In the past two months, I have been to two vape functions. I can tell you that electronic cigarettes and their meaning in society has definitely changed. For the better? Well, I guess that is up to the individual's opinion. For me? Yes and no. From the days that I started vaping using straight drip atomizers, leaking ego-t's and nothing even remotely better on the market, yes they have developed and grown to become bigger, better and more fulfilling. However, they are pushing the envelope with me. Have you seen the pictures of the MOD that exploded? Or the pictures, forums, blogs and tweets where an individual blows as dense a cloud as they can to cover the entire front of a Mack truck, calling it a "sport"? This grossly diminishes the health focus and life changing gift these units are supposed to be aimed to address. The sport in it is overshadowing the blessings these provide to those who want to change their lives by switching. Is it a sport? Not to the 65 yr old woman who walks into a shop wanting to lay cigarettes down before they kill her after 40 years of smoking. Not to the son who begged and begged his mom or dad to quit so they would be able to not be embarrassed or go to school smelling like smoke or just because they would like mom or dad to see their grandchildren grow. There are a million reasons why people are choosing to switch to electronic cigarettes. There are also a million reasons this "sport" is killing any chance it may have to make a difference. Has it gotten out of hand? Absolutely.
As the shop owner, Mod inventor, e liquid manufacturer....is there not a burden that is placed on you to do due diligence? Basic lab tests, reverse battery protection, circuitry in units for battery protection, standards for safety for what you sell, mix and create....where is the responsibility? You have taken a beautiful swan and turned it into the ugly duckling, and it was yours to control. Hold yourself, your shop and your customers accountable for being responsible for the safety of the population and for education. If it's not safe, don't sell it. If it's not pure, don't mix it.
I miss the days where it was an alternative and not how much money you could make, how many mack trucks you could cover or how low-can-you-go on ohms.
This week, I will now travel to Washington DC to speak with legislators and attempt to persuade them to help back us against the powers that be. To see past the smoke and mirrors. To try and ignore the bad publicity, some of which the media has created and most recently the media we have created ourselves. I have to stand amongst them and hope they see past this to the greater good. To see the grandmothers, cancer survivors, babies and children that this has all helped and blessed for a better life. After some of these meets/conferences, I wonder why I even bother, when it seems the masses don't care themselves. But then I remind myself that the travel, the time, the investment, the pressure, it all is worth it to keep these products in the hands of those who appreciate the freedom and chance to make a better life for themselves and everyone around them. The question remains is whether I can persuade them enough to keep refillable units on the market, as they are the true product that has scientifically been the ones that have truly worked to help these people switch. They are under fire, make no mistake about it. And they should be. They have evolved well past the safely made, safely mixed, products that were once made with care and compliance and standards, now being seen as a money maker and made with the intention to sell, sell, sell, despite the safety issues or ingredients they contain. If it helps to sell it, who cares.
It's your gift people. You can treat it like the gift it is and act responsibly, or you can destroy it by polarizing it the way you are in the eyes of the regulators and government officials. Leave the sport on the courts and fields.