Petition to Remove Vaping From Tobacco Category Gains Momentum

An often overlooked reality is that Facebook, Google and other major platforms categorize vaping under tobacco.

To the casual observer, that categorization may not seem like it matters much. After all, at the end of the day, although vaping is not smoking, it resembles the act of it, so whats the big deal?

Well its not so much the category that matters, its the rules and policies that apply to the category that is a major issue. Being categorized as tobacco means for starters that no vape company or brand can purchase paid advertisement on Google or Facebook.

Which is why you rarely see sponsored posts from vape related companies, save for a few that figure out a way to trick the system.

This rule in particular has greatly impacted us here at Vape About It. Although we do not sell any product or represent any brands. We are still unable to even promote articles we feel are important or noteworthy. Promoting e-liquid is one thing, but we’re unable to promote research or news about the vape industry, even to our own audience.

The only exception for this rule has been the documentary “A Billion Lives” who petitioned Facebook, due to freedom of speech, we unfortunately were not so fortunate.

Now, a brave and forward thinking fellow vaper, named Kevin Price has taken the initiative and started a petition addressed towards Mark Zuckerberg to have Facebook rethink their stance on vaping, and the category they place it under.

The petition is beginning to pick up momentum, breaking the 10,000 signature mark as of today.
As much as advocacy promotes signing legislative petitions and making phone calls, this petition could have a massive impact on our industries ability to promote the benefits of vaping.

Large media companies regularly feature articles with misleading and factually false information about vaping. By removing the restrictions against vape related brands, we can collectively spread awareness and counteract the anti vaping propaganda.

So take a moment and sign here 

 

Vapers, We Have an Identity Problem

I know what i’m about to say is controversial, but as law makers set their sights on regulating the vape industry, we must fight back and present a strong case in the defense of vaping.

Our biggest obstacle is that our strongest argument in support of the vape lifestyle, is easily disproved and countered by our opponents.

Vaping is a safer and healthier alternative to smoking tobacco.

This belief forms the foundation of our strongest argument. Our battle cry is that vaping is meant to help people quit smoking. These statements are all true, and there are thousands of people who can provide testimony to how they quit smoking by vaping.

But the problem is…

It becomes really difficult to defend that claim, when we hold cloud contests, and have practically made vaping into a sport. You don`t see cigar smokers gathering at their local cigar lounge holding contests to see who can blow the biggest cloud of smoke.

Vapers on the other hand, regularly participate in such activities. Vape shops are the biggest culprits, organizing events and offering prizes.

So how do we protest and defend ourselves when we ourselves promote and advertise vaping as a hobby or sport?

I’m sometimes guilty of it too!

How do we sit across the table from the politicians that want to shut us down, and confidently claim our industry’s purpose is to help people quit smoking? Vaping is meant to serve as a potential pathway to smoking cessation, yet we represent it as a lifestyle and that is the logical fallacy the vape community must confront.

It almost becomes a mockery to attempt making that claim.

When social media is flooded with images romanticizing vaping, making it look cool and sexy. A post of a fat cloud or a sexy girl with a vape gets way more likes than advocacy articles.

It becomes difficult to defend our claims, when the majority of the vaper lifestyle promotes vaping as a leisurely lifestyle activity. For every person that represents vaping as their solution to quit smoking, there are ten who promote it for cloud chasing and a hobby.

For our industry and community to survive, we need to shift our focus. We need to walk the walk and put our best foot forward. We need to focus on advocacy, quitting smoking, and showcase the benefits vaping offers. While we should have fun it isn’t a sport or hobby, but as a solution for a better quality of life.

Tax Payers Footing the Bill for Vaper Smear Campaign

The California Department of Public Health recently launched a $75 million smear campaign “Still Blowing Smoke”. Marking the first mass-media attempt by government officials to halt the rapid growth of the vape industry.

The campaign features a number of over the top ads, one featuring young children, and  even infant toddlers attempting to use electronic vapor devices. Calling it an “ad campaign” is being generous, propaganda would be better. You can view all their ads here.

Outlandish ignorance aside, what about the overall cost of such a project?

The tax payers are picking up the tab for to appease the special interest big tobacco companies.

