I’m a member of several vaping groups on Facebook. All have their own distinct tone – some are dedicated to the making of e-liquids, some focus on the politics, most are, purely and simply, a celebration of vaping.
Joyous comments about some obscure American premium eliquid (statistically most likely to be a custard derivative), comments or questions about a particular brand of tank, batteries, coils, wicks. You get the picture. Vaping stuff.
And, nice though it is to read about all these wondrous things I can’t help feeling more than a little sad inside.
You see, come next year, May to be precise, those helpful people in the European union are passing a law that will, effectively, destroy EVERYTHING that people are currently posting on these vaping groups.
I see not one person posting up how great the new “Blu” they’ve bought is or how the flavour of that Nicolites Mint dances across their tongue like Wayne Sleep.
It also covers the advertising of electronic cigarettes which, one can only assume, could stretch to social media, meaning facebook get pressure from the UK Government to shut down any vaping groups.
Funnily enough I posed the question in one of the non-political, more hand-checky groups.
“If the TPD comes into full effect, will it make this group illegal?”
My post was deleted
Incidentally – I get the fact that the administrators of a group may want to keep a certain tone to the group and perhaps don’t feel that vaping advocacy posts have a place but, that aside, surely it’s far more important that we all put our energies into helping to save this.
The problem is that, it’s the groups where there’s more of a focus on handchecks that NEED to be made aware of what’s going to happen.
These are the groups where the new vapers are hanging out, These are people who haven’t yet fully absorbed themselves in vaping culture and often have no idea that Governments around the world want vaping to be stopped because it’s costing them and their tobacco and pharma buddies BILLIONS in lost tax and revenue, respectively .
In fact, only today, I commented on a post in UK Vaperz with a mention of the TPD. One chap had no idea of the ridiculous, heavy handed and reactionary legislation that the EU are bringing in. Another member pointed him towards the petition, now he’s signed it, he’s rightly outraged and, all being well, will spread the word.
If I’d posted a link to that in a vaping advocacy group, it would have been old news. Preaching to the converted.
So the message needs to get out to EVERYONE in all vaping groups.
Group Admins – of all facebook vaping groups, in the UK and across the EU – Can you, even just for a short while:
1 – Message all new members to welcome them, give some very brief facts about what’s happening, pop them a link to the petition
2 – Send a message out to all members, reminding them that vaping as we know it will be destroyed – it’s less likely to be destroyed if we all kick up a stink, include a link to the petition
3 – Along with the group rules which are often posted on the top of a group page, quick mention of the impending laws, link for the petition (you can see a theme here with all the petition links I’m sure)
4 – Add an image that has some relation to the TPD as your cover photo – obviously it can be as discreet as you like, I understand you’ve an image to portray but, face facts, in a year you may not even be able to have a vaping facebook group
Again, I know you may feel that this isn’t the role of a non advocacy group but, have a think, if it all goes tits up in a year’s time, will you be truly at ease with your own conscience that you did enough to help save vaping?