There is a growing vaping community on social media sites. Twitter is one that can be easily measured. Look to Instagram, Facebook, Reddit and even new player Steemit for the influence the vape culture is having. It is a powerful way for pro-vapers to unite and get stronger.
Activity on social media can be powerful, especially with the spread of information quickly For those who are 21-45 there is a higher likelihood they are plugged into at least two forms of social media. Gone are the days of door canvassing and old fashioned newspapers. The digital age has brought about activism in a new form. These new forms pack some powerful analytics and we are going to discuss one data set and why it is important.
Nevada topped the chart for top cities with vape-related tweets, according to this large study of 55,000 tweets related to vaping. Florida came in second place with California closely behind which had 12 of the top 25 cities on the list. Almost half of the tweets were cross-posted with Instagram posts. As mentioned above most social media shares stories and those that go viral get information out quickly to a large population.
So just what were these tweets were typically about?
- Celebrating an anniversary of quitting smoking
- Arguing against vaping bans and regulations
- Enjoyment of vaping
Those posting an anniversary of quitting smoking thanks to vaping. This reinforces the harm reduction approach to switching from smoking to vaping. Studies show consistently that e-cigarettes were 95% less harmful to health than conventional cigarettes. This is a viable method for smokers to quit and reduce their consumption of cigarettes. Not to mention the hazard to health arising from long-term vapor inhalation from the e-cigarettes available today is unlikely to exceed 5% of the harm from smoking tobacco.
Why again are they being regulated to the point of ridiculousness all while removing access to those who need them? It is clear to see why there is also a lot of chatter against vaping bans and overbearing regulations. One such argument is access to youth. This one is shattered when considering the harm is not being reduced but increased for this population.
Restricting access to keep youth away from vaping seeming to have a counter-effect. Instead of opting for e-cigarettes, young adults unable to obtain those vapors are picking up traditional cigarettes, research showed. Youth smoking of traditional cigarettes jumped from 0.7 to 1.4 percentage points, beginning in 2010, around the same time states began implementing e-cigarette minimum age laws. Lawmakers are in fact making more smokers who will have the lasting health issues of smoking, instead of being able to manage vaping and reduce that harm.
It really makes no sense the FDA’s and the state of affairs in the US currently with over regulation of the entire vaping industry. As 2018 looms many predict mass bankruptcy and limited availability locally for those who vape. That is if this isn’t all averted. Many have high hopes that President Trump or the current congress will stop this madness. However, don’t expect it to happen without some efforts.
If the growing forces of those who vape band together and continue to push back we can see changes like the ones recently in Ohio. Groups got together to overwhelming defeated the Governor’s Proposed 69% Vape Tax was defeated by OHVTA – Ohio Vapor Trade Association. OHVTA posted a message on their website that Ohio House passed a revised budget removing all vapor language.
Lastly, for those who enjoy vaping want others to know this and why shouldn’t they? They post away pictures of themselves happy and harming no one. In the US, our country was founded on personal freedoms. In places like in Las Vegas Nevada, they had to fight early on to have the right to gamble.
Nevada has continued to fight and push for its citizens freedoms. Nowadays you can even go to certain areas in Nevada and find legal prostitute establishments. Recently on July 1st cannabis became legal and there is a big push from within the state to have vaping be more welcomed. After all, wouldn’t you like to gamble in a casino on the strip with vapors instead of cigarette smoke.
The way Twitter and Instagram are being used in places like Nevada is important. The ability to quickly squash misinformation is important. The quicker it is dealt with the better. We have to act quickly and defensively to challenge others. Officials who educate the public need to be watched closely. Even the American Lung Association was caught lying recently about vaping on a recent interview on public radio:
“There’s still a perception that e-cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes and so for some kids who never would have tried smoking cigarettes they get the idea this might be a safer alternative.” -Dona Wininsky from the Wisconsin chapter of the ALA
This has sparked outrage because downplaying the health hazards of smoking is that it will produce less deterrence to youth smoking. This statements can confuse people into thinking that there is no difference between the two. Statements from the ALA should be promoting vaping as a healthier alternative to smoking and its proven reduction of harm. The freedom to choose vaping is actively being attacked by other fueled by misinformation. It, not an easy battle to educate others it can be done.
If you take to your social media and consistently share the positive stories and sound studies on vaping other will see this. It allows the correct information to get out into the mainstream and be accepted easier. The more something is talked about and promoted the more others will investigate and hopefully have a critical mind to see the truth beyond the hype. We can help educate our non-vaping friends and make them our allies in this fight to be treated fair.
After the 4th of July Holiday, many find themselves reflecting on the meaning of freedoms. For those of us who vape we are reminded every day with taxes, regulations, and lies that our freedom to vape is at stake. Jobs and vaping shops have been closing up due to unfair taxing and regulations. States are passing outrageous restrictions on flavors or access without having a deep understanding of the good vaping does.
Lawmakers are in fact pushing people back to smoking or even worse, having new smokers go straight to the most harmful form with no attempt to make a less harmful method accessible. It is a losing proposition and one in places like Nevada, Florida and California people are taking to social media to tweet about it. Just look to places like Ohio, that successfully fought the harmful legislation. We all can take a page from their playbook and start a mass campaign to protect our rights to vape without unjust regulations.