If you’re a vaper, chances are good you’ve made the decision to quit smoking, a process that’s difficult for even the most diligent among us, and you’ve done all the hard work buying the best e-cig for you, with flavors you like and a nicotine level that gives you the best control. This is probably the most successful effort to quit you’ve tried, and the vaper community is a great support. It lets you be healthier, and you know it doesn’t hurt anyone around you.
Some people are afraid of your vapor, as though it’s as bad as second-hand smoke from tobacco-burning cigarettes. On the news you hear about businesses and governments that are banning e-cigs. You might even hear about laws that are stricter on e-cigarettes than they are on tobacco-burning cigarettes or alcohol, like banning flavors and requiring a 21+ year age minimum.
Why is there so much push back for a product whose success and safety is only getting more and more evident?
Honestly, we’re not sure. Politics has put a big emphasis on e-cigarettes, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Because when politicians are involved with a subject, that makes it all the easier to demand they do the right thing.
That can seem pretty imposing if you’re not already an activist. Fortunately, we’ve got the guide for you!
How should I contact representatives at the federal or local level?
Most of the time, you can call, write to, or email your state representatives, senators, or other government bodies within your state. Always be respectful, and be as clear as possible. You want to persuade them that people who use e-cigarettes have rights that should be protected, and you don’t want to make them disregard your communication because you’re being rude, or sound uninformed, or worse, misinformed. They need to hear how e-cigs have improved your life by helping you to quit smoking, and they need to know that there’s scientific information available to answer all concerns. The links below will tell you how to reach the right person.
Our petition to the Food and Drug Administration that requests fair, balanced, and informed legislation for all vapor products.
When I message representatives, is there information I can give them?
That’s a big question, and the simple answer is “yes”. All of the resources listed in this guide offer articles and studies and sometimes other media for this very purpose. If you’re going to talk to the representatives by phone, make sure you understand the gist of the study well enough to answer some basic questions about the study, etc., but don’t be afraid to point out that you’re not a medical professional. You’re just trying to make sure they have the best and most up to date information for when they make their decisions. If you’re writing to them, be sure to include where they can find the study, and if you’re emailing them, don’t be afraid to link them to different information. Below are two studies that are good examples of what you can use to support your case.
By Igor Burstyn, PhD at Drexel University Department of Environmental and Occupational Health in 2013. This study covers 9,000 observations. See the Key Conclusions on page 13 to see what this study reveals about vaping.
By Drs. Christopher Bullen, Colin Howe, Murray Laugesen, Hayden McRobbie, Varsha Parag, Jonathan Williman, Natalie Walker in the New Zealand medical journal The Lancet, 2013. This study covers 657 randomized people. See Findings and Interpretation on the first page to see what this study reveals about e-cigarettes vs. tobacco-burning cigarettes.
Having the right information and getting it, along with your opinion as a vaping citizen, to the right people is key to establishing a foothold on vapers’ rights. Legislation is already being put in to place around the country. Making your voice heard at both a local and national level is key to the future of electronic cigarettes, and all of us who enjoy them.