Monday, January 28, 2013

Slighted by an e-cig company, twice

Recently, I purchased a Blu Cig. The reason for my purchase was that it contains vegetable glycerin instead of propylene glycol, with which I had quite a horrible reaction to once. In an attempt to be open-minded, I decided to give Blu a chance. They're ok for when you're stuck in a non-smoking environment against your will (ie., they're not going to replace my cigarette habit any time in the near future) I suppose, and even though they make me cough upon occasion when inhaling, the side effects were nowhere near what I had experienced with the PG based e-cig that had once made me (and my boyfriend) ill.

Seeing this as a sign of progress (I believe in progress), I decided to contact the company via their website to see if I could put a Blu banner on my blog. This lead me to an affiliate company that provided me with an application for prospective affiliate publishers.

What came next surprised me: I was told that my application was denied. When I asked why, I was told that it was because of the content of my blog. In other words, they did not approve of my talking about smokers' rights and tobacco harm reduction for combustibles. I explained (err..or I tried to) to them that I am interested in harm reduction and that even though I am more interested in combustible cigarettes, I am trying to be open-minded to the idea of e-cigarettes (despite a previous bad experience). I also explained to them (...ok..tried to) that there were/are no banners of the "Marlboro Man" anywhere on my blog; thus, it cannot be said that I am selling anything (um, because I'm not) related to combustible cigarettes on my blog; though it can be said that I am attempting to sell an idea (ie, harm reduction for the millions of smokers who will continue to smoke), rather than a particular product per se .

As a smoker who pays taxes, I have every right to speak of "ideas" (ie., by digging up relevant studies, etc.) when it comes to the issue of tobacco. There are some who don't agree with this right to discuss ideas. I am in the process of learning the hard way that not everyone is as open-minded as I thought, for Blu has just shunned one of their prospective customers merely because they don't "like" what I talk about on this blog. In the dictionary, the definition of what I have just experienced can be encapsulated in the term/word prejudice.

....and it's not just them either....The same thing has just happened to me (presumably for the same reason) again when attempting to contact another VG-based e-cig company called Pro Smoke. In hindsight, I'm not too surprised by the slight that I have received from Pro Smoke, as they have a big, shiny endorsement from our favorite smoke-banster friends over at the ACS.

I'm not trying to bash on e-cigs, but what I am saying is this: Many proponents (not all) of e-cigarettes are indeed anti-smokers that only want to sell their form of harm reduction. Sound familiar? They're not exactly tolerant of other alternative ideas..or of freedom of expression for that matter. That's a fact.

17 comments:

  1. I can't say I'm altogether surprised JR. I use an e-cig in some situations (I find it very good as a substitute, actually, but that's all it is - a substitute. I still prefer the real thing). So I do visit e-cig sites, blogs and forums occasionally. I find quite a lot of vapers have become very anti-tobacco, like ex-smokers tend to be. They seem to think that having made the switch gives them some moral superiority, and they are now on the side of the (self) righteous. A bit silly really, particularly given that if the zealots get their way e-cigs will be banned or severely restricted anyway. You'd think they'd be looking for all the support they can get.

    Ah, there's nowt so queer as folk.

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  2. Nisakiman,

    "You'd think they'd be looking for all the support they can get."

    Yep...You'd think. Especially when every smoker that I've (that I know personally) come across that has tried e-cigs has said that they don't like them, including my own mom (who said that they make her cough). Now, that's not to say that there won't be future improvements (like the use of VG, etc..), but damn, they sure are developing a serious anti-type attitude for an industry that is still in its infancy.

    To be fair, they're not all like that. There was one company that accepted my application to become an affiliate, but I decided not to go ahead with posting their banner when I found out that they use propylene glycol (...had a bad experience with it).

