If you’re a longtime vaper, you probably already know the general feeling towards vaporizers in your community. However, for those who don’t know, many cities treat vaping very differently from one another. Some cities have been especially vape-friendly, while others have all but banned vaporizers. How does your city stack up?
How Cities Are Ranked
Vape friendliness has to do with more than just allowing vaporizers in the city. Other important factors include how vaporizers are taxed, how vapor businesses are treated and how well the city understands the health impacts of vaping. It also includes whether or not local businesses like restaurants and bars are welcoming to vapers in general.
It’s no surprise that some of the friendliest cities for vaping are located in Colorado and Arizona. Phoenix, Denver and Colorado Springs are all leading the charge by being extremely friendly to vapers of all kinds. These cities have a really strong track record of supporting vapers and also are home to several vaping organizations that are actively advocating for vapers’ rights.
Outside of the Midwest, the most vape-friendly city is Virginia Beach, VA. All of these cities are full of people who tout the benefits of vaping over smoking and tend to be very health-conscious. At first it seems like marijuana-friendly cities also tend to be vape-friendly, but that is not always the case.
Of course, there are many shades of vape friendliness to keep in mind, so even if you don’t live in one of these ultra-friendly cities, you may still be in a place that is moderate or indifferent towards vaping in general.
Look around you and consider whether or not your city actively welcomes vape shops, or if they are required to go through extra steps to open up shop in the area. Ask yourself if your favorite hangouts are inviting toward vapers or not. Also look into your local representatives and see whether or not they have expressed any overt opinions about vaping.
Less Vape-Friendly Cities
Oddly enough, some of the least vapor-friendly cities in the U.S. are on the West Coast. Seattle and the entire state of California are generally unwelcoming to vapers.
Of course, California’s Proposition 56 was a pretty damning hit to the industry and showed vapers that they have a long fight ahead of them. In addition, Boston and Chicago also rank pretty low on the list. Some of these cities rank poorly because of strict taxes alone. Others rank poorly because of a lack of vapor-friendly businesses and limited availability of vapor products.
What To Do If You’re In a Non-Friendly Area
If you happen to live in a city that is not very vape-friendly, there is good news. As with Colorado and Arizona, it is possible to change the course of events by educating people and advocating for your rights. If you find a city particularly unwelcoming, it is likely that other vapers do, too.
Seek out others in your area who want to organize and turn things around. Again, your representatives are a good starting point because they may not have given any thought at all to vaping just yet, or they may have lumped it in with traditional tobacco products due to a lack of understanding. They are your ticket to a better vaping atmosphere.
Educating your peers and neighbors is the next step in the process. Even if you can get your representatives to stay vape-friendly, the fact is that you need the community to stand behind you as well.
A large part of this is informing your neighbors about why you started vaping in the first place. Share your struggles with trying to give up cigarettes and pull out a few quick and easy facts that demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of vaping as an alternative.
Be prepared to answer a lot of strange questions about things they’ve read on the web, and dispel fears about vaporizers exploding and maiming people. Statistics are your friend.
Many people out there don’t realize that vaping is not just a trend that young kids are taking up. They need to understand that it is a choice that millions of smokers are making to improve their lives. If it was their relative facing the health hazards of lung cancer from cigarettes, they would want all available resources to help them quit.
Just because a city isn’t particularly vape-friendly today doesn’t mean that it can’t get there. Vaping got a lot of bad press in the early years and it has taken a consistent effort by advocates in places like Colorado and Arizona to really turn the tables. Residents of other cities can learn from the communities in those states and form their own organizations to effect change in their areas.
Gianna Del Monte is the Brand Manager at VaporFi. She has been in the vaping industry since June 2015 and has extensive experience in successfully managing and marketing a variety of new vapor product launches. Originally from New Jersey, Gianna has lived in the Miami area for the last 5 years.