Can you believe it? Another year has passed. Somehow it feels like summer just began, but here we are, with 2021 drawing to a close. It was a fantastic year for the World Vapers Alliance, vaping activism and for me!
Everything kicked off with a great World Vape Day back in May with the vaping community dedicating a full day to celebrating vaping and coming together to show the world how vaping saves lives.
Liza and I had the pleasure of talking to our heroes such as GrimmGreen, Bernd Mayer, Clive Bates, Christopher Snowden and our fantastic partners from all over the world. It was such a joy to hear that the fight for vaping is a global effort. We can’t be ignored any longer as people raise their voices louder than ever.
Over the summer, we went on an epic road trip to meet vapers all over Europe. Activism thrives on people meeting one another. We started by protesting a potential flavour ban in the Netherlands together with our local friends. Standing outside the House of Representatives, vapers and vape shop owners handed out samples of disgusting tasting ice creams, reminding MPs and the public that flavours are integral to the vaping success story that has already seen hundreds of thousands of Dutch smokers make the switch away from cigarettes.
A couple of weeks later our bus was ready to hit the road with the message that 200 million lives worldwide could be saved if politicians would finally listen to science and consumers. Vaping is less harmful than smoking and one of the most effective cessation methods, so we made sure that consumers got the opportunity to raise their voices and make it as hard as possible for politicians to ignore us. You can read more about the bus tour in my blog posts:
Tapas, currywurst & the pink vaping bus
Cheese fondue, the WHO and the voices of vapers
Overall, I think 2021 was a tough year for the vaping community. We saw increasing attacks on vaping in the United States and many other countries. The denial of reality by the WHO seems to get even more absurd and flavour bans are looming behind every corner. BUT, consumers also had some wins.
For the first time, an EU institution admitted that vaping can help smokers to quit, and so there is still potential for us to prevent an EU wide flavour ban. The flavour ban in the Netherlands was delayed, due in part to the passion and commitment of vapers. Meanwhile, in Latin America, we see major signs of progress thanks to the great work of activists while in New Zealand, we saw the first head of state fully endorse vaping publicly.
Therefore, I’d like to thank everybody who raises their voice, supports the WVA and cooperates with us. 2022 can become a great year for vapers if we keep up the fighting spirit. We already know that the enemies of vaping will not back down and will continue to attack us, but I am confident that the vaping community has become strong enough to push back. Eventually, science and the experience of millions of people from around the world will win!
I wish you a happy and healthy New Year & vape on!