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Why We Are Here: Harm Reduction

October 11, 2017 5 min read

Why We Are Here: Harm Reduction

Times are changing fast for the vaping industry and, as a result, transparency and brutal honesty are required now more than ever. The people here at Five Pawns think it’s time we grew up as an industry and focused less on the circus of rebellion and more on all of the good we can do collectively if the world had a better sense of what vaping means to ex-smokers. We believe we have to elevate our discourse and behavior to be taken more seriously. The more seriously we are taken, the more people will understand the logic of our position. The more people hear and understand our position, commitment, and passion, the more good we can do together.

We plan to use this blog as a forum to report on all of the relevant discussions occurring in our industry, both supporting and opposing our core beliefs. These posts will cover a whole set of topics relating to harm reduction, responsible vaping, and the differences between smoking vs. vaping in general. We also plan to show what life is like for responsible vapers and to profile stories of real people who made the switch.

Why we are here:

  1. To champion the global call for alternatives to combustible tobacco products.

  2. To advance awareness of the theory of "Harm Reduction."

  3. To suggest "Responsible Use & Enjoyment" through improved safety, quality, and flavor standards for our industry.

  4. To promote "Responsible Operations" in the manufacturing, sale, packaging, distribution, marketing, and promotion of vaping products.

  5. To call for better "Community Involvement" to connect our cause to the betterment of society.

  6. To proactively support "Child Protection Efforts" as one of our industry's most important responsibilities.

To start the dialogue off on the right foot, we want to state some our core beliefs:

1. There are major differences between vaping and smoking, and the public needs to know about them. Though the byproducts (vapor and smoke) look very similar, these two substances could not be more different. Important distinctions can be made relating to how each byproduct is created, what those byproducts contain, and what effects each has on the environment and our health. The key differences between vapor and smoke range from fundamental chemical differences at the molecular level to the technologies and methods used to produce these substances. We have developed accurate standardized testing methods that evaluate the concentrations of every component of our liquids and the vapor they produce. We've adjusted and improved our formulations over time to maintain the highest levels of quality and reliability of our products.

2. Vaping is not harmless. This statement may be true, but it is somewhat meaningless. The same can be said for many of the things we enjoy every day: coffee, vitamins, sugar, artificial sweeteners, carbohydrates, sodium, fatty foods, action sports, motorcycle riding, driving, running, hiking, etc. A better question worth exploring is: How can we enjoy reasonably risky behaviors in the ways we wish, as responsibly and safely as possible? The answer lies within reliable, readily available, and objective information that can fuel the conversations and debates in the most constructive manner possible.

3. No child should ever smoke, vape, drink coffee, drink alcohol, or use drugs of any kind to any degree. We will always ask ourselves: what more can we be doing as a company and as responsible citizens of the world to safeguard and protect children from accidental exposure to harmful and addictive chemicals of any kind? We don’t design products for children. We don’t make flavors that appeal to children. We don’t market to children. And we take it upon ourselves to protect our packaging, ordering, and delivery methods to ensure we are doing everything possible to eliminate accidental exposure to children based on all the factors we can control. We welcome fair regulation and believe it is the only way to legitimize our industry and keep it sustainable.

4. We believe vaping provides a significant ‘Harm Reduction’ benefit to smokers, in that vaping has been shown to be 95% less harmful than smoking by highly reputable public health agencies. Our opinion is that every adult who uses combustible tobacco, or smokeless tobacco such as chewing tobacco or snuff, should quit these proven-dangerous, cancer-causing habits immediately or switch to vaping premium grade vaping liquids from trusted and established companies. We reached our opinion based on the preponderance of research to date and an avalanche of anecdotal evidence from thousands if not millions of people around the world who have shared stories of how they successfully quit these habits with the aid of vaping. Some of the most credible articles written in support of harm reduction include: "E-Cigarettes Around 95% Less Harmful than Tobacco" from the U.K's official government website on public health, this article from the BBC titled "E-cigarettes should be offered to smokers, doctors say", and this article from Vice titled "Vaping Helped an Estimated 6.1 Million Smokers Quit, Study Says".

5. The latest FDA decision to equate all hardware technology and e-cig products with tobacco is inaccurate and should be reformed to better reflect reality. First and foremost, vaping liquids and the devices used to produce vapor from those liquids do not contain tobacco. We do not believe anyone is contesting this fact. As they are currently written, the FDA and many state tobacco regulations restrict companies involved in the vaping industry from telling truthful facts about vaping products that could help educate the public and promote alternatives to smoking. Furthermore, these FDA regulations force all companies in our industry to equate components and parts of vaping systems such as atomizers, batteries, flavors, metal wire, etc. as tobacco even though these items contain no tobacco in them whatsoever. Categorizing these devices and the parts contained within them as tobacco is like forcing all manufacturers of mechanical lighters and matches (like the kind you use to light candles at home) as tobacco, effectively restricting all sales, marketing, and distribution of those inorganic tools as if they were organic tobacco.

6. For adults who can’t quit smoking or wish to continue to enjoy nicotine products responsibly, we believe vaping well-regulated, nicotine-infused vapor liquids, through well-regulated devices, mods, and similar hardware is one of the most responsible things you could do for yourself and those around you. We want to make this perfectly clear: vaping is a vice. But hundreds of millions of responsible adults around the world experience real enjoyment in life through responsible, moderate use of potentially harmful things like alcohol, coffee, fatty foods, desserts, energy drinks, and more. Our position has always been that vaping high-quality liquids like the ones we produce through regulated delivery devices is an activity that can be responsibly enjoyed with acceptable and responsible levels of risk.

7. Studies and research has shown if the world gave up smoking and started vaping, millions of lives could potentially be saved. We believe in much of the reasoning presented by recent documentaries such as A Billion Lives and Vape Wave, and we encourage everyone who is interested in learning more about the real pros and cons associated with vaping to watch thought provoking documentaries like these and draw your own conclusions. We will actively support journalists, bloggers, and filmmakers who dare to tell the hard truth despite what lobbyists and the media have already done to misinform the public and threaten the sustainability of this industry.

We believe history will show that the invention of vaping will be recognized as one of the most significant technological advances benefiting world health in modern times. But before the world sees this technology the same way we do, we have a lot of work to do to cut through the negative noise and consistently tell the truth as best we can. Our promise to our fans, readers, and followers around the world is to commit to transparency, truth, and objectivity in the news and opinions we share on this important subject.

Thanks for reading, and stay informed!

Five Pawns


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