More than 10,000 people have signed a Change.org petition urging Facebook to change its definition of a tobacco product to exclude vaping products.
Started by Kevin Price, the petition gathered 10,072 signatures at the time of this report’s publishing. The petition is addressed to Facebook Chief Executive and Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg and reads:
Vaping is NOT a tobacco product just because it contains Nicotine! Tell Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook to change their definition of a tobacco product to NOT include vaping products. Vaping can help people quit smoking. We deserve to have our voices heard and this change needs to happen.
Many of the petitions’ commenters complained that Facebook’s decision to class vaping products in the same category as tobacco because they contain nicotine makes little sense when other products like cauliflower and eggplant also contain nicotine. Furthermore, there is a wide array of vaping products that contain no nicotine at all.
Other commenters recounted their own experiences of vaping saying they believed the product saved their life by helping them to quit smoking.
“Vaping has helped me stop smoking a pack a day for 15+ years and saves me hundreds of dollars a month not to mention my health. I need to be around for my four children!” said Jesse White from Arizona.
This isn’t the first time Facebook has faced a backlash over the issue of e-cigarettes and vaping. The social media company reversed its decision to censor ads for an upcoming documentary film “A Billion Lives” after the film’s director Aaron Biebert wrote a letter of protest.
Facebook initially rejected ads for the film on the grounds it violated guidelines prohibiting ads related to e-cigarettes. The title is based on the World Health Organization’s estimate a billion people will die from smoking over the course of this century.