What a year 2020 has been. The World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) launched this year with a simple mission – to make vapers’ voices heard worldwide. This is clearly a big challenge for a new organisation, but overall we believe we are on the way to creating a better future for vapers around the globe.
We started our journey with three main objectives: first, to ensure voices of vapers are heard in policy discussions worldwide. Second, to combat misinformation about vaping, and third to make sure that regulations are drafted with consumers’ interest at heart.
As you can imagine, we had a quite busy year working towards those goals. To give vapers a platform to raise their voices and tell their great stories, just after our launch, we held a major series of events on 30th May organized by our founder Paul Meller: the World Vape Day. It was a massive success, bringing together vaping activists and experts from around the globe to share their expertise and experiences. 50 organizations and nearly 10,000 live viewers participated in our first event.
In August, Michael Landl stepped into the role of WVA Director, and he has been a formidable advocate for vapers. Since then the WVA & Michael have appeared in media more than 80 times. Writing op-eds, appearing in interviews, combating misinformation and explaining why vaping should be in the European Beating Cancer Plan, are but a few of the activities he has successfully been involved within the last few months. Read more about Michael’s story here.
Talking about Beating Cancer, we truly believe that introducing vaping into Europe’s comprehensive plan to beat cancer will be a public health success. We started a petition and asked people to tell their MEPs why this issue matters for them. We already gathered thousands of signatures and hundreds of Emails were sent directly from vapers to MEPs via our campaign. We even had a COVID – friendly protest in front of the European Parliament.
We have participated in policy battles in the EU, Australia, California and supported our partners in South America in their fight for legalization of vaping. We also launched a campaign to fight the flavour ban in the Netherlands.
Together with our partners at the Consumer Choice Centre, we have been looking in-depth at issues that vapers care about – like the gateway myth or the importance of flavours. We will build on our research over the next year to ensure vapers have the evidence they need to support their arguments.
But of course we could have not done any of this without our great partners and members. In less than a year, 20 partner organisations from all over the world have signed up to the WVA. And nearly 10,000 individuals have joined as members. It’s great that so many groups and individuals share our mission and will fight beside us to make the voice of vapers heard.
We are looking forward to next year, to continue to raise our voices, and ensure that your message is heard by politicians, media and the people. Stay tuned for much more to come. Bring on 2021!