers Association

Kentucky

Kentucky Smoke Free Association

Louisiana

Louisiana Vaping Association

Maine

New England Vapor Technology Association

Maryland

Maryland Vapor Alliance

Massachusetts

New England Vapor Technology Association

Michigan

The Vapors' Association For Rights and Standards

Minnesota

Minnesota Vapers Advocacy

Mississippi

Mississippi Vaping Advocacy Association

Missouri

Bistate Regional Advocates For Vaping Education

Montana

Montana Smoke Free Association

Nevada

Nevada Vaping Association

New Hampshire

New England Vapor Technology Association

New Jersey

New Jersey Vapor Retailer’s Coalition

New York

New York State Vapor Association

North Carolina

North Carolina Vaping Council

Ohio

Ohio Vapor Trade Association

Oklahoma

OVAL (Oklahoma Vapors Adovcacy League)

Oregon

Oregon Vapor Trade Association

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Smoke Free Association

Rhode Island

New England Vapor Technology Association

Tennessee

Tennessee Smoke Free Association

Texas

Texas Vapor Coalition

Utah

Utah Smoke Free Association

Vermont

New England Vapor Technology Association

Virginia

Virginia Smoke Free Association

Washington

Washington Pink Lung Brigade

West Virginia

West Virginia Vape Committee

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Smoke-Free Alternatives Coalition


Every vape advocacy organization works tirelessly to protect YOUR right to use E-Cigs and E-Liquids. Join the movement. Fight for your right to vape before it gets regulated out of existence and becomes illegal for you to do so. Start by acting out. Start by exercising your freedom of expressionism and speech. Start by finding and joining your local state chapter today. 

 

Author: Hayden Smiley

The information contained in this article is solely based on the views and opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Vape Dispatch LLC.

 


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