In what is likely a first, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) vaped during a hearing today to showcase exactly how electronic cigarettes (or "e-cigs") work and how they are used. Hunter was protesting a proposed ban on e-cigs in airplanes.
Hunter, who used a vaporizer to help quit smoking, described how e-cigarettes differ from traditional cigarettes, as they only release water vapor and do not contain carcinogens. Because of this, he said, they shouldn't be banned from airplanes. He also elaborated how vaporized medicine is "the future"; and how the amendment would ban these as well.
“There’s no combustion. There’s no carcinogens,” he said. “This has helped thousands of people quit smoking. It’s helped me quit smoking.”
It wasn’t just a matter of nicotine either, Hunter said. He pointed to the possibility of inhalable medications coming down the pipe, which he said would be prohibited by the Norton amendment.
“And in the next decade or so, you’re going to be able to inhale your ibuprofen, you’re going to be able to inhale your Prozac,” Hunter said. “Anything else you need drug-wise, you’re going to be able to inhale it.”
The amendment, which was proposed by D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), wound up passing by a vote of 33-26.