What can you do?
- Inundate the various social media platforms, of representatives, let them know you will not tolerate your rights to your current form of harm reduction to be taken away. Let them know, politely, that they are in this position to represent YOU and to put public health ABOVE profit and corporate pressure. Show them the links to the truth, the misuse of products being the cause of the issue in the US, show them the studies that outline the health benefits to vaping. Let them know you are all for safe regulation of vaping products, but that denying access to Australians will leave blood on their hands, as a return to smoking for many will be certain death. Other forms of contact can include: emails, handwritten letters, phone calls, in person visits, many MP’s even have google reviews for themselves – hit them all up!
- Let the media outlets know that you are appalled by their lack of ethics, that you have done your own independent research and you can see that key information is being omitted. Be polite and articulate and let the onlookers following these news outlets, (who are so easily influenced by sensationalist media and irresponsible reporting), know that you deserve to be counted. Why can we accept and implement clean rooms for intravenous drug users to support harm reduction for them, but ban and restrict support of vaping products when significant and proven harm reduction of smokers, is clear and evident?
- Donate to the Australian organisations that are working hard, advocating on our behalf. ATHRA and LVA Legalise Vaping Australia, these are not for profit groups standing up, addressing the media directly, talking to our political representatives, collating data and research to back our right to vape. Funds will help tremendously.
- Post OUTSIDE of the vaping circles, vape pages, vape social media platforms. The Australian vaping community is awesome, large and passionate, but a little insular, we all already know how outrageous the current vaping situation is in Australia, we need to be informing those outside of the vaping community, presenting the truth and the proof. Show them the reputable stories outlining the truth about the vaping issues in US, show them the reports by medical professionals, plant the seeds of doubt on how sensationalised headlines are seeking “hits” not truth. Offer easily digestible quotes and analogies: ‘So because syringes are the delivery method of illegal intravenous drug users, should we blame and ban these in the same way, vape devices were misused and filled with illicit drugs and are now facing a ban? Both syringes and vape devices are just a delivery method, anything can be misused’
Ask your loving and supportive family members to make some noise too, they may not be vapers but I bet they are reaping the benefits of your ceasing tobacco use! Let them share their experiences on watching your health improve, of seeing you successfully quit for the first time after so many failed attempts using previous NRT’s. Let them share how your family benefits from the financial burden that has been lifted now that your expensive smoking habit is no more, how they no longer cringe at the relentless morning cough and worry through winter long illness. The voice of those who have truly benefited from vaping is not the active vapers alone, it is their families, work colleagues and extended support network – we are numbers strong - now let's make those numbers count!!