Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Make 2015 the year vapers when won the media war!

Before I took a short break from blogging during Christmas I kind of concluded that 2014 had been a year with a lot of ups and downs for vapers. The media published horror stories, claiming that vaping is more harmful than smoking cigarettes or that vaping would cause a new generation of nicotine addicts, and then the next week they published hallelujah-stories claiming that vaping could save millions of lives. Yesterday the Ashtray blog published a pretty amusing post on this topic: E-Cigs Cause (Media) Schizophrenia: A Case Study. As James points at the end of his post the media is of course not really as schizophrenic as they appear at times, they are just doing what they can to get as many readers as possible:
The Daily Mail isn’t really schizophrenic, it simply takes stories from both sides, and twists and manipulates them to ensure they sell the most papers.
I think this is one of the most important facts we, as vapers who want to continue fighting for our case, have to remember this year. Hopefully, we will be able to make some changes in 2015, but I believe some things will be the same... and will never change:
  • The media will write their stories to get readers and in this way earn more money. 
  • Big Tobacco and Big Pharma will continue their lobbying in 2015 for the same reason, to earn money, or maybe in their case, to avoid loosing money. 
  • Then there is Glantz and his fellow prohibitionists. These guys did not care much about facts and truth in 2014 and I have no hopes that this will change in 2015. As Steve K pointed out recently, New year, same prohibitionists
Working to stop Big Pharma or Big Tobacco or to trying to turn the prohibitionists around will pretty much be a waste of time and energy. Luckily, these are not the guys that will decide what regulations e-cigarettes will be subject to in the end. The politicians will. And politicians need support from the public to be able to stay in charge. I don't believe that e-cigarette regulations are the most important case for most politicians. Most of them probably knows very little about it, and do not care too much either. There are other, more important cases on their minds. So if the general public has a positive attitude towards vaping, chances are these politicians will have that too, just because it will give them some goodwill.

We have to remember that most people are not smokers or vapers. Most people's knowledge of the subject and their attitude towards vaping is based on what the media writes about it. Actually, from my experience, most people's attitude is based on the headlines alone. I don't have the exact percentage of non-smokers in the world today, but I don't think I'm wrong if I say it's somewhere around 70% and 80%, most of them with little knowledge of vaping other than what they read in the papers or see on their TV-screens.

For these reasons I think vapers and vaping advocates need to focus on getting the truth out in the media this year. This will affect the general public's, and the politician's, attitude towards vaping in a positive way. If we can "win" the media war in 2015, chances are that vaping will be allowed to continue saving millions of lives.

So my advice for 2015 is, if you want to help out and make a difference in this case, don't just educate yourself on vaping, but try to educate the media as well. Write a couple of emails to the local newspaper, give them some tips on the research I'm sure you've read about. Who knows... if they get enough emails, maybe they will write a story about it. And maybe some bigger newspapers or news agencies will pick up on it and the snowball will start rolling, hopefully knocking down some prohibitionists on it's way. Make 2015 they year when vapers won the media war!

3 comments :

  1. I have noticed that my local paper has not published any anti propaganda for some weeks now. What has appeared are a couple of front-page adverts from a local e-cig chain. Newspapers are in dire straits and need all the advertising revenue they can get. Is this the way forward , encouraging our vaping stores/manufacturers to take some space in local or even national press ? Certainly couldn't hurt.

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