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Vapers Threaten Teens

Vapers get angry and threaten teen anti-ecig campaigners

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The vaping community has grown and in turn so has the animosity being expressed to those who would seek to restrict a vaper’s rights. School students in America advocating support for an anti-ecig bill have found themselves at the receiving end of insults and threats.

Paul Ray is a member of the Utah House of Representatives and has previously failed in an attempt to lump vaping in with smoking and curb the rights of electronic cigarette users. The Republican, a political party ostensibly dedicated to curbing the state interfering in the lives of citizens, is currently attempting to push through Bill 333. In many ways it is a rehash of his previous failure from 2014 but this time it comes with added implication by way of raising the tax level on ecigs.

Some students at a Utah high school made the mistake of being vocal in their support of Bill 333. "They're making their product so they can addict my generation. This is a health use issue across the state for youth,” said Cade Hyde.

Carson Robb, a fellow student added: “If people agree children are important to society, I don't think those people should have that big of a problem when they buy an e-cigarette, having to pay a little bit more if it might drive a kid away from buying that e-cigarette.”

Ray explained: “They knew their efforts might attract some opposition, but little did they know just how much.” Stating that he was “livid” about what has happened, he added: “The vapour community is attacking these kids.”

Comments on social media sites have included statements such as a desire to “throat kick” Hyde. But it didn’t stop there as some students have been sent direct messages containing abuse and threats of violence including the instruction to “die please”.

A criminal investigation has been launched to identify and charge those responsible for the malicious communications. The politician continued: “Say what you want to me, but when you start threatening these kids that are coming up here and they're trying to learn the process and be involved, that's where I take issue.”

One of the messages suggested vapers ‘go beat the crap out of’ Hyde. “I'm not going to let myself be intimidated by these threats,” he said. “I'm not going to let these threats stop me from what I'm doing.”

The abuse has simply hardened the resolve of the students to support the motion and they vowed to continue to lobby those voting on it next week. “Find a productive way to voice your opinion”, said another. “Threatening is not the way to do this.”

It should be pointed out that a dignified campaign against Bill 333 has been taking place. It also needs to be noted that Ray believes the entire ecig industry is made up of “scumbags”. Regardless of how you feel about issues such as raising taxes on mods and eliquid, is it ever right to be abusive to those campaigning for such an approach (especially if they are children)?

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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