In an article written by Paul Blair, on the Americans for Tax Reform site, documents were shown that the total cost of California’s department of public health propaganda campaign will total $75 million. An amount that was conveniently not mentioned in the department’s official press release about the new campaign.

Where will that $75 million come from? Tax payers of course. Money that could be allocated towards other crucial needs such as education, police, alarming water shortage and a myriad of other uses.

Curiously, it seems that politicians seem to be the most keen on discouraging the use of vapor products. When the overwhelming majority of health experts agree that even though vaping may not be 100% safe or risk free, it is still a better alternative to smoking tobacco.

Tobacco products have some of the highest taxes of any consumer good. Annual sales generated $895 million in revenue for the California government in 2012 (the latest data available).

More people vaping, means less people smoking, and less tax money for government. Not to mention, less revenue for big tobacco who’s lobbyist account for millions in campaign contributions.

Are you comfortable with flipping the bill to help big tobacco kill hundreds of thousands of people every year? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Vaping Takes Off; Study shows 10% of US Adults Now Vape

Last week we reported the rise of vaping in the U.K. and the growing number of smokers who have made the switch to vapor from tobacco. Today we are excited to report a major milestone for vaping in the United States has been achieved:

A new poll conducted by reuters has concluded that 10% of all American adults now vape, that number is 15% for U.S. adults under the age of 40.

More importantly, As TIME magazine reported today, 70% of the participants surveyed report having started vaping just in the past year.

To put this milestone in perspective, as recently as 2013 a similar survey found only 2.6% of American adults were using vapor products. Now roughly one in ten adults vape, and smoking has declined to just under 19%.

This news arrives at a time when anti vaping propaganda has never been higher. The vape industry is facing opposition from multiple government agencies, along with the media. But, the numbers don`t lie, even with millions of tax dollars poured into propaganda vaping continues to rise and the industry continues to grow.

While this is a cause for celebration, its not time to pop open the champagne flavored e-liquid just yet. The industry and community still face a number of major challenges, and a hurdles up ahead. In addition, much larger battles await with looming fda regulations and state laws. Learn now the FDA ENDS regulations and how it will affect small biz here.

Also the same survey found roughly 75% of people who have switched to vaping still continue to fall off the wagon and use tobacco. Meaning we still have to increase support and guidance for new vapers to permanently kick the smoking habit.

With these recent statistics, its safe to say we have reached escape velocity. Vaping is the future, this milestone solidifies our lift off and rise as an industry. The unfounded lies by government health agencies, and the redundant broken record whining about underage usage by anti vaping alarmists is not halting our progress. The time is now to become more unified as a community, and better organized as an industry as vaping continues to grow worldwide

Senator Mark Leno, Sponsored by Big Pharma to Defame Vaping?

In January of 2015, Senator Mark Leno proposed “Senate Bill 140 Electronic Cigarettes”, the bill we all know would label vapor devices as tobacco products.

When NorCal’s SFATA Chapter President Stefan Didak attended the first Senate Health Committee hearing April 8th, 2015, regarding this proposed bill, Senator Leno dismissed Stefan’s concerns, stating that if Vape Shops wish to permit vaping in their shops, they can apply for the same licenses required of hookah shops. While this may not sound severe, many local communities have ordinances in place that wouldn’t permit such licensure (San Mateo, San Carlos, Berkeley, Laguna Woods and Chico, to name a few).

Previously we wrote when Senator Leno has made offhanded baseless and ignorant comments, including “Whether you get people hooked on e-cigarettes or regular cigarettes, its nicotine addiction and it kills. We’re going to see hundreds of thousands of family members and friends die from e-cigarette use, just like we did from traditional tobacco.” It’s apparent while Senator Leno has been well educated by his Big Pharma contributors and their ilk, he hasn’t taken the time to read the science, the studies most of us vapers are familiar with.

What Senator Leno either doesn’t realize, or simply doesn’t care about, is that if the small businesses that make up the vaping “industry” are adversely affected, many of us could very well lose access to the products that prevent us from smoking combustible cigarettes. Senator Mark Leno, if you succeed, YOU will be the reason hundreds of thousands of family members and friends die from “e-cigarette” use. The research is out there, we’ve proven our argument. Special interests claiming that our research, peer reviewed studies, either don’t exist or aren’t valid because it wasn’t conducted by their in-house researchers doesn’t actually invalidate this research.

