The Norwegian Health Authorities have said that they will come up with suggested regulations of electronic cigarettes soon (they've said that for a while now I think). This draft will be sent out for consultation to relevant organizations, and one of the main goals of this letter is that NDS will be on the list of organizations that will have their voices heard in this matter. Therefore it's important that as many Norwegian vapers as possible sign this letter, but it is also possible for people from other countries to sign it and support us. I strongly urge everyone (especially Norwegians reading this) to sign the petition. More signatures means it will be more difficult for the authorities to ignore us!
I have translated the letter to English below. If you'd like to sign the petition here's the link again (you can choose not to show your signature in public): http://www.opprop.net/norsk_dampselskap_krever_a_bli_tatt_pa_alvor
The Norwegian Union of Vapers demands to be taken seriously!
The Norwegian Union of Vapers is an organization for users of electronic cigarettes, also known as vapers. Vaping has become our way to a tobacco-free life. We wish to urge the Minister of Health to look at vaping with an unprejudiced gaze. We have a common interest in a health policy based on knowledge, not on prejudice or moralism.
Much of the scepticism towards vaping is based on the visual similarities between vapor from e-cigarettes and tobacco smoke, and that vaping, like smoking, is a way to enjoy nicotine. However, this is the only similarity between vaping and smoking. Available research is unambiguous; the harm potential of vaping is far from that of tobacco smoking. The research is openly available and much of it is conveyed to the Norwegian public through SIRUS reports. We who have switched from tobacco smoking to vaping have felt on our own bodies that the health benefits are substantial. Some have gotten rid of their nicotine dependency, others have not. What we have in common is that we are no longer users of a dangerous product.
Opponents of vaping base their arguments on the "precautionary principle". It is difficult to understand how this can be applied here. Research, recently communicated through a SIRUS report 1/2015, shows that vaping appeals almost exclusively to smokers. Those who vape have either quit smoking completely, or partly replaced cigarettes with vaping. We know the consequences of cigarette smoking. Ten years of experience with vaping has not revealed any health hazards. We also know that it is not only illogical to go from vaping to smoking, but also that such behavior is not known from the real world. Is it plausible that the risk of unknown health consequences in the future is big enough to overshadow this?
We in The Norwegian Union of Vapers have found that vaping is not a drug, nor tobacco, but an alternative stimulant. This is what makes it so effective. A deadly habit replaced by an equally satisfactory, but far less harmful hobby. A future regulatory scheme must facilitate market access for products that appeal to current smokers and vapers. Products must not be regulated as drugs or as tobacco products. Under such circumstances they will meet requirements that can only be fulfilled by financially strong manufacturers like the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries. None of these industries have an interest that all smokers becomes vapers. However, this is the interest of the companies that exclusively manufacture vaping products, but the majority of these are small companies with limited funds. The Norwegian Union of Vapers wishes to be taken seriously by the authorities and be consulted on matters that are important to us. We have experience and expertise on the topic. Our goal is that the smokers who are not able or willing to quit otherwise, shall have a far less damaging alternative.