Wednesday, 1 April 2015
Why do politicians speak for the vaping community?
Speak to them!
It is simple, if you're looking for feedback, both positive and negative, about vaping products then you speak to the people who use them. Even supporters and the industry itself readily acknowledge that electronic cigarettes are not for everybody and a wide ranging survey would create both positive and negative feedback. The simple fact is that you will never please all of the people all of the time and, at the end of the day, negative feedback is just as important as positive feedback.
Getting to the finer details
One example where politicians seem to have taken the upper hand is the alleged targeting of children by electronic cigarette companies. Despite the fact that the industry introduced its own code of practice banning the sale of vaping products to those under 18 years of all age, this seems to have been ignored by critics. Indeed, these are the same politicians who are currently pushing through a law banning the sale of vaping products to those under 18 years of age - yet they still focus on this issue.
The reality is that everybody, both for and against electronic cigarettes, would benefit from a greater understanding of how the general public see the vaping industry and indeed their own personal experiences. As we touched on above, vaping products are not for everybody and some will enjoy them while others will not. This is the reality of life supplying a product, or indeed a service, to the wider general public.
Give the public a chance to speak
We only need to look at the European debacle, with the European Commission pushing through strict regulations for the future despite the fact that politicians had initially voted against these, to see the opinions of the establishment. Indeed, it turns out that a medical report used as the basis for strict regulation of the industry going forward was allegedly "misquoted" and that comes from the authors themselves. There was a stage where the general public were contacting their local politicians to vent their anger and their concerns about the link between political parties and the tobacco/pharmaceutical industries. Surprise, surprise, these concerns seem to have been dismissed?
The reality is that while the vaping industry is most certainly gaining the trust of the general public the constant barrage of misinformation and untruths emanating from the political arena are causing concern and confusion. All that the industry wants is for unbiased clinical trials to receive the same publicity as negative comments and, perhaps more importantly, to hear the views and opinions of those who regularly use electronic cigarettes or have perhaps used them in the past for a short time.
The only way we can reach an agreement between supporters and critics of the vaping industry going forward is to appreciate the opinion of everybody with a positive, negative and unbiased view. A wide-ranging survey taking in the largest possible pool of people would give some excellent feedback and dilute the excesses which would emanate from supporters and critics of the industry alike. Let us find a happy medium and a sensible source of information!