Hashtags, @Mentions and vaping – We were not ready

Who would have guessed that a press release from a local drug treatment centre would have gathered such interest?

Healthier alternative has a dark side

Commenters came out in their hordes, with their hashtags and @mentions, from behind their computers and mobile devices, vape in hand.

Now, I personally support many causes such as adopt don’t shop, anti-bullying and fur-free products.

I am also against animals in circuses, canned hunting, the use of child labour or child abuse.

But, we were not ready for the response we received to the press release. No, we weren’t.

I was definitely not ready.

 There were threats to bury all of us. I was called a fat phony and a fearmonger; in fact I, was the head honcho at Fearmongers-R-Us (this one made me giggle).


My photograph was even shared.

But, before we go any further, let’s straighten out a few small facts: the article was a press release from a renowned drug treatment centre in the Edenvale area. The article did not share my own opinion on the matter and was not written by me.

At the end of the article we supplied the contact details for Wedge Gardens. (Many vape-typers didn’t even get that far).

The term “author of the story” merely relates to the fact that I posted the press release for online usage.

Now that we have those simple facts out of the way, everyone has their own opinions on vaping vs smoking – just as everyone has an opinion on the use of cannabis, the death penalty, corrective rape and abortion. See where I’m going with this?

If it’s not clear enough already, one person may not have the same opinion as another; we are allowed to differ – you know, that’s what makes us individuals.

Sure enough, everyone is fighting for their own cause.

But since when is fighting for your cause all right when it’s at the expense of another person?

When did it become all right to lash out and lambaste another person because you think they may not share the same opinion as you?

Since when is it all right to threaten another person because you believe that you are right and they are wrong?

The correct way to bring your point across is not by name-calling and threats.

Maybe put that pent-up anger to good use and write a piece in response to the press release.

Just another fact: drugs and, yes, as tedious as this may be – even cannabis – are illegal in terms of the South African law.

Political parties, activists, supporters and enthusiasts, please take note: until such as time as this changes, we will every so often post a press release from a drug rehabilitation facility.

Charmaine Slater
Senior journalist (Edenvale)

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