Recently, both Portlandia and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee have done bits on the douchebaggery Bro-ham side of the vaping world. I’ve seen posts that were very dirisive, especially about Sam B’s piece on a vape expo. It’s made many earnest vape advocates upset. Personally, I am glad they were done. They make vapers seem worse than hipsters or even the more hated Bro-Techs leaching the flavor out of living in San Francisco.
We DO have an image problem. And the problem is vape vendors themselves and consumers who promote this d-bag attitude. We ARE our own worst enemy in that respect. Hand-check pix get more attention than advocacy posts. I am personally burned out now on advocacy from just three years of “fighting the good fight” for vaping.
In my own area of rural Northern California, rare is the shop that not just sells vape gear, but is actively working with vaping aaadvocacy groups (CASAA.org for consumers, and trade groups such as SFATA.org, AVA.com, SEVIA.com, NotBowingSmoke.org, AEMSA.com-to name a few) in the ongoing struggle to combat the lies, propaganda, and straight-up hate in the form of antipathy coming from “health entities”- many of which get public funding for scaring and confusing the public about vaping being a viable tool for tobacco harm reduction.
I live in one of the poorest and sickest counties in California. Three years ago, I had aspirations of working with public health entities and regional politicians by sharing factual data with them in order to get the dialog going towards a more neutral stance. The shops around here that carry vape gear often carry (and make most of their money) from supporting the cannabis industry by supplying the butane and other equipment for making oils and waxes, plus the obligatory cannabis paraphernalia and more disturbing is the sale of tobacco products all in the same shop.
Many of the adult smokers here in Lake County, CA also have co-morbid health issues and would benefit greatly from making the switch. And switching to vaping from combusted analogs doesn’t cost Medicare/Medi-Cal (Medicaid)- Medicare which covers the cost of the barely effective Nicotine Replacement Therapies such as gums, candies, sprays and inhalers. By the way, I haven’t seen any of the legislation drafted and passed so far that INCLUDES these products made by Big Pharma included in the highly restrictive actions taken to kill off personal vaping devices. In fact, many versions of these pieces of legislation ignore them and put the onus on e-cigs directly. Crazy stuff like punitive taxes not only on e-liquid whether it contains USP liquid nicotine-similar (if not the same) used in NRT’s. Included in the punitive taxes is the hardware, including (insanely) batteries. The same kind of rechargeable batteries used in consumer electronic gear such as laptop batteries, mobile phone batteries, flashlights, etc.
So yeah, the Portlandia episode focused on vape shops and the Full Frontal episode on Vape Expos was cringeworthy for me to watch. Sam’s team DID interview the AVA’s spokesperson, Gregory Connelly, but did not use any of that footage.
Links: Portalandia’s piece on the unattractiveness of many vape shops that seem more of a bro-ham social club: