In response to COVID-19 pandemic, the day of mass-giving known as #GivingTuesday is coming early this year in the form of “GivingTuesdayNow.” Like thousands of other non-profit organizations, CASAA’s funding is shrinking as many of our members are losing their jobs or closing down their businesses in order to adhere to federal and state social distancing guidelines. But the need for donations is even greater now as opponents of low-risk alternatives to smoking continue pushing a false narrative about how vaping may increase your chances of contracting COVID-19 and that vaping could lead to more severe symptoms requiring a stay in an ICU. These claims are not supported by the data.
Whenever I hear rampant misinformation about almost any topic, my first reaction is to find out what I can do to fight back. I also look for who is challenging the lies being promoted in the media and in state houses around the country and what I can do to support them. With regard to tobacco harm reduction, as CASAA’s CEO, I’m one of the many people taking on the task of fighting back. Things may be relatively quiet in terms of legislation moving in states, but there is still an army of well-funded anti-harm reduction campaigners moving forward with their plans to rid the world of nicotine and demonize anyone who continues its use.
CASAA routinely takes stock of our resources and plans for what campaigns and on-going programs we can support. Since 2014, CASAA has been providing easy to understand and use digital advocacy campaigns designed to mobilize our national network of consumer advocates in opposition to policies meant to restrict everyone’s access to safer alternatives to smoking. While some officials have accepted your messages and adjusted their understanding of the issue to acknowledge the human (consumer) stakeholders, many, many more are stuck in the old way of thinking about nicotine, substance use, and what constitutes “evidence-based policies.” Changing hearts and minds is a multi-year, multi-decade effort and we’re just getting started.
On this impromptu day of giving, please consider donating to CASAA. Every little bit counts and we put every cent into providing truthful information about tobacco harm reduction and clear directions about engaging with officials. But we want to do more, we know we need to do more, and we know that the need to fund resistance to anti-nicotine bullies will continue for years to come.
If you are able, please help by donating here.
Regardless of whether or not you are able to help by donating money to support consumer efforts, please take a moment to share CASAA with your friends and family and ask them to join. All are welcome and membership is free. All we ask is that you take action when we send out an alert.
Thank you & I hope you are well,