Vapers across the country are swarming Twitter, the White House comment line and statehouse steps with the message “We Vape, We Vote.”
They’re speaking out after a slew of attacks on their way of life. President Donald Trump announced his support for a vaping flavor ban in September. Some states temporarily banned the sales of vaping tools or flavors. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned people to stop vaping until public health experts can find the cause of more than a thousand cases of lung injuries nationwide.
The backlash from vapers and vape shop owners is getting louder as they argue their small businesses and their rights to what some see as a smoking cessation tool are being trampled.
“Rather than just vote a party ticket, they may in fact change their vote for anybody who comes out and wants to have a critical conversation about vaping,” warned Alex Clark, the CEO of the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association, a self-described tobacco harm-reduction nonprofit in Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Political groups are starting to notice that vaping is an identity, not just a hobby. Conservative powerhouse Grover Norquist, whose Americans for Tax Reform group hosted over 200 vaping advocates last month in Washington, D.C., cautions this is an electorate Trump should not ignore for 2020.
Vaping activists have already claimed success in a handful of races. Now some advocates say this burgeoning anger could shape the votes of the nation’s more than 10 adult million vapers and 20,000 vape shop owners.
“Are there enough vapers to swing states like Michigan?” added YouTube vaping influencer