Conspiracy?  eCigarette Alarmists Have Their Day

As the calendar rolls on toward April and the unveiling of Big Brother’s decision on how to treat the only viable, in my mind anyway, alternative to tobacco illness and death gets closer, the frequency in which alarmist articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, and other Internet communication vehicles increase. It’s like a Presidential election and the first Tuesday in November is inching closer and closer. All the stops are pulled, the gloves come off, and things are said that can never be unsaid, at least for a day or so, or at most, the day after the election… It’s beginning to look like a conspiracy is afoot. But no…

When I sat down to write this opinion piece I made the conscious decision to leave out all links and references to the myriad of articles, podcasts…blah blah blah, so that we, Spinfuel, wouldn’t fall into the same trap many others have; which is helping these assclowns with their pageviews.

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It Really Is All About Pageviews

One more time, there is no conspiracy here. What there is through, is a ‘hot button’ and that hot button is called ‘pissing off the vapers’ and the reward for pissing off the vapers is a dramatic increase in pageviews. The delightful reward for the increase in readers are many, but not necessarily in this order; ego, Google AdSense, ad impressions, banner click-thrus, and… The satisfaction of a job well executed. A hit piece. And believe me, there are many people out there that like calling themselves writers who like to ‘stir the pot’, ‘get the energy flowing’, and ‘bring it to the fore’ (I particularly like that one) and who are no more than ‘word whores’ who’s turn-on is to get other people reacting to their words.

These word whores are no more invested in the outcome of the FDA decision on eCigarettes than you or I on the outcome of the wheat crop in the lower 40 of some generic farm sitting somewhere on the continent of Australia. Money (pageviews) and ego (reaction), these are the driving force for all the recent garbage being published, no matter what their self-proclaimed altruism looks like.

Disclaimer: From time to time, I too like to see that my words are reaching people. I, and by extension the entire staff of Spinfuel, work hard to increase our pageviews as well. I guess the only difference between the word whores and ourselves is that unlike them, we believe and we care about every topic we write about.

I had suspected money and ego were the driving forces for some time now, but it was only this past weekend that the ‘proof’ revealed itself. In an article so devious it was immediately picked up and spread throughout the #vapecommunity, one writer pulled in many Vapers and lulled them into what they thought was going to be a feel-good, positive story about the benefits of vaping, only to turn out to be, in the last paragraph, nothing more than a sad grab for readers.

If you’ve been paying even a little attention to vaping news this past weekend then there is an almost certainty that you know which article I’m talking about. But like I said, I’m not going to generate any more pageviews for this clown so I’m not going to link it.

This clever idiot begins his piece writing about the evils of tobacco (so far so good), then moves into how eCigarettes saved his life (even better), and then flipped on that stance and wrote about the “potential” evils of the eCigarette and how he was essentially fooled and wrote, honestly now, “I was more likely inhaling Chinese-made antifreeze”. (WTF?)

After being tricked into traipsing over to the website where the article appears I became convinced that all this increase in negative ecigarette hit pieces that are popping up wasn’t so much an orchestrated conspiracy by any group of anti-smoking zealots and was instead a ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ mentality.

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Does anyone think for a second that the writers of these pieces care at all what you think, or bother to read the well thought out comments that are left behind by readers who were sucked in? Does anyone think that the author’s mind can be changed with just the right comment? Instead, every time a comment is left that causes someone else to comment on that comment, and so on and so forth, the author is smiling, knowing that Google analytics is registering each time that piece is seen, over and over and over.

Why do we engage these people, these naysayers and “nattering nabobs of negativism” (W. Safire), who spit out their silly, ill-informed, ego-driven drivel? I use the word “we” because I’ve engaged these people myself. No one is immune, at first. We all think we can reach another human being if we say the right thing.

It is natural for us to want to say something to the person that is so obviously wrong, to leave a comment that can pierce through the veil and convince the writer that her or she missed this point or that point. But in this case, in the #vapecommunity, we’re dealing with people who will reject or ignore any point we want to make.

Once Upon A Time…

There was a time when I was convinced that there was something going on with certain anti-smoking groups and people who for some strange reason have it out for people who have chosen to continue using nicotine. Over time I became less and less convinced, but it wasn’t until was this last article, this near-perfect example of bait-n-switch that convinced me otherwise.

Sure, I certain there are letter writing campaigns by anti-smoking zealot groups that occur, that’s to be expected. And on occasion there might be a zealot who has a friend that writes for “X” magazine or website and that zealot asks the friend to write about the subject, and yadda yadda, shit happens. These aren’t conspiracies, they’re opportunists, plain and simple.

Irrelevant

April is coming whether we like it or not, and what the FDA does, or proposes to do is already a done deal. No one connected to the FDA, no one with the power to make legislation or propose legislation is going to be swayed one way or the other now. The petitions are being signed, the personal vaping stories has been written and submitted… now we wait.

How about, from here on out, we all forego posting, tweeting, or otherwise distributing links to anti-eCigarette hit pieces and deprive all the opportunist asshats of their precious pageviews and ego strokes? Let’s make them completely irrelevant to the #vapecommunity. That would be the worst punishment of them all… being ignored.

John Manzione

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