Misinformation vs Information

Oh to be a fly on the wall in the marketing department of the California Department of Public Health these days. They must have some really interesting discussions about how to spend taxpayer money on their latest campaign that specifically targets electronic cigarettes and vaping.

$75 Million for five years

We know that the total budget for the next five years rolls in at $75 Million, thanks to Stan being so kind in posting the information on his public blog. We also know that the current campaign cost CADPH $7 Million. They have to spend even more of the taxpayers dollars in an effort to push their website up the Google Search rankings. Even went as far as buying ad placements.

What has it actually achieved thus far?

Google search for 'still blowing smoke' as of 13:00 28/03/2015

Do you see the “official” site in the top three? Even the ad placement has vanished. So what are they doing about it all? (Also not with some hilarity the urban dictionary results…)

Cue a press release in Vox where the usual mouthpiece for Tobacco Control is seen to be complaining about how us vapers are “clogging up” the CDPH twitter account.

Vox gets confused

According to Vox, the two websites <notblowingsmoke.org> and <stillblowingsmoke.org> are easily confused. To an extent I can see why they would, after all the CDPH are never wrong are they? To see a visually similar website, with a very similar name could be classified as “confusing”, although I suspect that the “confusion” isn’t really what Vox and CDPH are experiencing - embarrassment is more likely.

They actually call <notblowingsmoke.org> a “copycat” site. Now, isn’t it said somewhere that imitation is the highest form of flattery? If they went with that, surely CDPH should be flattered that someone has taken the time to imitate them?

Of course not.

We just don't know

Once again, cue the “we don’t know enough” line. That old, seriously overused and broken record. Gets a little boring doesn’t it?

They seem to pounce, and miss a very important distinction with the line “all Big Tobacco companies also own e-cigarette companies”. Well, we know that the Tobacco Industry is in the e-cig market with the first generation cig-a-like product, maybe that’s their issue. You know, the cig-a-likes look so much like regular cigarettes it is obviously easy to confuse the two.

Almost comically the Vox writer actually does vaping a small favour by mentioning vapers claims of “Long-term e-Cigarette use can decrease cigarette consumption in smokers not willing to quit,” which every vaper across the globe can attest to as pretty much every single one is most certainly a former smoker.

It gets even more interesting with the claims of the current vaping vs tobacco control being likened to the “early fights over cigarettes”.

Article excerpt referring to historical fights with the Tobacco Industry

It seems that they see the “Big Tobacco” influence in pretty much everything that argues against public health. The major difference in the case of vaping is that it is Tobacco Control and Public Health that are using “prominent” and “vocal” researchers along with highly-paid lobbyists to propagate any and all “harms” of e-cigarettes. Even going as far as trying to pick apart any research that is “pro e-cig” or by making conflict of interests (COI) accusations.

Federal agencies recommend 'caution'

It strikes me as a little odd that the author of this article has the gall to mention the World Health Organisation; it seems that any and all references have to be utilised in an effort to disseminate discordance. All vapers know the stance of the WHO in relation to e-cigarettes, and it doesn’t bode well for the millions worldwide at all. Remember the Moscow debacle? Attending a tobacco control conference whilst Ebola is raging, possibly not the smartest move. Oh, not to mention that everything happened behind closed doors (as is the norm for the FCTC COP).

Whenever I see a reference to the WHO I’m immediately put on edge, call me cynical if you like but I cannot trust anything that is said by that organisation of unelected technocrats.

We all remember the brilliant blog post by the super-star advocate Lorien Jollye on trolling as that is exactly where the author of this article goes next. Oh the shame that heaps on those that whine like pups.

Vox article screenshot excerpt on ’trolling’

Our dear frenemy Frampton Stanz can be seen to be complaining about us trolling the CDPH twitter feed and his own public blog. The quote that makes me piss myself with laughter is:

“It’s making it hard for them to communicate with anybody.”

Oh Stan, you just don’t get it do you? We’ve tried to communicate on hundreds of occasions, but all you do is ignore us and block us. I’m guessing he forgot all about the letter sent by the lovely Lorien to The Lancet. All we are asking for is reasonable debate on the subject matter. How did they respond? Well, scornfully would be one way to put it. Yet they accuse us of trolling?

Oh please. Nanny McPhee complains of it, as does Simple Simon, I would hazard a guess that poor ol’ Stan felt left out.

But what’s this…

Vox article excerpt on ‘abusive’ attacks

Apparently, if any research speaks out against e-cigs he (or she) becomes an immediate target. Odd thing is, these folk also do the same thing to pro-ecig researchers. Admittedly, they don’t go through the whole social media thing but instead launch attacks behind paywalls so the rest of us mere mortals can’t see it.

We know that a certain researcher is putting his career on the line, just by providing positive research. Simply because his opinions don’t tally with the agenda of tobacco control. It is a sorry state of affairs, but there are hundreds of medical professionals that support the use of e-cigs from all over the globe in various fields.

If you’ve not seen it, Dr GopalBhatnagar, chief of staff at Trillian Hospital inMississauga has seen all the evidence and he concludes that vaping is a good thing.

This one article is so full of information to pick apart, especially since it claims that “Big Vapor” (oh yes, a grassroots movement now has the same title as Big Tobacco and Big Pharma) is highly organised.

Vox article excerpt on ‘fierce’ blowback

Do they not understand that the vaping “industry” is not that big, and is under represented in the US? Do they not understand that social media on its own has an enormous global reach and that pretty much every single vaping advocate makes use of any and all tools available to him or her in an effort to influence the direction that legislation and regulation takes?

Vox article excerpt on regulations

Let’s be completely clear on this. We are not adverse to regulation. The vaping community (mostly) understands that in order to grow and be successful in helping the millions of smokers worldwide switch to a sasmoking alternative (whether that individual later chooses to stop is entirely their choice), there has to be a regulatory framework in place. What vapers are adverse to, is daft and burdensome regulations that would effectively limit what is available to the consumer.

You can pretty much take to the bank that these folks are complaining about us being organised because they have underestimated exactly how passionate we are about our choice.

Just to let those media types know, there is no such thing as “Big Vapor”, but all the vapers across the globe are seriously frustrated with how entities such as tobacco control and to varying degrees public health are treating us. If you need to attach a label to us, then so be it. We’ll take that label and own it.