The battle for our right to vape freely has begun. California has launched its crusade of ignorance against the vape industry. We are now in the cross-hairs of government, who aim to severely debilitate the vapor industry on behalf of their big tobacco and big pharma overlords.
But unfortunately, we have to accept part of the blame, as our behavior and conduct hasn’t exactly helped create the most positive image for the vape community.
Vapers scream bloody murder, and are mobilizing to “rage against the machine” as California and other state legislators move at an alarming pace to implement fatal regulations. We need to also be honest and admit to ourselves, we did commit a bit of self sabotage.
Every cloud contest, every photo shoot of nearly naked women, every cloud trick video, every glorification of “blowing clouds”, will now serve as ammunition for politicians and regulators that want to showcase us as appealing to minors. The truth of the matter is, we drew way too much attention to the vape culture and ourselves.
As a community we over did it, look to social media if you disagree. Millions of photos, glorifying vaping as a fun new hobby. The companies in our industry were willing participants as well. Sexualizing and romanticizing vaping, promoting the social nature of it, making it a popularity contest for vapers.
The question is, what did we expect would happen?
From a marketing perspective, it is as if e-liquid makers and other related companies were using Big Tobacco’s playbook from the 70’s and 80’s. We might as well created our own versions of the Marlboro Man and Joe Camel. We purposely drew attention to ourselves; just think of the countless vapers who walk around in public everyday blowing huge clouds.
Are the proposed laws against vaping unfair? Are politicians corrupt and ignorant?
Is the propaganda against vaping full of lies and misinformation?
Absolutely, without a doubt the answer is yes.
But, the vaper community should also take a break from painting itself as the innocent victim of evil corporations and corrupt government. Take a look in the mirror and accept part of the blame for how we represented ourselves.