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Vaping and Nicotine Consumer Rights Groups Around the World

Jim McDonald
July 3, 2020

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, Pakistan, 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!

Why do consumers need their own organizations?

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.

Global nicotine consumer rights organizations

Africa

Africa – regional organizations

Africa – national organizations

Congo (DRC)
Tobacco Harm Reduction Congo (THR Congo)
Member of C.A.S.A.

Kenya
Tobacco Harm Reduction Kenya (THR Kenya)
Member of C.A.S.A.

Malawi
Tobacco Harm Reduction Malawi (THR Malawi)
Member of C.A.S.A.

Nigeria
Tobacco Harm Reduction Nigeria (THR Nigeria)
Member of C.A.S.A.

Tunisia
Association de la Cigarette Electroniques pour Arrêter de Fumer (ACEAF)
Member of INNCO

Uganda
Tobacco Harm Reduction Uganda (THR Uganda)
Member of C.A.S.A.

Americas

Americas – regional organizations

Asociación por la Reducción de daños del Tabaquismo Iberoamérica (ARDT IBEROAMÉRICA)
(Latin American Association for Tobacco Harm Reduction)

Americas – national organizations

Argentina
Asociación de Vapeadores Argentina (ASOVAPE Argentina)
Member of ARDT IBEROAMÉRICA

Brazil
THR Brasil
Member of ARDT IBEROAMÉRICA and INNCO

Canada
Tobacco Harm Reduction Association of Canada (THRA)
Member of INNCO

Chile
Asociación de Consumidores Vapeadores de Chile (ASOVAPE Chile)
Member of ARDT IBEROAMÉRICA

Vapear No Es Fumar

Colombia
Asociación Colombiana de Vapeadores (ASOVAPE Colombia)
Member of ARDT IBEROAMÉRICA and INNCO

Costa Rica
Asociación Costarricense de Vapeadores (ASOVAPE Costa Rica)
Member of ARDT IBEROAMÉRICA

Ecuador
Asociación de Vapeadores del Ecuador (ASOVAPE Ecuador)
Member of ARDT IBEROAMÉRICA

Mexico
Pro-Vapeo México A.C.
Member of ARDT IBEROAMÉRICA and INNCO

Mexico y el Mundo Vapeando AC (MMV)
Member of ARDT IBEROAMÉRICA

Panama
Asociación por la Reducción de Daños del Tabaquismo de Panamá (ARDT Panamá)
Member of ARDT IBEROAMÉRICA

Paraguay
Asociación Paraguaya de Vapeadores (ASOVAPE PY)
Member of ARDT IBEROAMÉRICA

Peru
Asociación Peruana de Vapeadores (ASOVAPE Peru)
Member of ARDT IBEROAMÉRICA

United States
Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association (CASAA)
Member of INNCO

Tobacco Harm Reduction 4 Life (THR4Life)

Venezuela
Asociación de Vapeadores de Venezuela
Member of ARDT IBEROAMÉRICA

Asia/Pacific

Asia/Pacific – regional organizations

Asia/Pacific – national organizations

India
Association of Vapers India (AVI)
Member of CAPHRA and INNCO

Indonesia
Asosiasi Vaper Indonesia
Member of CAPHRA

New Zealand
Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA)
Member of CAPHRA and INNCO

Philippines
The Vapers
Member of CAPHRA and INNCO

Taiwan
台灣菸草減害協會 (Taiwan Tobacco Harm Reduction Association, TTHRA)
Member of CAPHRA

Thailand
ENDS CIGARETTE SMOKE THAILAND (ECST)
Member of CAPHRA and INNCO

Europe

Europe – regional organizations

Europe – national organizations

Austria
Österreichischer Dampferclub (ÖDC)
Member of INNCO

Belgium
Association Indépendante Des Utilisateurs de Cigarette Electronique (Aiduce)
Member of ETHRA and INNCO

Union Belge pour la Vape – Belgische Damp Bond (UBV-BDB)
Member of INNCO

Cyprus
Cyprus Vaping Association (CVA)
Member of INNCO

Denmark
Dansk e-Damper Forening (DADAFO)
Member of ETHRA and INNCO

Estonia
New Nicotine Alliance-Suitsuvaba Eesti (NNA-Smokefree Estonia)
Member of ETHRA and INNCO

Finland
Vapers Finland
Member of ETHRA and INNCO

France
Association Indépendante Des Utilisateurs de Cigarette Electronique (Aiduce)
Member of ETHRA and INNCO

SOVAPE
Member of ETHRA

Germany
Die Interessengemeinschaft E-Dampfen e.V. (IG-ED)
Member of INNCO

Die Interessengemeinschaft ExRaucher (ExRaucher IG)
Member of ETHRA

Greece
Κοινότητα Ελλήνων Ατμιστών (Greek Vapers Club)
Member of ETHRA and INNCO

Ireland
New Nicotine Alliance Ireland (NNA-Ireland)
Member of ETHRA

Italy
Associazione Nazionale per i Vapers Uniti (ANPVU)
Member of ETHRA

Netherlands
Actief Voor Dampen (AcVoDa)
Member of ETHRA and INNCO

Norway
Nikotinalliansen Norge (Nikan)
Member of ETHRA

Norsk Dampselskap (NDS)
Member of ETHRA and INNCO

Portugal
Associação Portuguesa de Vaporizadores (APORVAP)
Member of ARDT IBEROAMÉRICA

Slovenia
Združenje vejperjev Slovenije (ZVS)
Member of ETHRA and INNCO

Spain
Asociación Española de Usuarios de Vaporizadores Personales (ANESVAP)
Member of ARDT IBEROAMÉRICA, ETHRA and INNCO

Sweden
New Nicotine Alliance-Sweden (NNA-Sweden)
Member of ETHRA and INNCO

Switzerland
Helvetic Vape
Member of INNCO

United Kingdom
New Nicotine Alliance (NNA-UK)
Member of ETHRA

Snus Users Association
Member of ETHRA

Vapers.org.uk
Member of ETHRA, affiliated with INNCO

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, please tell us about it in the comments. And please join a vaping consumer group in your country today!

Smokers created vaping without any help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and vapers have the right to keep innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I recently joined the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy
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