The walls are closing in
In a rare moment, I came within a hairs breadth of totally losing my shit on social media recently. Not just a minor spat, but full on warp-core style meltdown. Not aimed at anyone, just endless frustrations boiling over.
There has been a lot going on in and around the community recently, mostly centred around diacetyl and AP in liquids. Well respected names are being called out in a public display of shaming. Yes it is disappointing that diacetyl and AP are still being used, and even more so that juice makers are either hiding or lying about their test results, but that’s not the main reason for the almost melt-down.
No, the cause of this is in fact nothing to do with the industry or community. It is how we are perceived. We have local and State governments declaring that e-cigarettes are equivalent to tobacco. We have these same governments tying vaping into smoke-free laws preventing vapers from being able to vape inside, and some are even looking to ban their use outside. Some are even banning the use of the devices in vape stores.
It is utter insanity, but there is no end to it. In the US alone, many states are proposing or passing legislation that goes further than the FDA deeming. The UK is divided with England, Wales & Scotland all taking substantially different approaches. The EU is a mess and down under is just shambolic.
A few things have hit home for me recently. There is the disappointing lack of support for the Article 20 Legal Challenge especially from the EU countries. There is the consistent head-in-sand attitude of many vapers, the divide between the on-line communities and the in-fighting.
There are some vapers who win raffles and competitions that decide to sell or trade their prizes. To be honest, I have no real issue with it as such, but many do and I take issue with that. For years I tried to win big prizes (non-vape related) only to have the intention to sell or trade it later. This kind of infighting needs to stop, if nothing else all it is doing is dividing the community even further when we desperately need a united front.
We have many organisations across the globe that are out there doing their damnedest to ensure that vaping as we know it is protected and yes even regulated so that it is safe for all. The New Nicotine Alliance is one such organisation but they have a disappointing level of support.
Let’s be honest, if an organisation said to you “We have the support of 300 people” would you take them seriously? Unlikely. Would you be more willing to listen to an organisation that said “We have the support of 30,000 people” ?
Probably. At last count the Article 20 Legal Challenge had the support of 33,437 across the EU. There are 2.6 MILLION vapers in the UK alone! There is over 10 MILLION worldwide!
Looking at those figures alone makes me feel pretty despondent. Every time legislation is passed that is anti-vaping, it feels like a crushing defeat.
Each jurisdiction that goes down is another lemming in a migration poised to go over the cliff unless we stop the momentum. Those of you sighing in relief that this isn’t your backyard would be smart to step up your game ASAP to get out in front of this. It is almost certainly coming to where you live.
Dangerous precedents are being set in the US with a huge 70% tax on liquids AND devices putting vaping on a par cost-wise to cigarettes! At least one store is going to close because of this.
Wales (UK) are looking to ban the use of vapor products in public places, England have said they have no intentions of doing that. No doubt other US States and the UK will be looking at this with an eye on doing the exact same thing.
I’m not going to give up, far from it. My time and efforts are now going to become far more focussed. I’m already a nuisance to my local MP, I’m going to be even worse now. I’m going to bug my local NHS trust and GP surgery. I’m going to bug anyone and everyone who has even the smallest amount of power or influence. I’m going to encourage as many as I can to support the New Nicotine Alliance. I’ll get medical professionals to join M.O.V.E and finally, I’m going to hound the shit out of everyone to SUPPORT THE ARTICLE 20 LEGAL CHALLENGE.
In case you haven’t seen them:
In the famous words of Mr Dave Dorn:
Don’t stock up, man up and fight!
Let’s turn this small gathering into this:
It is long past time that every vaper stood up and did something. I believe. Do you?