Four months ago, Kevin Price started a petition on change.org to have Facebook remove vaping from the tobacco category. The request was addressed to the Co-Founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. The petition states:
"Vaping is NOT a tobacco product just because it contains Nicotine! Tell Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook to change their definition of a tobacco product to NOT include vaping products. Vaping can help people quit smoking. We deserve to have our voices heard and this change needs to happen."
Yesterday the petition reached a milestone number, gaining 10,000 signatures. That number is growing rapidly and it just hit 11,500 signatures as of this posting. Most of the comments are from people who've been able to successfully quit smoking and have seen an increase in their overall health. A good portion of the comments also state the monetary benefit, that vaping, instead of using traditional cigarettes have saved them money.
The CDC reports that tobacco currently causes 6 million deaths each year, with that number expected to reach 8 million annually within the next 15 years.
There's even a reddit post that is asking people to sign the petition, with an interesting discussion on going. One poster even had an apt analogy when talking about whether or not e-liquid should be considered tobacco.
"On to a different analogy. Beer contains alcohol, so it's an alcohol product. Juice contains nicotine, so it's a nicotine product. Saying that juice is a tobacco product because the nicotine is extracted from tobacco is like saying beer is a cereal because it's made from barley."
This is not the first time that Facebook has been requested to change their ways in regards to how they view vaping. Back in October of 2015, Facebook notified filmmaker Aaron Biebert that ads for his upcoming film A Billion Lives would not be allowed on the social media site. Biebert was told that the ads violated Facebook's "ad guidelines." Facebook is reported as stating, “Ads may not promote tobacco or tobacco-related products, including E-cigarettes.”
Biebert asked for Facebook to reconsider it's stance in an open letter to Zuckerberg:
“We call on you to end your ongoing censorship of our film, and to allow advocates for a smoke free world to share information and connect with each other. Every post with the word vaper, vape, or vaping should not be automatically censored.”
The vape community rallied around this letter and added personal comments of their own about the benefits of vaping. Facebook eventually reversed it's decision and allowed the ads on it's site, effectively letting the discussion and promotion of this documentary to continue. A Billion Lives is due out this year in select theaters and will be available on DVD and Blu-ray.
With the request to allow ads for a "vape" movie to be seen on Facebook, do you feel the petition to remove vaping from the tobacco category will be successful? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.