People from across the globe have come together today to celebrate World Vape Day 2021.
The World Vapers’ Alliance brought some of the industry’s biggest names together to highlight the power for good that vaping has become and we are delighted to be a media partner for this event.
Millions of smokers have already made the switch to the reduced risk alternative and the event calls on businesses, advocates and consumers to #GotheExtraMile, promote vaping and help current smokers end their addiction.
Vape Trick Show
Kicking the festivities off with talented vape tricksters from around the globe, World Vape Day showcased the creativity and dedication behind the industry.
We saw some of the biggest and well-known personalities, showing off how, behind all the politics and harm reduction, vaping can also be turned into an art form.
In his opening remarks, World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) director Michael Landl recounted his own experience with vaping, highlighting how making the switch was one of the best decisions he ever made.
“I thought I would be a lifelong smoker until I visited a vape shop in Vienna.
“Within one week I was a non-smoker…it was a miracle.
“And from that moment onwards I became a vaper and wanted to do everything I could to promote it to others.”Michael Landl, WVA
Landl explained that he was working in the German Parliament when he realised regulations were being made by people who didn’t understand the benefits of the reduced risk alternative.
After deciding to quit his job, he joined the World Vapers’ Alliance and dedicated his life to helping other smokers take back control of their health and move away from the deadly habit.
He also discussed proposed flavour bans in the EU, saying they could have “very bad and unintended consequences” and that they could be hugely detrimental to public health.
Landl said when banning flavours the demand does not go away, stressing that regulations should be built on evidence, as policymakers risk forcing consumers to the black market by stripping away access to their cessation aids.
Advocacy groups the world over are constantly standing against poor policy and Landl called on consumers to join the fight.
“We have held many campaigns and see that we can make a difference…although it’s very hard work.
“But it is clear that the more of us there are and the louder we speak…the harder it is for politicians to ignore the voices of vapers.”Michael Landl, WVA
Time for Optimism, How Vaping is Changing the World
The vaping community is truly international and people from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures recognise the efficacy of e-cigarettes in helping save lives.
In this segment, community manager for the WVA Liza Katsiashvili spoke to several leaders of WVA partner organisations about about the state of harm reduction in their countries and their vaping success stories.
Kurt Yeo from Vaping Saved My Life, said his organisation continues to oppose proposed unfounded regulatory changes in South Africa.
“There are plans that would take away the rights of vapers and we have to raise our voices to oppose this.
“We are not anti-regulation, we welcome them… as long as they are backed by robust science and evidenceKurt Yeo, Vaping Saved My Life
“However, we have not seen that this has been part of the current process.”
Maria Papaioannoy of Rights4Vapers explained that policies in Canada are almost constantly shifting, saying that laws surrounding the reduced risk product are all ‘vape and mirrors.’
She stressed that Canada’s current landscape is ‘heartbreaking’ and policymakers are not properly educated on the public health benefits.
“There are so many different regulations in Canada, that everytime you wake up there is something to contend with.
“We have shifted from policymakers embracing vaping as a means of improving health, to one of moral panic.
“There is now this fear that vaping is worse than smoking and that it is going to kill everyone.Maria Papaioannoy, Rights4Vapers Canada
She said that advocacy groups in Canada are being ‘systematically excluded’ from the harm reduction conversation, pointing out that politicians need to acknowledge the science and listen to experts if we are to overcome the smoking epidemic.
Cristiana Batista of APORVAP (Associação Portuguesa de Vaporizadores) explained how damaging Portugal’s high taxation can be for the country’s smokers.
“When it comes to high taxes, people will go to the black market…so this is our main focus.
“We need to reduce the excessive rates of taxation in Portugal and this has been the biggest battle that we have to win.”Cristiana Batista, APORVAP
He capped off by explaining he will not stop campaigning for vaping and will continue to stand against bad policy and people who don’t understand the benefits.
Danny Wang of Vape Taiwan also joined the livestream, saying that it’s vital for vapers to stand up for their rights and support the industry if we want to protect public health.
The science and real-world examples have shown that stringent and unsubstantiated regulations can force consumers to buy their vape products from illicit sellers.
“As more and more people support the idea of tobacco harm reduction, the government will have to consider this issue very carefully so as not to upset a large section of the population.”Danny Wang, Vape Taiwan
Liza also spoke with Joseph Magero (Campaign for a Safe Alternative, Africa), Francisco Ordonez (Asovape Colombia), Ignacio Leiva Benitez (Asovape Chile) and Jeff Zamora (Asovape Costa Rica).
For a look at part two of the World Vape Day events, including talks with Clive Bates, GrimmGreen and the WVA’s very own Michael Landl, see our next blog.