Kevin and I got to talking a couple days ago and we came up with this crazy confusing idea because we were both thinking about blogging on pretty much the same things. Instead of us both blogging on our respective sites, I asked Kevin if he’d like to do a dual blog post with me. He writes his initial blog and I respond with my 2 cents. You end up with 2 small time advocates views and opinions on pretty much the same subjects, but it’s a dialogue and not just one sided. My responses will be in purple and bold.
Kevin: A couple weeks ago, there was a vaping meet in New Jersey. If you’re reading this, you probably already know there was no vaping allowed.
VMS: I am still completely baffled as to why anyone would organize an event in a state with a public vaping ban. It makes no sense whatsoever!
Kevin: I’m a non-scientific kind of guy. I had a back & forth on a thought months ago with another person I respect via email – We, I don’t remember who “thought” of it, but we were discussing what else we could DO to benefit our cause. That conversation turned to me attending a vape meet, and one of us said – what a great place to monitor the air!
A vape meet would be the PERFECT place. Stick some monitors up on booths. Put some on the entry/exit signs. Don’t even tell anyone. Just do it, lets find out what’s in the air, good or bad. By good or bad, I mean GOOD or BAD.
VMS: I too thought this was a great idea and I still do. Just like when Dr. Farsalinos tested e-liquid for diacetyl content the results were largely NOT in our favour as a community or an industry. I still find it upsetting that this information, up until recently, has been ignored by some of our leading e-liquid manufacturers. It took Five Pawns being outed by Cloud 9 for their diacetyl and AP levels to get companies to start making a change. Why the delay when we have had clear NEGATIVE evidence that this problem existed?
Kevin: Well, with the Jersey thing this weekend, someone on a facebook group said something about the Health Department missing a great opportunity to do just that. I agreed. It went to twitter, I tagged Carl Phillips, Chief Scientific Officer at CASAA
where I was told:
Well, maybe it’s me, but that seemed condescending. Again, I’m not a scientist, more of a lover of vape. I intentionally don’t want to find out it violates OSHA standards, I want to find out that it doesn’t. Come down to my level a moment.
That felt at a first GlANTZ that I was being told to pound sand – aaand I digress. I played stupid, but don’t understand.
But there’s this, *Carl from you in June *I’m a huge fan!) :
VMS: Carl is a difficult one. The limited communication I have had with him through twitter has always been swift and to the point. At times, it felt harsh. I’m not sure if this is just down to it being social media and an inability to convey emotion through 140 characters or just the way it comes across. No matter, really. Carl is a great asset to the cause.
Back to Farsalinos diacetyl study. I am prepared to accept negative results. Results that can create a positive change. If we find out that the air quality at large events like this is really bad for us, then that only serves for us to improve the way we conduct these events. If we are going to keep claiming that our vaper in small quantity is harmless to bystanders and ourselves, then we should know what it is doing to us and bystanders on a larger scale.
Kevin: On Facebook, it was handled a bit differently.
Kevin: For better or worse, why HASN’T it been done? Why NOT? I’m still, even after the few paragraphs you’ve read, not a scientist. Let say out in Sunny California, there was, or will be a meet. Someone REALLY wants to do this on the anti-vaping side of our lives. THEY get the information and plaster it all over the news on the worst possible outcomes. Yes… and we’re sitting ducks. Trying to chase the truth down between their propaganda and lies like the old familiar formaldehyde stupidity.
VMS: So maybe an air test at a vape meet isn’t a great idea but a large indoor air study IS. Let’s encourage companies to put money towards a controlled large scale indoor air study then? We see how quick some of them are to support campaigns like #NotBlowingSmoke, so maybe we can get them to support some more research too? My biggest concern is that someone like Glantz who has the money available to him, will get this done before WE do. We all know how people like him would spin the data and the nano-particles. Why can’t we be on the offensive for once in this game?
Kevin: How the valuable resources were attained to debunk the formaldehyde scare are beyond me. Time and money. So, it leads ME to believe we should proactively take any sensible suggestion – *I thought it was a sensible thought* – and go with it to have it in OUR hands. Both for the vaper and anyone else. Proactively. That’s my thought.
This study found on Vape About It concludes:
“…new study published in the Dec. 2014 issue of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology found conclusive data that the vapor emitted from e-cigs and personal vapor devices is non-toxic. In other words, vaping is safe.”
Among other things, if it is already deemed “safe” and the second/third hand studies were also debunked, why NOT go all out at a vape meet, or at least a good Saturday afternoon at a large scale Brick & Mortar? Why NOT?
VMS: I don’t see a good enough reason why not. “Handing the ANTZ” ammunition isn’t a good enough excuse anymore. If we don’t tackle and combat it before they do, then they surely have all the ammunition they need. “They had the opportunity to test it, but all they care about is getting you addicted to nicotine and not about the safety of the product.” We already have this fight on our hands. It doesn’t matter what move we make as long as we are always on the defensive. I have the utmost respect for Carl and Greg both, but I simply don’t agree with burying our heads in the sand. As a vaper and a consumer that supports AVA and CASAA, I was disappointed by both of their responses, but can also understand where they are coming from. I do think that this is something that needs further discussion by the “heads” of our community though and should not be ignored or passed off as being another silly idea.