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  3. Hi JR Girl I thing you are doing a great job with your blog and the site so keep up the good work. First I must echo the above post that there is a % of vapors like some ex smokers who feel superior that they have quit tobacco and are using e-cigs. I have tried numerous e-cigs for the same reason as you and have been very un happy with the results. I find tsunamis claim on the package that nicotine is addictive and harmful to be offensive and a lie. There are benefits of nicotine but that is a discussion for another day. I fear this e-cig thing is going to just fade away which is exactly what the anti smoking lobby wants. It will never replace smoking for myself and many others as you mentioned as many do not care for them. I do enjoy some of the flavors but worry about what is in them and have come across several that leak or have just fallen apart in my hand. Quality does not seem to be important to those I have come across. Regarding E-Blue I find it funny the commercial talks about taking our rights back as adults etc.. Yet they will not allow it on your site. I am confused because in reality this product is used best for real smokers who find themselves stuck in a non smoking area or event. It seems the anti smoking nutcases either want to kill off this product or make sure it is the weak guil ridden type of smoker who uses it to quit.They do not want the product to exist for casual use by real smokers.Since big pharma would love to kill this product off I assume it is more that. However I have become seriously turned off to the e-cig because it just seems to support more anti smoking garbage one way or another. Maybe there is a decent product out there but I have yet to find it and am about done with the whole thing. If that was E Blues attituded to you than that shows me they are just playing both sides of the fence. They are one of the largest tobacco companies after all. I think I will just continue rolling my own organic cigs and leave it at that. Thanks for listening,Dave

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    1. Dave,

      " I am confused because in reality this product is used best for real smokers who find themselves stuck in a non smoking area or event."

      I'm confused as well.

      "They do not want the product to exist for casual use by real smokers."

      ..Big mistake on their part. ...and on another note, if e-cigs were really that GOOD (ie., as satisfying as a real smoke), many of us would willingly switch over entirely. The reality, however, is that they do not take the place of what us "hard core smokers" love so much about smoking. They are there to serve (like you said) as an alternative for many of us when we're stuck in an unfriendly environment. I think that the concept of the e-cig is a brilliant one and it may have a seat at the harm reduction table, but it's just not totally there yet. It's a shame that we all couldn't be a bit more open-minded. Sadly, that does not appear to be the case at all.

      "If that was E Blues attituded to you than that shows me they are just playing both sides of the fence. They are one of the largest tobacco companies after all."

      Yep...strange days we are living in.

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    2. "Maybe there is a decent product out there but I have yet to find it and am about done with the whole thing."

      I'm holding out hopes for a change in the political climate that surrounds TC. If that happens, then there would/could be a flood of reduced risk cigarettes that would become available to us on the free market. The vaporizer industry is coming up with some interesting gadgets...it should be interesting to see what they come up with in the future. My bet is on reduced risk combustibles though..

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    3. cont....

      ie., or all of the above:-)

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  4. That's disappointing. Unfortunately the issue of tobacco and smoking in particular has become very divisive and I feel it is showing up a lot of peoples' intolerance. I wanted to say that I really enjoy your blog and I hope you continue to discuss your ideas for a long time to come.

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    1. Thanks Emily. Divisive is an understatement:-)

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  5. I would think that this would be a perfect site for them. However, they like a restaurant that not forced by law to ban smoking but bans it anyway should be respected. They get to choose how they advertise their products. Another issue is that they certainly don't mind smoking bans. They can market their products as a way to get around a ban. You may want to rethink how much support you give them.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. All that I'm trying to do is be open-minded...that's all. Whatever works towards the goal of (realistic) harm reduction is my stance...and freedom of choice obviously is a part of that stance. Not everyone agrees:-)

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  6. I noticed recently at an elementary school near my house, there is a sign saying "No smoking or e-cigarette use within 20 feet" (or whatever the distance is, can't remember) It's interesting that e-cig use wouldn't be permitted outside the school, I can only guess because people don't want children to see people using them? But maybe it has something to do with why e-cig proponents who don't smoke combustibles are trying to disassociate themselves from smokers of combustibles and users of tobacco. They don't want to be tainted by the stigma that smokers receive I suppose? At any rate the stigma and hysteria against smoking is out of control.

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    1. Emily,

      You're right. It's all gone a bit too far...no doubt about that. But at the same, it's no excuse to stand on the sidelines devoid of a spine. If we don't stand together, we fall together. That's why this is happening to e-cig users now. It's not our fault, that's for sure.

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  7. Well it totally depends on the company when it comes to choosing affiliates, i don't have any issue with the content of your blog but this firm might not be taking it seriously, electronic cigarettes are the best alternative of smoking.

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    1. "Well it totally depends on the company.."

      Apparently so.

      "electronic cigarettes are the best alternative of smoking"

      Eh, for some people, and not so for others. At the end of the day freedom of choice is the best alternative.

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  8. Yeah I personally never found Blu to be a good company. if I where you I would find good ecig hardware and buy the liquid separately

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    Replies
    1. ..hmmm...It's something that I might be willing to try in the future.

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