A Billion Lives Explores the Vaping Industry
A Billion Lives is a new award-winning documentary film about vaping. Directed and narrated by Aaron Biebert the film pits the vaping revolution against the corruption and politics of Big Tobacco.
The film starts with the harm tobacco can do, from lung cancer to asthma and more, and then outlines the history of the tobacco industry. Their film then shifts and focuses on the vaping industry. They showcase a number of interviews and talks by experts in the field, showing just how e-cigarettes may be able to save a majority of lives that could be lost to tobacco (those billion lives).
Finally, the film shows the attempts the tobacco industry is making to stop the vaping industry. The film really explores how and why people are so critical about vaping and it shows just how much money tobacco needs to survive. The producers tackle issues such as tobacco’s involvement with pharmaceutical corporations and the government.
The documentary was developed by Aaron Biebert, a filmmaker and director based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This is his first feature film. He became interested in the topic after doing research into the tobacco industry and finding that one billion people were projected to die from tobacco this century. He became passionate about the project the more he learned.
From the A Billion Lives site:
“Everywhere we look, we see big business interests corrupting the truth and affecting millions of lives. We see that in the food industry, healthcare, government, and now with alternatives to smoking. With nearly unlimited funds, the big money always seems to drown out the truth when it suits them.
As filmmakers, it’s our job to tell stories that need telling, give voices to the voiceless, and make our world a better place. It’s not every day that filmmakers get to tell a story that can change the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world. With A Billion Lives, we have that chance and we’re not going to waste it.
We’re putting everything we have into making this the defining film for an entire generation and helping end the grip smoking has on over a billion people.”
Q&A with Aaron
Halo was lucky enough to get a chance to ask the director of A Billion Lives, Aaron Biebert, a few questions about both the documentary and his thoughts on the vaping industry:
Halo: You’ve mentioned you came up with the idea for this film while researching medical facts. Did you have a different documentary in mind, originally? If so, what made you decide the tobacco and vaping industries had to be addressed in your film? Especially since you aren’t a smoker or vaper?
Aaron: I’ve been very interested in health in the last few years. I’ve watched our country get increasingly unhealthy and then in 2014 life expectancies for some groups in the US began to go down, despite all this new technology. Something is wrong. Many of the usual suspects (food, war, violence, etc.) were covered in solid documentaries, but I discovered the statistic about a billion people dying from smoking-related diseases this century. I dug around and didn’t find any movies about it, so it looked like a worthwhile topic to explore. It’s not every day a person can investigate something this big, and be the first to do it in a documentary.
Halo: I know you’re aware of the different state taxes on vaping; have you seen the new Pennsylvania Act (Act No. 84) which enacts a sweeping 40% vaping tax starting Oct 1st? Not only will vapers be paying 40% more, a ‘floor tax’ goes into effect that same day. Vape shop owners will have to pay a 40% tax on all inventory on their floor that day. Many vape shops fear this will put them out of business. What do you think of these taxes and the future of vaping?
Aaron: It makes no sense. The general public would be horrified if they understood that these taxes are killing small businesses that are helping people quit a deadly addiction and giving people jobs at the same time. Now, not only will vapers be looked down upon because of the propaganda, but they will have fewer hardware, liquid, and flavor options to find the right combination that works for them. Consequently, they’ll keep smoking. And they’ll keep dying. Hopefully the answers we provide and corruption we expose in the movie will help open a lot of eyes. There’s a severe lack of correct information right now.
Halo: What have the premieres been like? How are audiences responding?
Aaron: The audiences have been very enthusiastic, and film festivals around the world have given us awards on three continents. We hope the energy motivates those who have seen the film to take action – to vote, to write their government representatives, and to call out those corrupt leaders who put profits and donations ahead of lives.
Halo: Now that the film is getting more press, have you had negative feedback? I read that your site has been hacked once…any additional backlash?
Aaron: The size of the toes we’ve been stepping on have been rather large, so it’s not surprising that some in government and in large corporations are feeling the heat – after all, they have billions of dollars in profits at stake. But overall, we’ve had few altercations. The biggest challenge has been censorship from Facebook. It’s hard to get the truth out there when the #1 social network in the world is holding it back. However, as long as we keep getting the support we have on social media, they won’t be able to stop us.
The opinions and other information contained in these blog posts and comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Nicopure Labs LLC, owner of the Halo and HaloCigs marks.
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