Vapers Club, Vapers Forum, Vapers Place, Utah Vapers, Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association
What do all of these organizations have in common?
According to Dr. Stan Glantz, they are all tobacco front groups because they "bear an uncanny resemblance" to front groups that the tobacco industry historically formed to oppose clean indoor air legislation.
Dr. Glantz writes: "It turns out that ABC spiked a second documentary, prepared for its documentary program Turning Point, "Tobacco Under Fire." The first segment, which deals with advertising, is mostly of historical
interest (to show that we have actually made some progress, although
nothing close to most other countries, which have ad bans). The second segment, dealing with how the tobacco companies create front
groups, however, is highly relevant today, since the "grassroots" vaper
associations bear uncanny resemblances to what the tobacco companies did
in (generally ineffective) efforts to organize smokers to oppose clean
indoor air laws and other tobacco control policies."
In other words, the efforts of grassroots organizations like these vaper associations are not genuine displays of the opinions of vapers. Instead, these organizations are merely front groups created by the tobacco industry in order to have the appearance of a grassroots group, but actually intended to lobby for the tobacco industry's interests.
The Rest of the Story
Fortunately, Dr. Glantz is living in the past. While it is quite true that the tobacco companies used to form front groups to masquerade as genuine grassroots organizations in order to oppose smoke-free laws, the fact that Big Tobacco acted this way in the 1980s and 1990s does not mean that any organization that supports electronic cigarette use in 2014 is a Big Tobacco front group.
In fact, the accusation is a defamatory one because it is intended to harm the credibility of these groups and it is not based on any careful attempt to present the truth.
Nearly all of the vaper groups and associations are genuine grassroots organizations that truly represent the interests of the vaping community, not Big Tobacco. The accusation makes no sense even on its face - these groups are trying to replace tobacco cigarettes with electronic ones. Why would Big Tobacco fund groups that are trying to make tobacco cigarettes obsolete?
This is just another example of the defamatory tactics that a number of electronic cigarette opponents are using to try to discredit these products and their potential role in public health.