Asian Vapers: United voices

September 17, 2018

There’s got to be a better way.

There always is.

And there is certainly one way out of the bad, old habit—at least for now.

A message is always better put across and more effectively received and understood coming from a chorus of voices.

The harmony of united voices is more pleasing and compelling to a keen ear and an open mind.

The unity of purpose and the collective conviction to push a virtuous cause can easily sweep away all doubts, misconceptions, indifference, fears, and even resistance to a new concept or idea.

Of course, all united undertakings succeed or fail based on the rightness or wrongness of the proposition being pushed.

Is there is any doubt, reservation or trepidation in the public’s perception of the growing popularity of smoking-cessation and transitioning aides or tools to a tobacco-free life style?

Surely, the general public would fully support and embraced any and all efforts to free smokers from their sticky nicotine bandage.

And the consensus for a shift to such a healthier, safer, nontoxic lifestyle is sweeping Southeast Asia.

Associations of electronic cigarette users,also known as “vapers”, from the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia joined together to launch a united voice named #VapersBeHeard.

Peter Paul Dator from The Vapers Philippines, Dimas Jeremia from Indonesian Vapers Associations, Asa Saligupta from ENDS Cigarette Smoke Thailand (ECST), and Azrul Hafriz Bin Zainudin from Malaysian Organization of Vape Entity (MOVE) made the announcement during a panel discussion on  “Alternative Tobacco Products Regulations:     The Role of the Consumers”, which was hosted by the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs on the same day.

#VapersBeHeard is launched to provide Asian vapers with an opportunity to be heard by global,regional,and national policy makers as well as the general public regarding their views on better alternative smoke-free products.“Vapers are generally active in the digital world through social media, blogs, and other platforms. We want to take advantage of this by launching a digital campaign through which all vapers can participate, and this will hopefully allow us to be part of the discussions with policy-makers. For years,regulations on e-cigarettes and other alternative products were issued but failed to take into consideration the interest of vapers,smokers,and the concerned public.This needs to change now!” expressed Dator from The Vapers Philippines.

There are three main points that #VapersBeHeard hope to express to policy-makers:

1.  It is the basic human right of vapers and smokers to receive accurate information as well as have access to better alternative products, rather than for them to continue smoking cigarettes, which is the most harmful way of consuming tobacco.

2.  Vapers are also people- mothers, fathers, sons, daughters –and we deserve a chance to lead a better life through these alternative products.

3. Asian vapers demand to be part of the process in regulating better alternative products

“Our first goal for this campaign is to be a part of the discussion in the upcoming World Health Organization Framework Conventionon Tobacco Control Conference of Parties (WHOFCTCCOP) 8th meeting in Geneva. We have created a digital call-for-action that will enable every vaper in Asia to voice their concern by visiting our microsite www.vapersbeheard.com. We have also initiated a petition in change.org to urge the WHO to listen to the demands of Asian Vapers that alternative products are better for smokers than cigarettes, and they need to acknowledge it. They can’t keep ignoring us as what has happened during previous COP meetings,” said Asa Saligupta from ECST.

Electronic Nicotine Delivery System(ENDS), also known as e-cigarettes,and other alternative products has been on the agenda of WHOFCTCCOP meetings. WHO appears to have a very conservative position on alternative products recommending countries to ban or strictly regulate them similarly to cigarettes,despite the growing scientific evidence concluding that they are better for smokers.

#VapersBeHeard will also be on Facebook for which followers can track the progress of campaign activities and receive updates on alternative products. #VapersBeHeard hope to attract other e-cigarette user organizations in the region as well as individuals to join the digital campaign and support the rights of vapers and smokers. It is our time to be heard!

Behold God’s glory and seek His mercy.

Pause and pray, people.