Saturday, 12 December 2015

Norwegian vapers protesting against the TPD

Vapers gathered outside the courthouse in
Trondheim
Today was the day Norwegian vapers hit the streets to show that we're not at all happy with our governments attempt to implement the TPD. I was attending the demonstration in Trondheim, where somewhere between 40 and 50 people gathered to protest against the governments disguised TPD implementation. Now I know this might not sound to impressive, but you have to take into account that Norway is not a very big country, and only a bit less than 180.000 people live in Trondheim. Besides... those 40 to 50 people made sure we were noticed when walking down the busiest shopping street in town.

Loads of banners and posters

A lot of work had been done before the demonstration, making posters, flyers and contacting the media to try to get some attention. The media, however did not seem too interested here in Trondheim, and only one local newspaper from a bit further north in Norway said they would come (and they did). So we were pretty happy when another guy with a camera came along while we were standing outside the courthouse, asking for someone in charge. He was from rus.no, who writes about substance abuse and addiction, and he had noticed our little ad in Adressa, the biggest local newspaper in Trondheim.

Outside the courthouse a speech from NDS (Norwegian Union of Vapers) was given, flyers were handed out to people passing by, some of us talked to people that stopped, wondering what this was all about and there was even a raffle where all the profits were given directly to the pulmonary department of St. Olavs hospital here in Trondheim. Hopefully this might get the attention of some doctors as well.

After protesting outside the courthouse, we walked through town, down the busiest shopping street. Some were handing out flyers to smokers and others who looked interested... and some made some noise. Eventually we ended up at Dampoteket, Trondheims only vape shop which opened just a couple of weeks ago. 
Vapers - Make some NOISE!

Although we had hoped for a bit more attention from the media here in Trondheim, I'd say we made ourselves noticed. In Oslo on the other hand, we've gotten reports that the media showed a bit more interest. The protests were even covered by national television (TV2), so I'd say it was a great success. I'm not sure how many turned up in Oslo, but what I've heard so far is that it was more than expected. Getting the attention of the media is crucial in this matter so having TV2 covering the protest is great. The focus from TV2 was that vaping will be treated in the same way as smoking in the governments proposal, which might not be the whole truth but still a good place to start and something that most people will understand. I guess the general public won't understand much if we start talking about mg/ml and all the technical stuff. This might actually be part of the problem as well; the politicians making these decisions have no idea what they're deciding on, so keeping it a bit simpler might not be such a bad idea. One thing people will understand is the health benefits presented on TV2 by Yvonne Johnsen and although the proposal made by the government suggests that 2nd hand vaping is equivalent to 2nd hand smoking, Yvonne and others were at least given the opportunity to say that we do not at all agree with this. Even if they were not able to explain properly why we don't agree, hopefully more media will pick up on and follow up on this, and hopefully our politicians will actually start doing their jobs and listen to people who know stuff rather that people who own stuff. Yeah I know it's a lot to hope for, but if the media takes the bait, at some point they will be forced to listen. 

I haven't heard that much from the protests in Bergen and Kristiansand yet, but I do believe quite a few people turned up there as well. Having these demonstrations in more places than just Oslo will show our politicians that there are vapers all around Norway, and none of us are happy with what they're trying to do.

I really do hope we'll see some good balanced articles and news reports on this next week and I'll make sure to keep you up to date. I'd also like to thank all the vapers showing up today fighting, not only for their right to vape, but for the lives of all the smokers that still have not made the switch. And a huge special thanks to all the dedicated people who have made this possible, you know who you are. 

TV2 covered the protests in Oslo



Vapour UK

51 comments :

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