Mark Benson Says Ask The Vapers
As the US authorities begin one of the most negative advertising campaigns they have ever created, with electronic cigarettes the target, what is happening? This is an industry which is set to be worth in excess of $2 billion in the US alone during 2015 with hundreds of millions of dollars more from global markets. The simple fact is that critics and supporters of the industry will NEVER agree so surely the time has now come to talk to the vapers?
Too many people talking with no authority
There are groups and groups of individuals, both for and against electronic cigarettes, who put themselves forward as spokespeople for the vaping industry and the general public. The vast majority of these individuals are of a particular political persuasion which is very often against electronic cigarettes. So why are we letting those in authority speak for those who actually have the experience and knowledge these individuals sadly lack?
The simple fact is that if you want to know the pros and cons of vaping then speak to the vaping community!
Is there a danger of bias comment?
While the vaping community can be a vocal group, especially when prodded with the proverbial stick by critics, the simple fact is there are millions of electronic cigarette users around the world. If the authorities took the time and the effort to speak to a wide selection of vapers then maybe, just maybe, they might get to the truth about electronic cigarettes?
There will obviously be individuals with a heavy bias for or against electronic cigarettes but if enough people within the community engaged with a large and informative survey, then biased opinions will be diluted by the masses. We need to get to the bottom of the pros and cons of electronic cigarettes, the personal experiences of users and who is better placed to compare tobacco and electronic cigarettes?
Are the authorities running scared?
While there is obviously heavy bias for and against electronic cigarettes with perhaps misleading statements from both sides, the data to date seems to indicate no concerns regarding long-term health issues. It is also worth noting that the industry itself has been very transparent in relation to research and medical trials. Even though the data so far has been very positive there is still a need for more long-term feedback. At this moment in time it looks as though the authorities, who have been highly critical of the industry, have most to lose.
It is also ironic to see the US authorities launching a biased and highly negative/potentially misleading advertising campaign against the electronic cigarette industry. Twitter is on fire today with an advert from the US authorities offering to pay $2,500 plus expenses for someone to star in an anti-electronic cigarette ad. The offer is very clear about what type of person they are looking for, somebody who has used tobacco cigarettes and electronic cigarettes, resulting in a negative experience. How is that giving an unbiased opinion?
The only way to get to the bottom of the electronic cigarette phenomenon is to speak to a wide range of individuals who actually use/have used these products. We will then be able to recognise trends, individual experiences and perhaps gather information that might allow the regulators to create an environment which is both consumer and business friendly? The simple fact is that there are millions of individuals out there who use electronic cigarettes and many will be more than happy to give their opinions.
Why these people have never been asked to participate is in itself a scandal?