The Vapers Code of Ethics and Vapism

For every 5 posts that I see someone praise vaping, I see a comment or a post about someone complaining that vapers are acting like douchebags. We’re all vapers. But we’re not all the reasons for these complaints. However, in the eyes of someone that has had a bad experience with a vaper, we are all the same. It’s classifications like this that touch on so many different levels. Racism. Sexism. Religion-ism? So is there such thing as Vapism?

I suppose there is to those who have had the bad vaper experience.

A couple friends, myself and my girl went to a local Hooters one time last year. Hooters is vape friendly. They don’t care if you vape, cuz you’re probably buying 400% marked up beer. We, all advanced vaporizer users with rebuildables and higher power devices and mechanicals, were sitting at a table together. Two tables away, there was a group of 5 or 6 guys, one of which was vaping. He had an iTaste VV stick battery and probably an iClear16. He was going out of his way to “blow clouds”, undoubtedly wishing that someone would say “Hey man, that’s cool.” Here we were, 12 feet away and could literally between the 4 of us, cloud out the side of the restaurant but all of us were stealth vaping in a vape friendly environment.

Stealth Vaping? Stealth vaping is taking a smaller drag, lower power, etc and holding it in after a double inhale. The vapor dissipates in your lungs and the exhale, if you did it right looks like nothing at all. Unless you still open your mouth like you’re gonna dragon cloud… then you just look like this…

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The point is that you don’t have to show off at every point in your day-to-day journey. You can be civil with your vaping. Because you represent all of us. You do something bad and it makes all vapers bad. So, to this point, I’ve developed a bit of a Code of Ethics of Vaping.

1.) Do Not Shun Smokers. For majority of us, we were them at one point. We had that same addiction and if you’ve ever, as a smoker, been addressed by a non-smoker in the “Why don’t you quit that nasty habit” way, you know exactly how it feels. We don’t want to condone smoking, as we’ve risen above it. But we don’t want to condemn them either. Don’t scoff at smokers. Educate them. Don’t look down on them. Help them rise above.

2.) Do Not Vape Where You Wouldn’t Be Able To Smoke. Now, this one will probably catch me some heat, but Walmart, Food City, Red Lobster and other establishments DO NOT WANT YOU TO VAPE THERE. That means you should say “Ok.” and wait until you get outside. Do not challenge them. It’s their house, their rules. Be courteous. If you are going to have an extended stay at some place, and cannot excuse yourself to vape somewhere, simply ask the establishment. If they say no, then don’t. Don’t bitch and complain and boycott and try to start a movement against them. Just wait.

3.) Be Knowledgeable If You Speak. Misinformation campaigns are taking place from the CDC, various Departments of Health, the FDA and ANTz. They don’t need help. Do not back down if someone questions part of vaping you don’t understand, but use that as a springboard to find more information for yourself and your detractors. Spouting off “I heards” is just as bad as what these anti-vaping organizations are doing. If you don’t know, find out. If no one you deal with knows, find someone that does. There are plenty of websites out there that address concerns, link to studies, explain the facts, etc. We live in the Information Age. “I don’t knows” and “I thinks” are things of the past.

4.) Do Not Look Down On Others. This is a golden rule. Do unto others… However, the vape community constantly evolves and some people are able to keep on the cutting edge of the technology. They’ll have a new device every week. A tank that you’ve never seen. A RDA that you’ve only heard about. Their vape gear may cost more than some people’s first cars. But YOU AND THEY ARE EQUALS. Vice-versa. You may have the biggest, baddest, best setup money can buy. That doesn’t mean you can scoff at someone still using a Vivi Nova and a Vision Spinner. Be proud of your setup, but don’t be a douche about it. Remember where we all started.

5.) Support Shops That Support Advocacy. This might be the most important part of this whole thing. The others are irrelevant if vaping is taken away by the government. The TSFA ( http://www.tnsmokefree.org ) have proven that lobbying by a smaller group is possible. Member shops pay a yearly fee that goes to pay for a lobbyist as well as promotional information. No one makes a dime off of the TSFA. The people that run it do it for free, while maintaining their own jobs and lives. They do it because they see the need. They see the results. When a shop refuses to participate in advocacy groups like these, they are saying that they don’t care what the long term is, they’re simply making money while they can. The local shops that do support it, want to be around in 10 years or more. They want to continue to help people kick the habit and switch to a healthier lifestyle. People selling on EBay, people doing group buys, people selling from their houses, all of these people are doing nothing but making as much money as they can before the big foot comes down and stomps out vaping. And, sure, you’ll always be able to find most items in a store online for cheaper. The guy that sells his stuff out of his house is going to beat everyone’s prices, but they are nothing but parasites of our industry. Paying $5 more for an item to a store that supports advocacy helps to ensure that you’ll be able to continue to buy new stuff. Vape store owners are not rolling in money. Trust.

