There are more than 50 vaping and nicotine consumer rights groups around the world now, with more forming all the time. For many of the world’s vapers and non-combustible nicotine users, it has never been easier to find an established consumer group that is fighting to protect their right to use low-risk smoking alternatives.
But almost three times as many countries don’t have a consumer organization. Among the countries without a group that represents vapers are Australia, Japan, Israel, Russia, Turkey and Poland. Only one Arabic-speaking country—Tunisia—has a consumer vaping group. Some of those countries ban nicotine sales, but not all of them.
And even in countries with consumer organizations, most vapers don’t participate. They may not be aware that consumer organizations exist—or even that such groups are necessary. Others simply don’t understand that there is a war against vaping that can only be successfully fought by banding together. And some assume they’ll be constantly nagged for donations.
Most groups do rely on contributions from members, but few charge a defined membership fee. Since they earn respect among elected officials and regulators by presenting themselves as the legitimate representative of a large number of consumers, recruiting members can be even more important than raising money. These groups want and need new members.
A large membership roll provides a contact list of people willing to make calls, send letters, and make noise on social media when vaping is threatened. Most successful groups have members with a variety of skills, often including lawyers and writers. Groups typically align with outside experts like sympathetic doctors and academics, who often are willing to testify at hearings on behalf of vapers.
It’s important for vapers to join and lend their voices to these groups that exist to fight for vapers’ rights. Where can you find a group in your country? Keep scrolling!
Since vaping arrived in Europe and the Americas around 2007, it’s been subjected to endless attacks by misinformed or publicity-seeking politicians, nervous regulators, and professional anti-nicotine organizations. In fact, before vaping came along, anti-nicotine groups didn’t care about nicotine at all; they were called anti-smoking groups, and cigarettes were their main concern.
But vaping changed all that. An attractive alternative to cigarettes that offered not just nicotine, but also many of the sensory aspects of smoking, e-cigarettes helped a lot of smokers leave cigarettes behind. And because of that success—and because vaping looks close enough to smoking to frighten anti-smokers—almost from day one, vaping has inspired suspicion, misunderstanding, fear and opposition from skeptics, and has always required passionate defenders to keep it available and affordable.
Trade organizations that represent manufacturers and retailers of vaping products are an important part of the struggle. Vendors opposing laws and regulations that threaten their businesses usually have more financial clout than consumers. They’re able to hire lobbyists and lawyers to fight bad legislation. Typically, industry trade groups have good relationships with consumer groups.
But industry representatives don’t always have the same interests as consumers, and sometimes they’re willing to negotiate compromises that vapers themselves would never support. For example, vape shops and convenience stores may be willing to allow bans of online sales, some e-liquid manufacturers and shops support nicotine strength restrictions, and the largest manufacturers may support e-liquid taxes or even flavor bans. Trade representatives may exaggerate the risks of DIY e-liquid making, which could lead to further legal restrictions.
Vapers need their own representation. Typically, vaping consumer organizations fight for all vapers and non-combustible nicotine consumers, whether they use bottled e-liquid or pod vapes, or even snus or other nicotine products. They support the precepts of tobacco harm reduction (THR), which demand that authorities allow sales of low-risk nicotine products, and share truthful information about them with consumers.
Tobacco Harm Reduction Congo (THR Congo)
Tobacco Harm Reduction Kenya (THR Kenya)
Tobacco Harm Reduction Malawi (THR Malawi)
Tobacco Harm Reduction Nigeria (THR Nigeria)
Association de la Cigarette Electroniques pour Arrêter de Fumer (ACEAF)
Tobacco Harm Reduction Uganda (THR Uganda)
Asociación por la Reducción de daños del Tabaquismo Iberoamérica (ARDT IBEROAMÉRICA)
(Latin American Association for Tobacco Harm Reduction)
Asociación de Vapeadores Argentina (ASOVAPE Argentina)
Diretório de Informações para Redução dos Danos do Tabagismo (DIRETA)
Tobacco Harm Reduction Association of Canada (THRA)
Asociación de Consumidores Vapeadores de Chile (ASOVAPE Chile)
Asociación Colombiana de Vapeadores (ASOVAPE Colombia)
Asociación Costarricense de Vapeadores (ASOVAPE Costa Rica)
Asociación de Vapeadores del Ecuador (ASOVAPE Ecuador)
Pro-Vapeo México A.C.
Asociación por la Reducción de Daños del Tabaquismo de Panamá (ARDT Panamá)
Asociación Paraguaya de Vapeadores (ASOVAPE PY)
Asociación Peruana de Vapeadores (ASOVAPE Peru)
Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association (CASAA)
Asociación de Vapeadores de Venezuela (Asovapevzla)
Association of Vapers India (AVI)
Asosiasi Vaper Indonesia
Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA)
Association for Smoking Alternatives in Pakistan (ASAP)
台灣菸草減害協會 (Taiwan Tobacco Harm Reduction Association, TTHRA)
ENDS CIGARETTE SMOKE THAILAND (ECST)
Association Indépendante Des Utilisateurs de Cigarette Electronique (Aiduce)
Cyprus Vaping Association (CVA)
Dansk e-Damper Forening (DADAFO)
New Nicotine Alliance-Suitsuvaba Eesti (NNA-Smokefree Estonia)
Bundesverband Rauchfreie Alternative e.V. (BVRA)
Die Interessengemeinschaft ExRaucher (ExRaucher IG)
Κοινότητα Ελλήνων Ατμιστών (Greek Vapers Club)
Villanypára Egyesület (Electricity Steam Association)
New Nicotine Alliance Ireland (NNA-Ireland)
Associazione Nazionale per i Vapers Uniti (ANPVU)
Actief Voor Dampen (AcVoDa)
Nikotinalliansen Norge (Nikan)
Norsk Dampselskap (NDS)
Associação Portuguesa de Vaporizadores (APORVAP)
Ohms Do Vapor (The Ohms of Vapor)
Asociatia Consumatorilor de Produse Alternative cu Nicotina (ACPAN)
Združenje vejperjev Slovenije (ZVS)
Asociación Española de Usuarios de Vaporizadores Personales (ANESVAP)
New Nicotine Alliance-Sweden (NNA-Sweden)
New Nicotine Alliance (NNA-UK)
Thanks to the people who helped round up all the information that went into this list—especially Claudio Teixeira of ARDT IBEROAMÉRICA.
We tried to make this list as comprehensive as possible. If you’re aware of consumer groups that we missed, or a new group that forms after publication, tell us about it in the comments. And please join a vaping consumer group in your country today!