It’s as if I try to claim all kittens are born in shades of pink and blue and capable of flight, or cephalopods are capable of being leash-trained, and then walked about as if they were terrestrial household pets. Claiming something is fact, or simply wanting it to be, doesn’t make it so.

Just a cursory glance at Senator Mark Leno’s contributors include:

  • AstraZeneca; Manufacturers of Eolas Orexin-1: a receptor antagonist that will be marketed as a smoking cessation therapy.
  • GlaxoSmithKline/Johnson & Johnson: Manufacturer and distributor of Nicorette.
  • Kaiser Permanente: Currently campaigning against vaping products while suggesting NRT therapies and Wellbutrin, (an anti-depressant which is known to cause seizures, allergic skin reactions with blistering and peeling, confusion, trouble concentrating, hallucinations and unusual thoughts or behavior) are more effective as cessation aids. (When even The American Heart Association states otherwise.)
  • Serono: The bio-pharmaceutical division of Merck/Pfizer, the latter of which is the manufacturer of Chantix (the side effects of which include loss of interest or pleasure, mood swings, hallucinations, feelings of panic, suicidal ideation, suicide, and pretty much everything horribly wrong you can imagine), which Merck suggests you utilize for smoking cessation.

It’s easy to see where Senator Leno gets his (mis)information. The question is will you let him hurt our “industry” of small and local businesses? Senator Leno is WRONG. We need to stop these blatant lies from spreading.

We urge you to call your CA State representatives and let them know your concerns. If some of them aren’t in the pockets of Big Pharma or Big Tobacco yet, they may really listen to us. Alternatively if you have time and the means to join us on July 8th, 2015 in Sacramento, come out! This might be our last chance.

For more information, please visit the NorCal SFATA SB140 Quick Review. Please visit the NorCal SFATA SB140 Call To Action to see ways you can help.

Vape Propaganda; Teens Hospitalized From Vaping?

On Monday night, Three teenagers were rushed to the ICU in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

911 was called late Monday evening, when a young male teen was found unconscious at a local church after vomiting numerous times. Two other teens were admitted to the ICU at a nearby hospital, who had been seen with the young male earlier.

All three boys reported similar symptoms, including seizure like reactions and vomiting. The teens admitted to having vaped from an e-cig device earlier that evening, before they began showing signs of illness.

The police confiscated the device, and upon testing found no traces of nicotine or flavored e-liquid. Instead, authorities believe the liquid substance inside was “K-2” a known form of synthetic marijuana, and sent the device to a lab for further analysis.

Fortunately the three teens have since recovered, and the Tahlequah Police department believe they know the identity of the man who gave them the device.

Why this matters:

The real story here is not a group of foolish teenagers vaping on synthetic marijuana. Its unfortunate they became ill and had to be hospitalized, but the real story is how the story itself is presented.

The headline is not “Teens hospitalized after consumption of synthetic marijuana”. No it completely leaves that out, only mentioning it in the body of the story itself.

Synthetic marijuana is a growing epidemic, especially amongst underage teenagers. It has a long list of dangerous side effects. Most alarming of all, they`re technically legal and sold as “incense”. Furthermore lawmakers can`t regulate them because as soon as they outlaw one formula, manufacturers tweak the ingredients.

But no, the article would have you believe that vaping is the culprit. They would have you believe that once again vaping is harming our children. Run for the hills, protect your children before your son or daughter ends up in the ICU.

So rather than focus on the problem which is the rise of synthetic marijuana, they instead want to point the finger at us. An issue the vape industry has nothing to do with. its like blaming syringe makers for a heroin overdose. 

Vapers are looking to quit smoking, and enjoy the taste and experience of vaping not get high off incense.

We’ve documented how government organizations blatantly lie and mislead with faulty facts. But the bigger threat is subliminal propaganda such as this by the media, that further perpetuates the public’s perception that vaping is harmful.

 

Three Things the CDC Hid in Teenage Vaping Data

The CDC’s anti vaping propaganda reached critical mass this past week, as new data was released claiming e-cig use among adolescents has tripled in the last year.

We reported last month, the cdc would target vaping in its newest anti-smoking campaign. Last week they released their youth tobacco survey and sparked a massive flood of media attention.