If everyone followed these rules, the industry would be in much better shape. The War On Vaping is at hand. It will not be an easy fight. But everyone that follows these simple steps, aligns themselves as a soldier in the war. We Vape. We Vote. We Buy. We Pay. The government works for us. But if we allow it, they will work against us. In this, we are our own worst enemy.

 

Until next time…

 

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The Kids, The Kids, The Kids

As previously discussed, I began to smoke many many years ago when I was still an “impressionable youth”. I say this as sarcastically as possible. Sure, I smoked to seem cooler to the neighbor kids, but I smoked because I wanted to. No one tied me to a chair and force fed me Winstons. My parents never made me “smoke the whole pack”. I hid it from them fairly well, and I’m sure that if I would have been caught, dad would’ve busted my ass and grounded me. I never once thought to myself “I’m sure that inhaling burning paper and plant material into my lungs won’t  have any long term effects.” I knew I was harming my lungs, but the nicotine felt so good and after the flavor shock (disgusting) wore off, I enjoyed smoking.

I wasn’t an adult. I shouldn’t have been able to, but I did. And in all honesty, I can’t blame anyone but myself. But that was 20 years ago. And the world has changed a lot since then.

Yes, the 90’s were a simpler time for sure. God, that statement makes me feel old.

But in the day and age we live now, the blame has shifted from one’s own responsibilities to the mentality that “it takes a village”. It doesn’t. We, the American people (and I’m sure the European and Canadian brethren feel the same way), do not need a body of people to tell us what’s good and bad, right and wrong, safe and dangerous. The human brain is capable of mapping the stars, circumnavigating the globe in a ship (or balloon) and popping every last kernel of popcorn without burning any of it. Science has taught us that the things that were believed in olden days are not true. You can’t ward off the black plague by keeping jars filled with farts in your house (Google it, it really was a public thought). Science has led us to the point in our life where if we don’t understand something, we can study it down to the ATOM. Let that sink in. 200 years ago, we all rode horses and donkeys. Now we can look at shit on a molecular level.

Forgive me, I’m rambling. I am wont to do that.

My point is simply this. We are an evolved enough species that you shouldn’t have to have a warning label on everything. You shouldn’t have to have someone to hold your hand through every action and tell you “This might hurt”. Wake up. Stand up. Own up.

The groups, the media, the antz that fight against vaping are using the “Save the children” format for their hate-mongering. Because let’s face it, no one is going to be able to say “Fuck the children” this is my right, because that would go over like the proverbial turd in a punchbowl. So now, if we fight against the “Save the Children” campaigns, then we’re targeting kids. From their standpoint, it’s genius.

Big Tobacco Checklist

  1. Push out product that is a known killer.
  2. Eliminate the open source market, that has proven to be an effective tobacco harm reducer.
  3. Push for bans that eliminate the use of said product.
  4. Rush to market, or buy out a start-up that will allow you to provide the same product you’re lobbying against, albeit in a much more Big Brother controlled light.
  5. Monopolize the market for the new product so that you have no competition.
  6. Make your offering of the new product a complete shit-waste of time so that people go back to your original product, which is cheaper and easier for you to produce.
  7. Continue to wrack up a death toll that puts all major wars and conflicts to shame.
  8. MAKE THAT MONEY, SON!

The most shocking thing to me, is the people who were so anti big tobacco years ago are now anti-vaping and ultimately standing on the same side as Big Tobacco. How’s that for a conundrum? You are now fighting WITH the same death merchants that you fought against for so long. If past you could see you now, they’d slap the piss outta you. You have become a mockery of your former self and you should be ashamed.

So, what about the kids?

Many “studies” have been released saying that in the last few months that say teen vaping is up to nearly 10%. Some put it over 12% and some even go as high as 15%. All while claiming that in the amount of teen smokers is down (9.2% reported in 2014 that they smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days—a decrease from 15.8% in 2011. – Via The CDC Youth Smoking Fact Sheet found here: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/youth_data/tobacco_use/). And surely that’s too high, right? Teens are obviously getting access to electronic cigarettes and using them.

Here’s my list of problems with this shitty kind of survey/study.

First of all, kids lie. Those numbers aren’t true, I assure you. They’re higher or lower, depending on the category. Kids want to look cool to their peers, so even if they don’t use e-cigs on a regular basis, they may say they do. However, on the flip side, I’m sure there are kids that swear up and down they don’t vape, but actually do.

