Many irritated vapers took to Twitter this week to express outrage over an image of a baby holding a vape mod which many say depicts vaping in a very unfavorable light. A graphic artist out of New York by the name of Adam Padilla is responsible for the controversial tweet, and according to his twitter feed, he is standing by his work.
Padilla calls himself a satirist and seemingly takes issue with the negative feedback by responding to at least one angry follower in a less than conciliatory tone, “I'm a satirist, and it's funny. If you don't think so, that's your opinion. No need to be insulting. Loser.”
One Tweeter named Darren Stone @daznrach even openly wondered if Padilla was being paid by Big Pharma to demonize vaping with the ill-conceived pictorial. “So we'll ask the question that you're dodging again how much did a major pharmaceutical company pay you to smear vaping? #vapecommunity"
Another disgusted tweeter with the Twitter handle Reyne_Twitch @Reyne_twitch and who also claimed to be a professional graphic artist called out his New York colleague by posting, “As a graphic designer this is disgusting. This would be funny if people weren't fighting courts to keep vaping legal and widely available.”
The vaping industry is constantly under fire from any number of vaping haters, including the FDA, the CDC, the American Heart Association, and many other so-called public health organizations who claim that vaping is a gateway to teen smoking. Many of these same groups are vehemently opposed to flavored e-liquids like cotton candy and bubblegum because they assume that vapers are secretly trying to lure America’s youth into the habit of vaping.
In fact, San Francisco just recently banned the sale of flavored e-liquids of all varieties citywide. But the simple truth is that the majority of the vaping community would never wish their children to either smoke or vape.
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Adam Padilla is not the first to potentially cross the theoretical line into poor marketing practices. To be fair to Mr. Padilla, Vapes.com ran a similar story in September of 2016 taking aim at one of vaping’s own vendors for selling a product line called Pokémon e-juice (a.k.a. Pokéjuice). So, the New Yorker with a creative marketing flair bordering on the provocative should not feel too slighted.
Is this a New York thing, or something more diabolical?
Now, Vapes.com has nothing against New Yorkers, but The Empire State has two of the most anti-vaping Senators in the country. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has been vilifying the vaping community in the press every chance he gets. And his cohort in crime, Sen. Richard Blumenthal claims e-cigs should be banned on airplanes due to a surge in recent battery explosions. But the potential for exploding cellphones and other contraptions using the same sorts of batteries is apparently a non-issue.
Meanwhile, New York City Major Dill de Blasio just signed a massive package of anti-vaping legislation into law last week. One bill forces vape shops to apply for a special license while exempting vendors of Big Tobacco. Another new regulation even makes it illegal to sell both e-cigs and tobacco products in the same shop. And the combo-pack of anti-vape laws was signed into law seemingly overnight and with little notice or chance for debate.
Most vapers believe in the right of free speech, which may be why they are calling upon Mr. Padilla to take down his tweet. Vaping is serious business. Vaping saves lives. And by showing a baby holding a vape mod, the hidden message can be so easily misconstrued.
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