Oct 04

We Vape; and we Vote

we vape we vote

We have all heard the stories; in fact we have all shared our story with others of how and why we started vaping. Yet we continue to fight bad media which paints a picture of how bad vaping can be for people. Why does the media flock over what it has not taken time to educate itself on, or why do they even ignore the data out there. In recent months, the RCP (Royal College of Physicians) put out their report in April 2016; encouraging the use of Vapor devices as an alternative to smoking. The RCP is accredited as one of the leading authorities of medicine in the world.

But as we move forward, it appears the new enemy is legislation in the states; driven by greed and necessity to fund government spending through means of taxation. Politicians get up on their ‘stump’ and make the cries that this needs to be done to ‘protect the children’ and even ‘we need to protect the people’. Call it being uneducated, or pure desire of greed for funding, they move forward blindly to what big lobby dollars are pushing in front of them.

When we look at the facts; perhaps we should simply look at those who have chosen to take up vaping and leave smoking behind. Rather than look at some bias report driven by big corporate interests, perhaps politicians should simply learn to stop talking and listen for the first time in their career. This year can and will be a pivotal year for politicians for a simple reason. Vapers are purely FED UP! Vapers will defend their mods and eliquid as passionately as gun owners will protect their gun rights.

The vaping population is nothing to sway or turn a blind eye to during this election year. Numbers do not lie. It is established that 6 percent of the American population now vapes. Most elections are decided simply by a 3-5 percent win on many levels. But if you factor in family members who have watched a love one quit smoking and turn to vaping, those percentages go even higher as far as 11 percent.

If we use the state of West Virginia for example; which recently passed and put into effect a 7.5 per mil tax (which actually increases the tax percentage by 60-90 percent); politicians did not pay attention when they voted. Here is why:

If 6 percent of the population of the state are truly vapers; WV has a population of 1.8 million residents. There are nearly 164 vape shops in WV as well (not counting stores that sell vaping products mixed with other store inventory). Six percent of the states population comes in at 108,000. If we take the time to factor in family members and friends who will side at a voting booth with the vaper; those numbers quickly increase to 198,000.

Since most State House seats are won with a margin of only 300-500 votes, we can quickly see how this can and will prove to be an issue for politicians running for office. On average, there are over 1500 vapers living in each Delegate District. If only half turn up at the polls and follow through with their single issue policy of defending their vaping rights this year,  each election in the state can be truly decided by the vaping community.

This is not a fabrication of unfounded truths, but in fact are numbers and figures. But each state can and may face this issue at the ballot booths this year. If every elected official took the time to realize that vapers are in fact ordinary people who have decided to make a healthier choice, then perhaps it would be a harder pill for them to swallow when deciding on legislation that was only geared and prompted by lobbyists looking at the big dollars of their employers.

But after all the legislation is passed and the tallies are taken; one thing is evident. Elected officials will only listen to the people when their next election depends on that almighty vote. Perhaps if they knew the numbers now, they would realize this is a growing industry full of passionate people who have decided that some political careers will be ended in 2016.