Kevin: It probably has been done and there was no conclusive evidence to it being “bad”… or they’d have pounded us with it, or it really hasn’t been done to a “vape meet arena scale”.
SO, why NOT? Well, if arenas are too big why not do it at a weekend full vape shop. Lets put it to the test. Lets FIND out what is in it. Anyone reading this who’s in the environmental field got an idea as to how?
So, what are we hiding? If it hasn’t been done by us, shame on us. If it’s been done by “Glantz” or some other anti, they’d be ALL over it if it were bad. Just like the “aiming at children” packaging, nobody wants to bring THAT up until recently. Sadly, it’s been being brought up for some time. Why not get ahead of it? Why WAIT until we’re sideswiped by a big ANTZ truck full of what they WANT to tell us. If we’re not LEADING this industry in research, we’re all pounding sand.
VMS: Again, I have to agree here. We need to be on the ball and get on the offensive. No data is bad data, bad data is bad data, but GOOD data even if it has BAD results, can be improved upon. Also, to be fair, I don’t think the community is really hiding anything, I think some of us are just more reluctant in wanting to KNOW. Does that make sense?
Kevin: I do “what I can” to support and advocate. Sometimes I’m spot on, sometimes I’m out of line.
I DO what I can. I don’t like waiting, I like action. I don’t like being told to shut up. I don’t like being told “don’t talk about that”. I don’t like being suppressed. This is TOO frigging important.
VMS: I had an entire blog written up and dedicated to this subject. The “little advocates” compared to the big advocates. I haven’t published it yet because it’s mostly me getting really frustrated and angry.
Lately though, I have seen too many “that’s silly” “we can’t do that” “don’t do that” “been there done that it didn’t work” “why didn’t you run this past me first” and the one I hate the most, “let us deal with it”.
I have watched every day people, those working as a cashier or a stay at home mom, who want to get involved in advocacy, who are trying their best with what little they know, get told they’re basically a nuisance, that they’re in the way, and incapable of coming up with any good ideas that support the cause.
This treatment of the “little advocates” is unacceptable in my opinion. Us little people with tiny voices and a lack of experience put a lot of these people on point as our front men & women and those people accepted that responsibility. With that responsibility should come the decency to treat us “little advocates” with patience and respect. If we don’t deserve that at the very least…
Know what I think? Screw them. No one in this industry, any company or another advocate tells me what I can and can’t do and none of you should let them tell you either. Suggestions are great, advice is amazing, but if they shoot you down and make you feel like a fool, fuck them. Find someone/something else to put your support in and don’t let it defeat your purpose!
If your message is STRONG, if it can be backed up by evidence and you are prepared to defend your message, then go for it! Either people will pay attention or they won’t. Do NOT let anyone in this community tell you that your THOUGHTS or IDEAS or EFFORTS to protect this product are ‘not good enough”.
Kevin: I will do what Dr. Farsalinos said above, at any cost, including questioning integrity.
VMS: In the last 6 months I have watched many people change their stance on what to fight and what not to fight. 3 months ago, letting companies know that we thought their kid friendly logos were bad, was a GOOD idea and was ENCOURAGED. Now? It’s “who cares?” “this is an adult product being sold to adults in an adult store.” Funny that because 3 months ago that’s not what I was hearing. Reminder, the ANTZ are still attacking child friendly branding, it is still a problem and it is one that our community CAN CHANGE. Put your money where your mouth is. Tell these companies you don’t like their branding, why you don’t approve of it, and then endeavor to buy products from other companies who clearly care about protecting this product.
It’s the same thing with the Diacetyl and AP issues. Here in the UK and Canada, measures were taken to remove products from sale that contained levels that were deemed unsafe, yet the US has kind of just ignored it. This is another incident where I read that we should just be quiet about it and let other people deal with it in in private and away from the public. Erm. No.
If a company is playing Russian Roulette with my health, I am not going to sit here and let them get away with it while I’m told to shut up and let other more experienced people deal with it…behind closed doors where we (the public) have no idea what’s being done to correct theses issues! Uh uh. Not happening. Same as above, tell a company you don’t like their test results and move to a brand that has results YOU are happy with.
Kevin: I also believe this:
VMS: One voice may be small and quiet, but when we put all our voices together, we become loud and thunderous.
On an inspirational tweet, I created this. We’ve got petitions.
This blog was left intact – I copied/pasted it on this blog above.
UPDATE November 2015:
Update February 2016:
Look what happened months after this blog:
The original is here Pounding sand: Guest blog @vapingit: Commentary by VMS
Please GO see her!!! Vape Me Stoopid!
Keep On #Vaping On~