The first thing they don’t want you to know

The CDC’s youth tobacco survey found e-cig use has tripled in teens. Yet very few media outlets even mentioned that although e-cig use among American high school students has risen from 1.5 percent to 13.4 between 2011 to 2014. Cigarette smoking has dropped from 15.8 percent to 9.8 in the same time period.

Vapers can’t claim vaping is completely risk free, but unlike the CDC we’re not going to fabricate our facts. We can provide data to show that the vapor itself is safe. Even the most common arguments, such as the exaggerated risk of formaldehyde are easily disproven. The formaldehyde argument holds little water when you study the data and find that the temperatures used were ridiculously high. Nobody vapes at 4.8 volts on a clearomizer, it would burn far too hot, and would taste awful.

The second thing they don`t want you to know             

What they fail to mention is the survey only measured the number of teens who have tried e-cigs, not the actual number of adolescents who use them regularly. There is a very big gap between trying and becoming a regular user.

Looking at the survey findings, there is no mention about prolonged use or frequency of use. The data may be correct, but the alarmist claims of nicotine addiction is anecdotal at best. The fact that they fail to clarify this shows a blatant lack of responsibility by the CDC.

The third thing they don`t want you to know

There is no data on whether or not the e-liquids these teenagers used had any nicotine.

Another fact the media conveniently forgets to mention is that there is nicotine free e-liquid.

There is also no evidence to correlate how addictive e-liquid nicotine is, especially in minors.

The CDC’s claims are all based on studies conducted on cigarettes. Cigarettes contain over 4000 chemicals. These include additives designed to help nicotine absorption. Currently the CDC has no data to prove if vaping is addictive.

The CDC continues to make bold claims with little to no evidence to back it up. They take research and spin it to the media with few concrete facts. All minors should be discouraged from vaping, no exceptions. Yet judging by the outrage and propaganda, its almost as if they would prefer teens were still smoking cigarettes.

The American Cancer Society Asked; Vapers Responding

Yesterday the American Cancer Society took to Facebook and other social media outlets asking the public a simple question.

How Did You Quit Smoking?

Vapers have been responding! Over 95% of the almost 3,000 comments posted so far are from vapers sharing their personal stories about how vaping was what got them to quit cigarettes for good.  To share your own story, visit the American Cancer Society Official Facebook Page.

“In about a week, I will be one year smoke-free. I quit through vaping when nothing else worked”, said Randy W., whose comment has received over 580 Facebook likes in less than 24 hours.

It can be an emotional tale for some to tell. Take for instance Wendy B.  Wendy responded with, “Had cancer, didn’t stop me, have emphysema, 35 years of 1.5 packs a day, I never wanted to give up nicotine. I’ve switched to vaping, three months now without a cigarette. My primary and cancer doc support it as a safer nicotine alternative.”

The American Cancer Society has promised to feature select stories on their official website www.cancer.org by saying in their Facebook post, “Quitting smoking is no easy feat! If you’ve successfully quit, share your story in the comments. You could be featured on our website and give hope to others trying to get healthy.”

So will they do it?

Given the American Cancer Society’s stance on vaping in the past, we’re very interested to see their official website in the next few weeks. The American Cancer Society in May of 2011 said in an article titled Electronic Cigarettes – Boon, Bane, Blessing, or Boondoggle? “E-cigarettes are a grave danger to the public health”. In 2014 the ACS updated there outlook with an article titled “E-cigarettes – It’s Complicated” stating that “more independent, objective data is needed.”

With the outpouring of stories from vapers across the United States, it’s hard to ignore the truth that vaping truly does work when it comes to quitting cigarettes and it’s saving countless lives in the process! #VapeOn

Special Session Open to Public

News broke yesterday that the California legislatures special session would be open to the public. Sending California`s industry stake holders into a scramble, in order to mobilize in time.

As we said yesterday, we urge all vapers, especially those involved in the industry to do their best in making it to the state capital tomorrow. It is imperative we rally as many people as we can to show our solidarity.

Mark Leno and the anti vaping propagandists are relentless. It has become clear Leno will not stop in his attempts to cripple the vapor industry. His big pharma overlords know that by eliminating the California vape industry a domino effect will follow. They are quite blatantly going for our throats.

