A recent ex-smoker and current vaper’s thoughts and opinions regarding current US events in the vape community concerning politics, advocacy and social media. Trying to be informative without being judgmental, advocate without being prejudicial. Using what wisdom and expertise I’ve gathered during my half century on this planet so yep, still learning and questioning.
Poor Cassandra, a princess of Troy and a tragic figure of Greek mythology. She had the gift of prophecy but was also cursed by the Gods to never be believed. Being a vape advocate, I often find myself channeling her energy or at least her frustration.
Politics and vape advocacy
Anti-vape efforts continued this week but pro-vape had a big win in Mississippi defeating a tax on vaping products which would have equated them to the current taxes on traditional tobacco products. However, more localized city vape bans and regulations across the US did pass, and it is interesting to note, these smaller vape bans and regulations passed without any input from the public, pro or con. It is a stark reminder that the vaping community constantly needs to be pro-active at all levels of our government. Florida has a very strong and active vaping community both in terms of consumers and businesses. But a restrictive flavor ban, SB810, passed this week in the Florida House of Representatives and is moving onto the Florida Senate. Do not wait until a vape ban is on the agenda before making your position known to your local, state and federal representatives.
Take down tobacco?
Next week, on March 18th, The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids is launching a National Day of Action to “take down tobacco”. The social media hashtag #takedowntobacco is being used which once again conflates vaping with traditional tobacco products. They have launched a new website, new graphics and all new activities. Social media influencers are being recruited and paid to support this year’s campaign. I doubt Big Tobacco is overly concerned since no social media recruiting is happening on their side. And I know, because I certainly could use $250. But as an ex-smoker, it saddens me that so little focus is being put on cigarette smoking and its’ adverse effects when the use of the word tobacco is such an integral part of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids’ message. The year’s campaign focuses primarily on youth vaping.
Cassandra and COVID-19
It’s been an interesting two weeks in the world of US Politics with both Public Health and politicians taking front and center in the media and focusing on the ever-increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the United States. If you are an active member of the vape advocate community, you may be feeling a strange sense of déjà vu as you watch the latest news on COVID-19 unfold. The CDC handling of the EVALI lung injuries and deaths recently ended in February with a whimper with the CDC quietly stating that the primary cause was found to be due to vitamin E acetate in THC vape products, most of which were purchased through “informal” sources, friends, family or in-person or online dealers.
But COVID-19 presented another opportunity for anti-tobacco lobbyists and politicians to push forward false and misleading narratives regarding vape and vape products. I was going to focus this week’s article on the myth vs. reality but an informative article by VAPING360 thoroughly examines this issue. The vaping community is made up of many ex-smokers like myself and this article addresses some of our specific concerns and risks regarding COVID-19. We have questions and Vaping 360 provided solid information all in one place as we move forward to protect ourselves and our loved ones. I highly recommend the read. So check it out: