Local campaign argues benefits of vaping

'Save The Vape' is response to talk about possible flavored e-cigarette ban

RADFORD, Va. – Shiza Manzoor, Shelly and Heather Thomas, Yvonne Wall and Moriah Pinkham all vape and they all have a story to tell.

"If it wasn't for flavors, I would have never stopped smoking," Heather Thomas said.

"I'm healthier now at almost 56 than I have been in probably 30 years," Shelly Thomas said.

"It was a way better option than smoking hookah," Manzoor said.

"I started smoking at a very young age. I quit three years ago with the help of vaping," Wall said.

"I was smoking, probably, half a pack of cigarettes a day. Now, I'm down to one or two," Pinkham said.

That's why Jeremiah Robertson and his business partner, Eddie Thomas -- vapers themselves -- have created the Save The Vape Facebook page.

"What we want to see is real people with real stories talking about how vaping has helped them and what flavors have done to help them," Robertson said.

Their hope is that other vapers share their stories on the page. Their opinion is that the flavored e-cigarettes are not the problem and banning them would do more harm than good. They want more people to agree with them on this.

Talk of banning flavored e-cigarettes continues, following a rash of mysterious vaping-related illnesses across the U.S.

As of Monday, 530 cases and seven deaths had been reported.

"The people that are getting sick are the ones buying it from a third party off the street," Eddie Thomas said. "You don't actually know what you're inhaling."

"It's the THC cartridges combined with vitamin E acetate that's doing this. But what I don't understand is why is the vaping industry, the industry that's followed the rules of the FDA, that's complied with the FDA, why is that part of the industry getting punished?" Robertson said.

That's a question social media may now be able to help him get the answer to.