Learn how to be a Vape Advocate in this blog.
Importance of Education
Education is not only about knowing what vaping has done for you, or understanding ohms law — it’s about understanding what you can do to help as an advocate. It’s also about informing yourself about a variety of current vaping research studies — don’t only look at research that aligns with your personal opinion.
Levels of Advocacy
We thought it best to help you find out how you can be involved in the process on the city, state, and federal levels. So follow me through the resources at your disposal!
- City Legislation - You can Google your City Council (e.g. Dallas City Council). Your legislature’s webpage should contain contact information, council meetings that you have the right to show up to, and a wealth of other information that will help you advocate.
- State Level - Follow this for information on the state level. It lists out links to the legislatures in all 50 US states as well as the five territories. Once you click on your respective state or territory, you will be led to a page with information on your state representatives, governor, etc. You will also be able to find and read up on bills with a quick search. A great section that allows your voice to be heard is the “Contact Us” or simply “Contact” links available on their homepages. That is the best way to write letters or call your representatives and senate members.
- National/Federal - Follow this to find information about legislation on the federal level. You will have access to the House members’ information as well as the Senate members’ information. Specifically, you will have access to their introduced bills and amendments. Make sure you find your local and state representative’s names before clicking on those lists.
Vaping Advocacy Resources
The hard part is finding the specific legislation that is on the dockets of the past, present, and future. I’ve found this to help narrow the field. What this leads you to is a map of all 50 states’ e-cigarette regulation and is up to date as of (at the time I am writing this) March 15, 2019. Advocacy organizations such as CASAA and NLAA are useful for learning more about pending local and state legislation.
I know a lot of that may be overwhelming, but now you have a better idea on how to be a vaping advocate. This gets better, don’t worry!
FDA Regulations - FDA has a webpage dedicated to tobacco product regulation that includes a great wealth of information which may be useful when contacting your legislators. Follow this to find info on guidance and regulations, compliance and enforcement, research, etc.
Vaping Research - You and I both know there is a ton of information out there dealing with research into e-cigarettes. Objectivity is encouraged when reading these articles because they contain data that should not be overlooked. Vaping advocates are also encouraged to know both sides of the debate. Be empowered by the information that is available at your disposal!
You have an influence on legislation. You should know that! You are a voter and your representatives rely on your vote when it’s election season. So how do you use your influence to take action? Voting is not the only thing you can do, thankfully!
- City-level influence
- Attend City Council meetings. This is your forum to share your story — and I cannot say this with enough emphasis —respectfully.
- Contact your City Council members directly. Their information can be found in the links we shared earlier, i.e. “(your city)” City Council on Google.
- Vote. This is your right to determine who represents you. Follow who is running for office and learn about their stance on vaping and other topics. Gather information by attending debates and submitting your questions.
- State-level influence
- Contact your District Representatives. Their information is readily available to you here. Simply enter your zip code and reach out — again, respectfully.
- Contact your State Senators. Just like your District Representatives, follow this to find your Senator(s) and their contact information.
- Vote. Like the city level, follow the people running for the Senate. Attend or watch the debates, and submit your questions! Vote for the one that you are comfortable representing you in Congress.
- Federal-level influence. The same can be said on the federal level as district and state. Be informed, follow the people running for office, contact them and ask your questions dealing with vaping, and vote!
Affect Public Perception
Your narrative on social media and person-to-person relationships is important. You can be part of others’ vaping education through a number of different ways. Here are some of those ways!
- Share your story. Experience, strength, and hope are strong tools when it comes to influencing public perception of vaping. Share your story on social media and in person. Spread the love!
- Share articles on vaping that you may or may not agree with to start a dialogue with your followers! A lot of people are willing to engage in conversation, so why not start one?
- Be respectful of others. Shouting matches don’t help anyone other than those that have hearing problems. When having those conversations, engage with respect and be a beacon of politeness! Spread the love!
- Vape where it is appropriate. Long gone are the days of indoor questions like, “smoking or non?” So be mindful of where you vape. Quite simple!
- Inform yourself about the other side’s perspective, especially when disagreement exists. You never know if you will learn something new that you are able to bring to the conversation, so allow yourself to have an open mind!
In The End
Vaping inspires passion and strong resistance. Contact your local legislators and be a part of the influence. Yes, it absolutely matters! Exercise your power of voting. Make sure you have all the information you need so you are not caught off guard. And possibly the most important part, vape fam… Stay WILD!
Author: Gabriel Pimentel
|Gabriel is a student of the vaping industry that loves to help inform the community! He started his vaping career in 2015 as a customer service agent and now works to write blogs for VapeWild. He loves to hear from his readers and answer their questions on Twitter!|
Posted by Gabriel on Aug 5th 2019