Representative Duncan Hunter, a Republican congressman representing California’s San Diego County, is a vocal supporter of electronic cigarettes and so it perhaps comes as little to no surprise to find that he puffed on his vape pen while arguing against a federal ban that aims to ban vaping on planes.
Jason Rabinowitz, a researcher who writes about just about everything flight related, shared a GIF (animated image) of the Republican congressman vaping during the Transport Committee meeting.
The amendment to prohibit "vaping' on board aircraft has been upheld by @transport after a proper vote.
Was initially rejected by oral vote.
— Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) February 11, 2016
Unfortunately for vaping advocates, Hunter’s gesture and argument fell short of convincing the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, leaving the future of vaping on planes likely headed in the direction of federal regulation ultimately resulting in what many assume will be a ban on its use during flights.
Regardless of how the U.S. federal government decides to regulate the use of vaporizers during flights, CNN reports that most major airlines already have their own restrictions on vaping during flights in place.
In December of 2015, Hunter wrote a an op-ed piece for The Hill in which he proclaimed himself a vaper. In justifying his use of a vape, he wrote at the time that:
“The reason I vape is simple: It’s so I don’t smoke cigarettes. I vape knowing that I’m not inhaling tobacco. Most importantly, I vape because I believe it could save my life.”
Hunter is a self-proclaimed vaper and occasional cigarette smoker who has been on three combat tours during his time in the U.S. military.
In his opinion, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “should wise up” in regards to their regulatory efforts as they pertain to the vaping industry. By his account, the FDA’s prohibition-esque regulations on vaping are “senseless” if the administration’s goal is ultimately to reduce cigarette use.