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.