In the name of EVUN, I felt inspired to write a greetings message to all European vapers who once more took the time and make the effort to take to the streets around Europe to make our voices heard.
Here’s the EVUN message .. I am not sure whereabouts in Europe it has been read out or made available, so here it is for you all.
Greetings to all Vaping Advocates
By Hazel Mabe,
Founder and Coordinator of the
European Vapers United Network (EVUN)
Dear fellow vaping advocates and fellow vapers all over Europe!
This weekend is a busy one for us: In ten European countries, two of them not even part of the EU, vapers from all over the place are getting together once more to make sure our voices will be heard.
We are demonstrating for our RIGHT to a FREE CHOICE which has been in jeopardy for a long time already. In the beginning, talking about the time around 2010 and 2011, many of us might still have thought that the anti-vaping articles in the press were the result of a lack of public education, especially also a lack of education within the authorities and public health functionaries which had been fighting tobacco dependency for a long time already.
But we soon had to realize and admit to ourselves that they did not lack education at all! Independent studies were available back then already: not as plenty as today, but there were quite a few. However, our adversaries seemed to focus on only those studies which were in disfavour of the e-cigarette – and we might have had a little suspicion why they would do that?
Well, I guess over the past 2-3 years the reason why became more and more obvious:
WE, the growing and thriving vaping community put THEM under jeopardy … and by THEM, I mean several stakeholder groups, each of them alone being a mighty adversary already.
- There were those who realized the potential of the personal vaporizers, mainly the potential to get people off of cigarettes – and immediately claimed they had to be classified as a medication – with all the implications involved in bringing a new pharmaceutical product on the market. Of course the reason behind this claim was to make up for losses in their own market branch of nicotine replacement products which many of us had tried out already and discarded as completely useless. And very probably we would not remain the only ones discovering the advantages of a personal vaporizer over a patch or a nicotine gum! That had to be counteracted — best would be to just “swallow” the new threat and thus increasing profits even more!
- Then there were those who realized the potential of the personal vaporizers, mainly their potential to get people off of cigarettes – and they were VERY unhappy about it, because they saw their future revenues go down the drain rapidly with a very restrictive legislation and ever less freedom to act like the tycoons they once had been. THEY claimed that personal vaporizers must be treated as cigarettes, they have to look like cigarettes, taste like cigarettes and in the long run be just a “complementary cigarette” for situations when a “real one” is not allowed or not desirable…. And of course, they are doing everything to get this precious new product into their hands – exclusively of course, so that they can offer the market what THEY want them to get – and this is definitely NOT the better option to their mean old fags! It’s a fig leaf in a billion $$$ industry, a fig leaf to just show off … AND an instrument to wipe out their unloved, REAL competition: the young, creative, thriving industry, with innovations which over the past few years have mostly been consumer-driven! Of course, you have already guessed who I’m talking about: Yes, right, that’s Big Brother T.!
- Thirdly, there were those who realized the potential of the personal
vaporizers, mainly their potential to get people off of cigarettes – and they too, were very unhappy about it, because: who would come to them for advice any longer? How could people dare do their own “withdrawal process” in their own time and space, without any help from any charity, or industry … shortly: without the help of those who always thought that they were NEEDED to TELL people how easy it is to “just quit”. To THEM it never occurred that there might be a possibility to do BOTH: keep the ritual and YET avoid the harm of burning tobacco! Because NOT EVERYBODY who took up vaping had in mind to use it to stop smoking! What an AFFRONT! By now you might have guessed who I am talking about: it’s the fanatic anti-smokers, ideologists, the self-approved do-gooders of this world. And those are led by a World organisation which dares to put the word “health” in its name … while over the past years it became crystal clear that they have degenerated into the public relations branch of the handful of most powerful global players in the pharmaceutical market – and from their point of view, probably rightfully so: After all, you don’t want to bite the hand which feeds you. And these big global players in the pharmaceutical market meanwhile donate 70 per cent of the complete budget of this so-called “health” organization! Of course, they will feed a lot of that money into smaller organizations of what a well-known blogger in this field calls “useful idiots” … organisations which deal with anti-tobacco propaganda… ANY more questions anyone?
- And finally there were those who realized the potential of the personal vaporizers, mainly their potential to get people off of cigarettes – and they got really REALLY scared, and I mean: REALLY! After all, if it was true what they said, that e-cigarettes reduced the health risks of smokers by at least 90% in comparison to “real ones” … how much longer would they live? How many more years would they enjoy their pensions? And how the hell, would they be able to smooth out the dent in their national finances if ever more smokers would break free from tobacco and thus the income through cigarette taxes would crumble?
- But it doesn’t stop here! There is still a fifth group which we need to address – a group whose actual task would normally be to inform the population about everything going on, in an unbiased and well-researched way: the Media! This group has to deal with a helluva problem of its own: it’s constantly under pressure, with the popularity of the internet having grown fast and steadily, many of them were in danger to go out of business, and a lot of them still are. So they had to streamline their companies and rationalize their production. The result is a downright lack of culture in journalism, peaking in a mere copy-paste mentality … and WHAT they are copying-pasting, is being given to them again, by a few globally firmly established news agencies —- AND by an army of public relations managers in big organizations. Group Number three – the useful idiots, you remember? – has discovered the principle of cultivating and feeding some useful idiots themselves… they are incredibly industrious, incredibly inventive, and very often, incredibly corrupt and ruthless in pursuing their goals. They stop at nothing: not even in producing junk science with eye-catching headlines which are pre-manufactured and oh so easy to copy-paste! And thus we have been flooded with tons and tons of disinformation, made-up cases and even blatant lies. Those who WERE already vapers would easily suss it – but what about the inexperienced and clueless majority of the population? Of course they would fall for the lies, because “after all I’ve read it in the paper” or “they said it on tv the other day”.
OKAY – ONE of these stakeholders alone would have given us enough to deal with for the rest of our lives, right? But, there’s a saying in German and it goes: “Everything you don’t need, you will get excessively.” I guess the Universe is really doing an excellent job here putting us in front of FOUR mighty counterparties! They present us with a four-fold challenge which we have to master, all at the same time, everything simultaneously! This is quite a handful, right?
Many of us have been involved in this struggle for our CIVIL RIGHT and PERSONAL FREEDOM OF CHOICE for some years already – many of us are exhausted and tired. And YET: here we still are — here YOU ALL still are!
I would like to THANK EVERYBODY who made the effort to get to one of the places where these demonstrations are happening – you are VALUABLE, EACH ONE of you is precious – not only for our joint efforts and struggles, but precious as a human being in their own right and dignity, a human being making up their own mind, and sticking to your own better comprehension of what is good FOR YOU, not the person right next to you, not your boss, not your government. It is YOU who matters, please keep this always in mind!
Kudos to you all for carrying on and giving each other support – and by that, new hope, fresh energy, new courage! Please let’s all keep sticking together like we did over the past 5 years , for
UNITED WE STAND – DIVIDED WE FALL!