Divisions in the Vaping Community – Part One
The Great Divide(s) – Part One, Introduction
I have mentioned this before in much of my writing about vaping. There is a continually increasing number of vapers out there. They are diverse, multicultural, opinionated, and many tend to be passionate about vaping. We are a vaping community. While this is a huge strength in many aspects, can it also be a weakness?
When I was first introduced to the concept of “vaping” I didn’t even know the word. I was taking my last ditch effort to quit smoking or resign myself to a “shorter” lifetime of tobacco use. Luckily I found something that other stop smoking “programs” (if you will) didn’t have. A readily available and easily accessible support community. However, over the years it seems that there are some “cracks” forming in our community. Some are larger than others, but each of these cracks provides the opportunity to weaken the unity of our community. These weaknesses can be exploited by many who would like to see vaping disappear. For this reason, I think it’s important to examine some of these issues. If we can open up the dialogue, thoughts, beliefs, and better understand each other we may be able to find middle ground no matter how elusive it’s been in the past.
One thing I do want to state is that it is not my intent in this series of articles to state equivocally that anything is right or wrong (however, there will be a writers prerogative to be biased in some areas and I will note that). Instead, the intent is to highlight differences for discussion and dialogue. Bring these differences to the surface and examine them, and ultimately maybe understand each other better as vapers. Like it or not, we are a community, and if we cannot stand united we may lose our chance to continue using a product that has changed lives and reduced tobacco use, or ideally keep us tobacco free.
What is Considered a “Divide”?
I think it is important that we understand the difference between a “divide” in the vaping community and a “disagreement”. Sometimes this isn’t an intuitive thing. For the purposes of this series of articles, we will consider a divide something that goes beyond a disagreement. People can disagree on many things and still move on content with each other. Just because I like a certain flavor, doesn’t mean you have to also like that flavor. We can both move on and in the future we might find a flavor we both like.
A divide however, well that’s different. A divide prompts action. A divide brings out fierce emotions. A divide separates people into factions that will actively work against another group who believes differently. Ultimately a divide would seem to create no room for a middle ground. Each believes they are right, and the other should capitulate to their way of thinking. You can recognize a divide by the manner and tone of the conversation. It’s not uncommon to hear “I hate those people, they don’t get it” or “They are so self righteous telling people what to do”. Heard that before? Felt that before? Yep, you just jumped into a issue that divides our vaping community.
Where Do We Go From Here?
I want to ask a question during this series, and it will be repeated throughout. Does the vaping community have a set of core values and goals? From ancient tribes to the Nations of today, one common trait is that members of a “society” or “community” tend to have common core values and goals. If we are going to examine some of the divides in our vaping community, we need to identify whether we have common values and goals. It is only then we can examine prominent divides in the community and how they relate to our shared values and goals. We also need to identify the “players” in that divide, and look at the core concepts being discussed by each group with differing opinions. When all is said and done, let’s look at the situation, ask the hard questions, and see if any can be answered. If we truly have shared values and goals, there may be a chance to close the divide (even just a little), and agree on a path to move forward together. A division in our vaping community closes the door to discussion, options, and moving forward. Maybe, we can open it back up and achieve some momentum.
This series is going to start with a discussion about whether or not we have core values among our community, and what those may be. It will then continue with two issues that are commonly recognized as “divisive” issues: “Sub Ohm Safety” and “Cloud Chasing”. I am sure that list will grow as we move forward. I hope you stay with me.
Vape Loud, Vape Proud,
If you wish to contribute to the conversation you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org. Just list “Divides” in the subject line and the name you would like me to use if I quote you. If you prefer I don’t use your name just list anonymous. Let me know whether you think we have any core values as vapers!