Recently, there has been a major disturbance in the vape force. Things have gotten out of hand very quickly, and it has snowballed in to a flurry of name calling and hurt feelings. The latest round started when a group of vapers decided to boycott a particular vendor, who in their eyes, supports an organization contrary to their civil rights. Shortly after, a popular vape radio talk show picked up the story, bringing attention to the vendor, who openly shares beliefs that others take issue with on his website. When the replay of the broadcast was posted to multiple vaper groups on facebook, all hell broke loose. Tempers flared, accusations were made, and feelings were hurt. Lastly, this exchange resulted in the banning of certain members of the group.
In this community, you will find many different walks of life; age, sexual orientation, race, religion, politics, etc. It is expected and healthy to have conflicting opinions on a whole slew of topics, but we also need to keep our priorities straight. The sole reason we have all come together and continue to have this community, is our one common denominator… Vaping! We are friends, more or less, because we share similar experiences with quitting smoking, and taking up vaping. We all have a passion for it and want to help those around us. We want to spread the word and help improve the lives of others. Will the drama that sometimes lurks under the surface and occasionally rears its ugly head on the forums turn new vapers off? Will people investigating quitting analogs, be put off to the point of looking to lesser alternatives, devoid of the drama? That is without a doubt the last thing any of us would want.
Some in the community are of the opinion that it is bad business practice for a vendor to alienate customers with links to controversial third party organizations, I tend to agree, but as a business it is their right to do so. It is also our right as consumers, to pick the businesses we want to associate with. That is how our system works.
What goes beyond appropriate, however, are the personal attacks against specific members of the community on both sides. Everyone has a right to state their opinion, however, remember that libel against someone can be prosecuted. Never under any circumstances should someone’s personal information (address and phone number) be put out there in an attempt to attack and hurt someone. There are lines that should never be crossed, no matter how much their opinion goes against yours.
This behavior has done nothing to make our community stronger or more supportive of each other. It tears down what so many have been building up for years. We don’t know when the FDA and the ANTZ crusaders will make their big move to put an end to vaping, but we do need to fight them together. That can’t happen if there is a split in the group. We are all entitled to make our own opinions, but lets just hope for the community’s sake, we act like adults and put away the attacks so that we may stand together when the time comes.