Freedom Friday: blu’s Founder and President, Jason Healy, on the Anti-Electronic Cigarette Agenda
Let’s set a few things straight, right from the start:
- Non-smokers dislike tobacco cigarettes, because who would want to go to a bar and come out smelling like other people’s cigarette smoke? I—a smoker—can understand that.
- Many smokers themselves don’t even want to smell like cigarette smoke. Smoke on the breath, in the hair, on the clothes—there are smokers out there who don’t want to deal with that either.
- More smokers are tired of the other hassles associated with tobacco cigarettes: flicking messy ashes, being banished outside in the cold every half hour, fumbling around for a lighter and polluting with cigarette butts.
Your Freedom to Vape Is Under Attack
But today, as you’ve been reading through blu’s Freedom Friday series, major cities across the country are looking to ban the public use of e-cigarettes. Even though the FDA has already said it will regulate e-cigarettes in the very near future (a move I and the team at blu totally support), a handful of local governments is taking legislative action to restrict e-cigarette use without any real scientific evidence to support their actions.
What the bans in New York and Chicago have in common is that they’re based on opinions, not facts. These bans are based on politics, not science. And what’s most controversial about them is that they are, at best, knee-jerk reactions to misinformation. At worst, the bans are the result of powerful entities that don’t want to see people make the switch from tobacco cigarettes to electronic cigarettes.
True blu: A Smart Alternative for Adult Smokers
I started blu to create a better alternative for my fellow adult smokers, and to help smokers transition smoking from tobacco to technology. I wanted to give smokers a simple solution, and most importantly, I wanted to give smokers freedom—the ability to vape whenever they wanted, wherever they wanted, and without offending those around them with cigarette smoke.
At blu, we market only to adult smokers. Period. Minors must not start using e-cigarettes. We do not recruit non-smokers to start using e-cigarettes. What we are doing is giving adult cigarette smokers a better, smarter choice.
But if you tune into most media stories about e-cigarettes, you’ll likely be led to think otherwise. I believe that a majority of the reporting surrounding e-cigarettes up to this point has been one-sided. What’s worse, though, is that these reports are also often riddled with inaccuracies, such as: “e-cigarettes are not regulated by the FDA, so they must be dangerous”; “there have been no scientific studies on electronic cigarettes”; “e-cigarettes are gateway devices to smoking tobacco.”
Fight for Your Right to Vape
In the midst of all this misinformation, vapers need to do a better job in educating themselves (and each other) about e-cigarettes. You should also encourage your local elected officials to do some research on e-cigarettes before rushing to regulate a product they likely don’t fully understand.
As I’ve stated numerous times before, instead of being a gateway to tobacco smoking, I believe e-cigarettes to be more analogous to an exit strategy. Don’t believe me? Just ask the masses of smokers who have taken back their freedom by making the switch to e-cigarettes.
Now is the time to join together to fight back and protect our freedom to vape. With the public use of e-cigarettes already banned in cities like New York and Chicago (and the buzz that Philadelphia and Los Angeles are considering similar paths forward), your town could be next unless you step up and make your voice heard. Arm yourself with accurate information, reach out to your local representatives and tell them:
- You oppose banning the use of e-cigarettes in indoor and outdoor locations.
- E-cigarettes are different from combustible cigarettes—they produce no tobacco smoke, no ash and no odor.
- E-cigarettes are a welcome alternative to combustible cigarettes.
- Restricting the use of e-cigarettes would discourage adult smokers from switching to e-cigarettes.
- Your reason for choosing e-cigarettes.
Let’s do this! More later …