Tobacco harm reduction activists were ignored when they tried to put their case to an anti-vaping US politician ahead of the midterm elections.
Congressional candidate Yadira Caraveo was dubbed ‘No Show Caraveo’ after she refused to talk to pro-vaping advocates who were locked out of her office.
The paediatrician and Democratic member of the Colorado House of Representatives, who has strong views against the less harmful smoking alternative, supports both flavour bans and higher vape taxes.
However, critics say her policies will risk lives and drive tens of thousands of her constituents back into the clutches of deadly combustible cigarettes.
Ahead of the mid-term elections, Colorado voter Robert South, found himself locked out of Caraveo’s office when he tried to deliver testimonies from former smokers who all successfully used vaping to quit.
He was filmed repeatedly knocking on the door only to be ‘ignored’ by those inside as he attempted to tell the politician how important the reduced risk alternative was to smokers.
South, who quit his 30-year smoking habit thanks to vaping, said:
“Miss Caraveo has been nothing but anti-vaping…but prohibition never works and taking away flavours is nothing but subliminal prohibition.”
He wanted to speak to the politician as part of the ‘We Vape We Vote’ tour; a nonpartisan project set to raise awareness about the ‘power of the vape vote’ and encourage lawmakers to make ‘smart decisions’ on vaping policy.
Tim Andrews, a director at Americans for Tax Reform, which co-sponsored the campaign, said:
“Rather than listening to her constituents, Rep. Caraveo instead chose to lock her doors on them.
“Vaping is 95 percent safer than smoking, it’s two-to-six times more effective than other forms of nicotine replacement therapy and has the potential to save over six million American lives.
“Caraveo refuses to acknowledge the evidence regarding tobacco harm reduction…rather than try to combat youth use, she instead wants to stop adults quitting smoking.”
“Flavour bans and excessive vaping taxes, such as the ones promoted by Rep. Caraveo, will only lead to more smokers.”
The We Vape We Vote ’22 Tour posted a video of the failed attempt to talk to the politician on Twitter with the message:
“As a state representative, @YadiraCaraveo introduced anti-science taxes and flavour bans.
“Now, as a Congressional candidate, No Show Caraveo can’t be bothered to listen to the concerns of her constituents.”
Trade organisation American Vapor Manufacturers said the politician was treating voters with ‘contempt’.
“Candidate @YadiraCaraveo will have a hard time standing up for public health in Congress when she literally locks her office doors to constituents delivering testimonials on how #vaping saved their lives.
“That’s one way to show your contempt for people who hope to quit smoking.”
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