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Thread: Advocacy by Supporting Businesses

  1. #1
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    Advocacy by Supporting Businesses

    This is my opinion, and my opinion only, and one that has developed over a few years.

    I'd prefer it if vaping community organisations stayed out of Public spot light. This may sound counter intuitive, but if you think about it, it's far more logical for non-profit community organisations who are supporting an industry (any industry for that matter), to work solely behind the scenes as supporters.

    The point of Vape Advocacy is to help ourselves and smokers we care about, enjoy nicotine inhalation safely. We can't do that without access to Vaping Products, and we cant have access to Vaping Products without an Industry to supply it to us.

    Energy should be channelled towards communicating with, and educating the Government, in aim of helping the industry get better access to consumers. Broad Public communication is not necessary because the aim of what we're trying to do is push an Industry. Its the Vapour Businesses and all the brands they sell that are the ones supplying the public with safer alternatives to smoking. They, really, should be the public faces of Vaping.

    This is why legalisation of e-cigarette advertisement should in fact be one the highest priorities. Instead of wasting our time on Social Media getting the word out that "vaping works", I think it would be far more productive to help pave the way for PV makers and sellers to advertise their products more broadly.

    I've noted before, I carry around a deck of Steamer's business cards in my backpack side pocket. I pass dozens of smokers every day on the way to and from work. I don't try, nor do I care about being seen vaping. Most of the time smokers are too typically cynical of this weird thing they see me holding, but now and then a smoker asks about it, and I hand them a Steamer's card. Apart from confessing to my Governmental Representatives that I had to resort to the crime of possessing and using non-medically approved nicotine liquid in order to completely quit smoking more than 3 and a half years ago, this palming smokers off to the actual Aussie Vaping Industry is really as far as I think a non-profit vaping advocate like myself needs to go to support Vaping in Australia.

    So to make it short, in regards to my political views, I don't think we should be Vaping Advocates. I think the best way to support vaping in Australia is to be Vaping Industry Supporters.

    On what should be done politically, I think

    1. We should write up a list of all State and Federal MPs, and which area they represent. Make it really simple for people to find their Representatives.
    2. Set up a template Government Representative letter that people can tweak to their liking, but one which includes a list of important points such as time been vaping, who they buy from, what gear/brands they use.

    Help politicians become familiar with the Products we use, the Manufacturers, and most importantly, the Australian businesses who supply us with our gear.

    I think one important factor in a letter to a representatives is a photo of your All Day Vape gear. Ive read several letters that people here have sent to a Goverment official, and they didnt include a photo of their ADV setup. That is insane. A politician who reads the letter would automatically assume you use a cigalike because in regards to the topic of e-cigs, they only ever deal with Big Tobacco lobbyists, and thats all that Big Tobacco wants politicians to know. If anything, sending a Vape Advocacy letter to a Politician without information about what you use is essentially helping Big Tobacco get their crappy cigalikes onto the market which will ultimately get the very devices you're advocating for banned.

    We need to make it clear to the Government that; We don't use Big Tobacco's products, and that The Vapour Industry is not Big Tobacco.

    Other than that, I think people should ask their favourite vendor for some business cards next time they order. Carry the cards around in your wallet or purse or bag, and hand them out whenever someone asks about your vape gear.

    I know I've been very long winded and opinionated in this post. I don't mean to come across as arrogant. Ive seen a lot over the past few years and this is just how I view things. Please share your thoughts. Thanks.

    PV
    Last edited by PurpleVapes; 23-07-15 at 09:04 PM.

  2. #2
    CMB
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    I kind of get where you are coming from, but by industry do you mean the local vendors, international manufacturers or both?

    The issue with the local scene is that there isn't really much of an industry outside of a bunch of people that work their day job then come home and flog some ecig gear on the Internet.

    So in that regard I'm not too sure how the industry can really help us out?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMB View Post
    I kind of get where you are coming from, but by industry do you mean the local vendors, international manufacturers or both?

    The issue with the local scene is that there isn't really much of an industry outside of a bunch of people that work their day job then come home and flog some ecig gear on the Internet.

    So in that regard I'm not too sure how the industry can really help us out?
    A lot of Aussie vendors sell imported gear, so I was essentially referring to both. Steam-e-cigs is open 7 days a week. But if the situation for most local businesses is as you say (a side business), then the support should be towards helping the international brands that they sell get more presence here in Australia. The point is to focus the spotlight on the products we use, and those who make and supply it, without drawing a lot of attention to ourselves.
    Last edited by PurpleVapes; 23-07-15 at 09:42 PM.

