Does it help the cause of vaping to have an enthusiastic member of Congress blowing clouds on the House floor? That’s what a lot of vapers are asking after Rep. Duncan Hunter vaped during a meeting of the House Committee on Aviation yesterday.
This is actually the second time Hunter has vaped in the House. In February 2016, the California Republican pulled out a mod and hit it during a hearing of the same committee. (The picture above is actually from that hearing.)
This time he used two devices to show the committee the difference between vaping with and without nicotine during discussion of an amendment that would ban vaping nicotine on airplanes. Hunter’s point was that there’s no difference, and that the airlines ban vaping in airline cabins anyway — which is correct.
“Let me show you the problem I have with Ms. Norton’s amendment,” he said, according to The Hill. He then vaped, first on a small device and then on a much larger once, which he explained contained no nicotine.
“This is not covered under Ms. Norton’s amendment,” said Hunter. “That doesn’t make sense to me.
The author of the amendment, Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia (a non-voting delegate to the House), clearly didn’t understand the difference — but most other members of the committee didn’t either, and the amendment was accepted by a vote of 30-29.
The bigger question is if Hunter’s annual vaping stunts do anything to advance the cause of protecting the vapor industry from the FDA, either through passage of the Cole-Bishop bill, HR 1136, or Hunter’s own bill, HR 2194. Without a change to the predicate date in the FDA deeming regulations, Congress might be the only place anyone will be vaping.