Leno’s connection to big pharma is well documented as we have pointed out. We thought his defeat on SB140 would make him give up his crusade of ignorance and misinformation. But we`re assuming his good friends in the pharmaceutical industry were not too pleased. Which is why he`s now exploiting and manipulating the legislative process in order to once again try and destroy our community.

We implore anyone and everyone who is capable of attending the hearing in Sacramento tomorrow to make the trip. As our friend Stefan Didak the founder/president of NotBlowingSmoke.Org and the Norcal Chapter president of SFATA put it ” The California legislature and the entire nation heard you loud and clear during SB140. For the upcoming special session we need you to be a little louder”.

So, make the trip, send the e-mails, make a phonecall do whatever you can to contribute. This is our cause, nobody is going to come to our rescue. It is up to us to unite and fight against the powers that be who wish to restrict our freedom.

If you can’t make the trip,  then please take the time to call, and e-mail. CASAA has provided an easy way to contact state and local representatives here. We must make our voices heard if we want to defeat these unfair regulations.

Vaping Advocacy Etiquette

August 25th will mark a pivotal moment in the vape industry. If the proposed new laws pass, vaping will be categorized as a tobacco product. This would create a fundamental shift in the industry as California is the global hub of vaping.

Countless stores, distributors, and e-liquid companies could go out of business with choking regulations. Along with thousands of industry workers out of jobs.

But we vapers are a resilient bunch, with an iron will to fight for our freedom to vape. The industry is actively trying to mobilize as many vapers as possible to show up to California`s state capital in Sacramento for the hearing on Tuesday.

Therefore we thought it best to offer some guidelines on how to conduct yourself, and proper etiquette.

First and foremost, for those attending on Tuesday it is important to remember. YOU are representing the entire vape community and industry. How you behave, how you speak, will directly correlate with how our entire community is perceived.

Why does that matter?
Well aside from putting our best foot forward, there are a number of “swing voters”. These are the law makers who were not present or did not vote at the initial hearing. These are the people who can decide the outcome of this bill.

Therefore it is imperative we present ourselves professionally,
And yes this includes not chucking huge clouds in front of the public. That`s not protesting, that`s just making us look bad.

Other important things to keep in mind…

Dress appropriately: 
You don`t need to wear a three piece suit. But remember you are representing the industry as a whole. Although the vape community is open and accepting to all forms of self expression, remember this isn’t a cloud contest. This is a political hearing at a state capital. Dressing in a conservative, professional manner makes us look better collectively, like an actual INDUSTRY.

Don`t Blow Clouds:
As mentioned do not blow clouds in plain view, don’t worry they get it,you vape. We don`t need to draw unwanted attention to ourselves.

DO NOT speak out in the hearing chambers: 
This is the single most crucial thing to remember. I understand the outrage, believe me I`d like to tell Mr. Leno a few choice words myself. But we must show respect to the democratic process and follow the rules. Speaking out when you hear the fabricated lies and propaganda our opponents repeatedly say won`t help our cause.

You may get it off your chest, but you`ll severely hinder advocacy`s ability to represent us in the process.

Do not laugh or make other noises in the chambers:
Laughing out loud at comments you don`t agree with or making noises is just as bad as speaking. AGAIN, we have to play ball.

Let advocacy do their job: 
Our hard working advocates are currently working around the clock. This is not a side thing for them, it is massively time consuming and exhausting. Even with months of preparation its a huge undertaking, and this time they had less than a week.

Don`t swarm them, or hassle them on what to say or do. They are the experts, respect them and trust that they are working hard to fight for all of us.

Contacting local representatives:
If you cannot make it to Sacramento on Tuesday, then as mentioned please do your part. Call, E-mail, and get your friends and family to do the same. Casaa has provided a simple form to use here.

When you call and e-mail make sure to also conduct yourself professionally. Again your words and statements will reflect on all of us. Calling and yelling profanities at a state senator is not a great way to persuade them to vote for our cause. Understand this might be life and death for us, but for them its just another day at the office.

Do let your opinion be heard, share your story, and tell him how important vaping is to you. Do not be rude, or criticize them or speak in an aggressive tone. They will listen to comments, and opinions NOT emotional outbursts.

Again, please be sure to do your part, and help however you can. United we stand, divided we fall.