Secondly, the studies do not make reference to the kind of gear the kids are using. I’m sure, as we all know, there are gas stations that will sell beer and cigarettes to anyone that’s big enough to put money on the counter. I’d be willing to bet that a large majority of these teen users are using the cig-a-likes offered by Blu, NJoy and the likes. There’s a highly unlikely possibility that they’re going into any reputable established vape shop and buying things. They may however, be buying online as there’s no regulation aside from a “Check here if you’re 18” and we know that prevents kids from clicking yes (see first point, i.e. kids LIE).

Lastly, is kids vaping that big of a deal? Sure, I 100% agree that vaping is an adult product to be used by adults. But what’s the alternative? Smoking? So, is it justifiable vilification of vaping if kids don’t smoke and therefore aren’t killing themselves? The true scientific studies done show that vaping is 99% safer than smoking. If 100 kids that would’ve smoked and died from lung or heart disease or cancer, instead use electronic cigarettes and live a happy, healthy life, where’s the justification that vaping is bad for teens? Where’s the proof that these kids wouldn’t have grown up smoking and killing themselves with it? There’s no study to disprove either side, but I’ll stay on the side of science. But this is also a country that has most states with a 21 and up to drink, but you can die for your country in service via the military or police/fire/ems at 18. Smart. Real smart.

But let’s look at another study. To do it, we’ll have to hop in the way-way back machine. Set course for 1998, Mr. Peabody. See, the JAMA Pediatrics division released a study in 2003 about NRT access by adolescents. That would be pre-vaping, people. We’re talking about the good ol’ nicotine gum (available in kid enticing fruit punch, strawberry, mint, etc) and the Patch.

NRT Graph 1

NRT Graph 2

NRT Graph 3

You see those numbers? Teens who smoked on average 1 cigarette a day tried NRT a whopping 16.3%!  3.4% of all teens had tried NRT at least once. And 1% had never smoked. So how can these trends in smoking reduction stand true through abstinence programs when obviously kids have used alternative forms of Nicotine for longer than vaping has been around? Maybe the reduction in kids that smoke is due to the NRT products and electronic cigarettes (can’t be called NRT) on the market. Does this mean that people should sell to kids? No, but maybe it means that kids are smarter than big government gives them credit for and are trying to find a healthier way.

The fact that the war on vaping focuses on the “Save The Children” campaign while ignoring science is infuriating. It’s even more-so when there are countless bottles of liquor flavored from cotton candy, strawberry, chocolate, coconut, raspberry, whipped cream and hundreds more of flavors being sold right now. A substance that, while illegal to children, the NIAAA says is responsible for the following:

 

 

  • Death – 5,000 people under age 21 die each year from alcohol-related car crashes, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning, and other injuries such as falls, burns, and drowning.
  • Serious injuries – More than 190,000 people under age 21 visited an emergency room for alcohol-related injuries in 2008 alone.
  • Impaired judgment – Drinking can cause kids to make poor decisions, which can then result in risky behavior like drinking and driving, sexual activity, or violence.
  • Increased risk for physical and sexual assault – Youth who drink are more likely to carry out or be the victim of a physical or sexual assault.
  • Brain development problems – Research shows that brain development continues well into a person’s twenties. Alcohol can affect this development, and contribute to a range of problems.

With a WHOPPING  35.1 percent of 15-year-olds reporting that they have had at least 1 drink in their lives and about 8.7 million people ages 12–20 (22.7 percent of this age group) reported drinking alcohol in the past month (23 percent of males and 22.5 percent of females).

Hell, the percentage of kids that have admitted to BINGE DRINKING aged 12–20 (15.8 percent of males and 12.4 percent of females) is higher than the amount of kids that have admitted to trying a vape.

Who’s the bad guy here? Why is your government trying to take away your rights and spending millions on fear spreading campaigns against vaping when they have done absolutely NOTHING to prevent the deaths related to alcohol? The answer is simple. Money. Big tobacco pays lobbyist to get their way with governments. They pervert the truth to suit their claims. If they can’t reference a study from 5 years ago (a common ploy) they pay grant money to universities to conduct research that the performing institutions do not understand with absolutely no parameters and a definite “lean” on the data.

So, what can you do?

  1. Support shops that support your right to vape.
  2. Get active with your local, state and federal government. VOTE. There are records of who votes and who doesn’t. Empty threats of “I VAPE, I VOTE” when you’ve not stepped foot in a booth since Clinton was in office will do nothing.
  3. Keep up to date with call to actions and monitor vape advocacy groups. CASAA, SFATA, and local groups like the TSFA.
  4. Be ambassadors for the vaping movement. Be respectful. Be kind. Be knowledgeable. Be conscious of your surroundings. Be the best vaper you could ever think of being.

Until next time…