The Importance of Educating the Masses
Last week I posted about getting proactive when it comes to vape bans and other Legal Mumbo-Jumbo designed to turn us into criminals in the eyes of the Nannies. It looks like, however, we really need to add another group to the list; The Uninitiated.
Most of us have probably read in the forums about a fellow vaper who has lost a job due to vaping. Another works for an employer that would ban e-cig use on their property. Even Yours Truly was faced with the prospect of being denied the privilege of vaping in the building I work in recently.
Now, depending upon the sources and the numbers you go by, there are somewhere between 3 million to 5 million people who vape in the United States. Sounds like a lot — but in reality, there are about 240 million people in the US over the age of 18 according to the latest 2012 Census Bureau estimates. That means we are in a very small minority; just a little over 2% of the entire adult population. And as much as we may know about vaping, that means there’s a whole bunch of folks out there that, to cop a phrase, don’t know Jack. And the little they do know has probably come from the same disinformation and propaganda we’ve all seen and derided.
There are apparently folks who think our devices and mods are Dope Utilization Devices; hell, I was once pulled over twice in one morning by cops who saw me tooting on a ProVari. One of them told me the reason he pulled me over was because he thought I was smoking marijuana in a bong of some sort. I kinda think he was full of bovine fecal matter and was just hoping when he ran my license and plates that I was a Known Criminal he could bust. Be that as it may, if people in authority don’t know what vaping is, then we have some serious work to do.
None of us should be hesitant about vaping in public on public property or streets and sidewalks if we wish. We shouldn’t feel nervous about asking bar owners or restaurant operators if we can vape on their property. We need for people to see that we’re businessmen, mothers, lawyers, craftsmen and otherwise Just Like Them. We need to politely and enthusiastically answer their questions and explain why we use e-cigarettes. But we should strive to make sure we don’t come across as rude, condescending or arrogant; what people think of us as people transfer to what they think about the things we do as well. And we need to let businesses know that we will support those who treat us with respect.
You’ll find another blog post I made about the possible vape ban in my building and how it was turned around. I basically followed the advice I’m giving here…educating, explaining and showing. It may not work in every situation and with everybody– but for each person who we can educate and make see that what we’re doing is relatively harmless and even beneficial, that will be one less person who believes the disinformation and distortions being thrown around as the Gospel truth by others.
Vape proud, fellow babies!