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Controversial Question

Here is a controversial question to begin with: Is nicotine still necessary to include in eliquids? I’m honestly asking the community of vapers who have taken the time to read this article as well as the time it takes to think this question through.

All in all, I’d say yes, nicotine is crucial for the harm reduction of smoking. However, with the introduction of botanical substances with nicotine-like effects, like Alterna – I start to think that perhaps including nicotine is not necessary. After all, Alterna will not be regulated under the FDA regulations due to it’s non-nicotine properties.

Therefore, I don’t know what to think now. When they send me a bottle to sample, I’ll inform those who may be interested in my overall thoughts and also include more detail about this product in a separate article.

Define Your Own Efforts

As an advocate for vapor-based products designed specifically as smoking alternatives that have paved the way to usher in tobacco harm reduction as an intelligent decision, do you feel the advocacy community has become divided? More united? Or, have has advocacy been spread out into many different sub categories?

This is a touchy subject for some vape advocates, business owners and the average vaper as well as the most advanced hobbyists and it is certainly understandable – but, it must be addressed: Why do you advocate for vaping? If you had to summarize your advocacy efforts, what would they be?

The Efforts of the Many Advocates

Overall, there are so many advocates for Vaping that perhaps there has been an oversaturated advocacy sector established without all advocates even being aware of it – I’m sure many have become well aware, but I’m almost certain some have not noticed.

There are so many advocates who are associated with a vape-related business whether they work for or own a vape-related business, there is such a large portion of the advocacy community who identify as such. Then again, there are some in the industry who do not advocate, which I’m not so sure I even understand the reasons for that.

Not to mention, there are also a number of consultants who have been forced into this industrial conundrum or who have forced their way in – who are all strong proponents of the vape industry, but all of these organizations have established proven strategies and preferable agendas which may slightly differ from one another.

They may all very well be advocating in the name of vaping, yet perhaps not all individual regular vape advocates are entirely aware of this massively conflicting situation. The situation is that there are a number of reasons as to why so many are looking to help the vaping cause, but what are those reasons exactly?

Denial of the Obvious

It was my personal assumption that most who identify as advocates for vaping, advocate for either harm reduction, regulations and/or business reasons. Time and time again, we’ll see so many avid vapers who are advocating for repealing the regulations, while there are also others who do it in support of small business, or many advocates will express the importance of tobacco harm reduction – in hindsight, my personal assumptions as that most advocate for all those reasons. Yet there may also be reasons for advocating that you never truly considered.

All in all, it’s easy to believe that we know everything when it comes to advocacy, yet we do not. Some may be thinking “speak for yourself” but it’s entirely impossible to know absolutely everything about anything. Even the most highly regarded expert could never be “all-knowing.”

Realization

Either way, I didn’t realize this as much until I was caught off guard during a debate via social media. Perhaps I was overlooking a vital exception and possible resolution for avoiding the FDA regulations. The vast scope of why each proponent of the lifestyle might be advocating for vaping with entirely different reasons than myself. I was under the naive assumption that advocates were all one massive front, yet in the back of my mind, I knew this was not the case.

When another advocate  told me I was supporting nicotine usage by supporting current vape shops, I almost felt my head about to explode. As my mind was overloaded with questions and confusion. How is that a bad thing? Small businesses are essential to our way of life.

Not to mention, my confusion was so intensely heightened because I thought the whole point of this lifestyle was to allow others a chance to quit smoking, hence harm reduction – and having nicotine included in the liquids is most likely instrumental to the overall process of quitting smoking. Yes? No? Maybe so?

Regardless, it was at that time I realized just how much our Advocating efforts may be undefined And so perhaps vape advocacy is slightly undefinable – unless we are using a one page, sectioned outline for a platform of producing a descriptive and multi-faceted definition.

Advocacy Status

There are also a number of different Advocate types based on one’s personal reasons for deciding to advocate for vaping. So, to return to my initial question, what are you advocating for? Tobacco harm reduction? Nicotine? Small businesses? Deregulation? Eliquid alternatives? All of the above? None of the above? Or, perhaps you may be one of the infiltrators – those who have no interest in this vapor phenomenon, yet sought out on a path to infiltrate the ranks of advocacy in hopes of financial gain since you had determined that “vape advocacy was widely-respected trend in the market? Who knows? At this juncture, many more questions than actual answers remain and it will be difficult to make this fact change.

Feel free to leave a comment. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

  • wendy k lindsay

    To my understanding thought Alterna is or was under the umbrella of big tobacco ? If that’s the truth. Why would anyone want to purchase anything from them with or with out nic ?

    • Tony

      Well said Wendy, I agree that this social system we need needs a cultural makeover, but at the same time, to quote a brilliant Economist, Robert Reich “the American Spirit cannot be contained – motivated by a mixture of curiously & greed, Western Capitalism has grown and continues to expand. Those who want something better, and have the best tools at their disposal to get it, will gain ground.” Interpret that quote as you will. That’s the reality though, which I’m sure you are well aware, we are up against an insurmountable economic force. The problem is finding a solution to alter an entire society’s mindset, but it’s even bigger now with the relentless globalization of our culture of capitalism. Thus, where do even begin when it becomes a game of influencing the replacement of principles to an ever expanding, ubiquitous economic force? I guess the best place to begin is advocating…specifically for the independent vape industry in America (we’ve seen far too many friends lose their livelihoods for doing something that helps people). Thank you for being a passionate advocate. Also, I was unaware Alterna was Big Tobacco – as I think I mentioned in are our other discussion – is it the same one? There are like 25 businesses with the Alterna name, so that’s why I ask. I’ll find out as they just sent me a bottle so I will be interviewing them soon. Until then, keep advocating, b/c it’s working!

  • I’ve been feeling alienated by many prominent vaping advocates, lately. For me, vaping nicotine is enjoyable, and alternative to smoking. Although, it seems as if advocates are “supposed” to emphasize the THR benefits, of vaping, including lowering nicotine levels and reducing your eLiquid intake.

    I’ve experienced loss of family (my mother), and friends (my best friend, included), due to smoking-related diseases and would like to see vaping as an option for them to quit. I also would like to see it remain as an option as an alternative to smoking. It’s a freedom, to me, like any other “vice.” The Nanny State needs to go! I guess I’m one of those who’ve become obsessed with politics! 😉