Over a three-week span in October, the We Vape We Vote tour traveled across the country rallying with voters at local vape shops. At two locations, personal testimony from constituents about how vaping saved their life was rejected by candidate offices. Today, each of those races have been moved by POLITICO’s Election Forecast from “Toss Up” to “Lean Republican”.
With 20 million adult vaper users in the United States, the We Vape We Vote tour sought to mobilize voters who vape. Survey data shows that 2 in 3 respondents reported being likely to vote for a candidate aligned with them on vaping policy. Vaping restrictions, like tax hikes and flavor bans, are unpopular among voters who vape, and survey respondents reported being more likely to vote for a candidate who opposes these restrictions.
In Colorado, Dr. Yadira Caraveo is the Democratic nominee for Congress in Colorado’s 8th District. Dr. Caraveo was the lead sponsor of legislation to ban flavored reduced-risk tobacco alternatives, like e-cigarettes, in Colorado. When constituents showed up at her campaign office to deliver handwritten testimony about their experiences with vaping, campaign staff locked the door and refused to listen to voters. Her opponent, State Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer, is a signer of the ATR Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
In Iowa, incumbent Rep. Cindy Axne’s campaign office in Des Moines also refused to accept handwritten letters from constituents following a We Vape We Vote rally nearby. Rep. Axne voted in favor of a flavor ban on vaping products and seems content to be guided by out of touch elites rather than science. Rep. Axne is running against Republican State Sen. Zach Nunn, a signer of ATR’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
Rep. Axne and Dr. Caraveo were both invited to attend We Vape We Vote rallies in their districts and actively chose not to hear from their constituents. The We Vape We Vote tour was sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform, the American Vapor Manufacturers Association, Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association, and the Iowa Vaping Association.