Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Fire up those pens and keyboards!

Momma Vape is my newest name in life. It's funny how many shoes we fill as we progress through the stages of living. Daughter, cousin, granddaughter, girlfriend, wife, mom, aunt, grandma, great grandma, friend, co-worker, coupon queen, frugal, environmentalist, feminist, genealogist, advocate, musician, employee, boss, business owner, etc., are all titles that make up part of who I am. Notice writer is not on the list. I've been known for a pretty good poison pen letter a few times in my life. When emotion grips me, often the anger one, sometimes the words will flow. Most of the time, writing is a struggle for me. So it is kind of ironic that I am trying to write an (almost) daily blog!

One of the titles above is coupon queen. I am rather proud of that one. I have never had endless funds to spend. I have always had to be thrifty. I grew up in that environment and my family are experts at fixing things, re-using things, and stretching a dollar.

Between the writing and the money, I'm sure I have hit a common thread with most of the people reading this. By now, you are probably wondering what the 2 things have in common. I promise they are connected!!!!

As we look at vaping advocacy, we are up against some people who have a lot of cold hard cash to throw in the battle against us. I wonder how much money big tobacco has to spend on ads and lobbyists? How about the Pharmaceutical companies? All the non-smoking organizations funded by the tobacco settlement? Americans For NonSmokers Rights, Cancer Associations, Health Associations, Medical Groups, Youth groups, there is a long list of people who stand before us and our right to vape and our ability to help others quit smoking. We are but a few. We have some great organizations standing up for us, #NOTBlowingSmoke, CASAA, SFATA, AVA, Vaping Militia, all our state organizations, etc. are fighting with all their mite! But dollar for dollar, these groups that fight for us do not have the funding to hire as many lobbyists, buy billboards, buy tv ads, buy radio ads, put ads in the newspaper, print brochures, travel to speak, etc. as the groups fighting for us have.

That my friends is a problem!!!!! The Momma Vape side of my life needs to join forces with the Coupon Queen side. All of you need to do the same. A few days ago, the project for the day was to donate $5 to advocacy. I encourage you to donate to a vaping advocacy group every opportunity that you can. But I also encourage you to join in at that grass roots level, the old fashioned "let your voices be heard" level. Speak up, write, promote, and educate about vaping!!!!

How can you do this???? Use home made signs when you go to a meeting or a hearing. Make homemade flyers and hang them on the bulleting board down at the gas station, wear vaping t-shirts, put a pro-vaping bumper sticker on your car. AND WRITE!! Yes, write. Don't tell me you can't do it because you can. And if you have a barrier that makes it hard for you to do this (like a learning disability that makes it hard for you to write) then ask a friend to write your words for you. Tell them what you want to say. Write a draft, put it down, go back to it later and read it, edit it, keep at it and then hit that send button and send it off!

If there is no current battle in your area, if you don't need to write to your senator today, then write a letter to the editor. Help all of us educate the public, sway public opinion. We are getting to the point in this battle where we now need the help of NONVAPERS to support us, what we do, and why we do it. All those negative ads are hurting us. It is time to turn the tide! If you are on facebook, the #NOTBlowingSmoke group (click here) has some excellent graphics that are awesome and should be shared. They are also on twitter (click here). Follow them, they are good at what they do.
Don't know what to write? Tell you story, tell how you believe vaping is saving your life. Take 1 lie that is spread about vaping and write a paragraph or two and tell the truth. You don't need to write a book, just a paragraph or 2. Not all letters will get printed, but each one that does helps raise awareness, helps educate. Keep them professional, use a spell checker, and put your thoughts and feelings into words.

If Momma Vape can do it, you can do it, too! My Letter to the editor 8/3/15 (click here)

Please feel free to post your letters in the comments below, or links to any letters that get printed.
~ Momma Vape