  4. #4
    CMB
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    I'm still having a hard time conceptualising exactly what you are proposing and how it would work though

    Are you saying that we should point new vapers towards local vendors rather than overseas?

    If we do this then what? The industry will grow?

    Don't forget I live in WA so vape shops are non existent, however I did used to give VapeBar cards out to people who asked, now I just tell them to have a look here.

  5. #5
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    After thinking about it a bit more, I guess what Im proposing is essentially, in the most basic terms, is a Not-for-profit Vape Review website. A Vaping Product and Info hub of some kind with links to online stores and products pages in a manner that simplifies the overwhelming vast list of products on the market for smokers who are curious about vaping.

    Edit;

    .....run by a group of volunteers that communicate with Government Representatives.
    Last edited by PurpleVapes; 24-07-15 at 12:03 AM.

  6. #6
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    As a vendor I'd like to add something to this.

    The perception that the local scene is non-existent and that it is only a few people running online businesses is not correct.

    There is a large number of B&M's including my own, Steamers in NSW, 2 in TAS, 3 in Adelaide and few dispersed in Melbourne and Brisbane. These are people who dedicate ALL their time to vaping and vaping related issues (I talk to many regularly).

    Support for local B&M's is hampered by those "bunch of people that work their day job then come home and flog some ecig gear on the Internet" who supply gear at prices unbeatable to B&M's and international businesses such as Fasttech who have free shipping. We all know people in todays day and age are trying to save a buck by buying online (I completely understand this) however plenty of advocacy is driven by vendors currently and as far as I see lots of people don't support this advocacy with their back pockets.

    Some individuals think that B&M's are a rip off and only in the game to make a quick buck (which is crazy given the investment and risk that goes into opening a B&M). This mentality is an issue. It frustrates me that while B&M owners are speaking to Govt, writing submissions, doing media interviews and meeting health reps, they are not being given the full support of ALL vapers because lets be honest, this is driven by apathy which stems from the mantra 'as long as I can get it now I don't care what happens in the future, I'll just import it.'

    I've said this before, I 100% agree that advocacy should be driven by the industry but you need to support local businesses for this. Local businesses are the only ones that can drive advocacy in Australia. Fasttech, Alibaba and the ecig manufacturers honestly couldn't care less what happens politically in Australia but I can tell you, hand on heart, that most of your local B&M's care 100% about what happens. It's their ability to vape as well as their livings at stake.
    PurpleVapes and Vaporific like this.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMB View Post
    I'm still having a hard time conceptualising exactly what you are proposing and how it would work though

    Are you saying that we should point new vapers towards local vendors rather than overseas?

    If we do this then what? The industry will grow?

    Don't forget I live in WA so vape shops are non existent, however I did used to give VapeBar cards out to people who asked, now I just tell them to have a look here.
    I understand this is harder in WA but there is a big issue happening there right now that you can back and get behind that could very well change the situation there (I'm sure everyone knows what I'm talking about).

  8. #8
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    We need more B&M stores.

    The smokers I pass everyday most likely have never shopped online, or even use the internet regularly. I don't think paying an extra $20 for a device that they will use for more than a year, or extra $7-10 for a bunch of coils that will last them 2-3 months is asking for much. They spend atleast $80 a week on smokes anyway. If there are more places where people can walk into a store, hold the products in their hand, and pay with cash or with the physical swipe of their bank card, the faster vaping will grow.

  9. #9
    CMB
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    From just looking around for some of the B&M's in other states, you can hardly say they are all legitimate businesses, especially when they sell counterfeit gear. I don't see how we could trust these people to support us when they engage in such untrustworthy business practices that harm the industry in the long run. There's no way in hell I would recommend a new vaper purchase from a vendor that sells knock offs, B&M or not.

    Then you have the issue of juice testing, nobody here appears to be doing that yet. That whole issue has been eerily quiet in the media down here, but I reckon it is coming and it would be great if our industry was on the front foot when it does end up as a crap storm in the media.

    So maybe it would be a good start if the industry started working on making itself a bit more respectable and presentable before expecting it to advocate for us.

 

 

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