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‘The Vaping Congressman’ is at it again, but is he just blowing hot air?

California Rep. Duncan Hunter is often called The Vaping Congressman because of his tendency to pull out his trusty vape mod during committee meetings.  And according to recent reports, he’s up to his shenanigans once again.  But is he acting as an enthusiastic advocate for the American vaping industry, or is he simply pissing people off for no good reason?

Apparently, Hunter might be achieving both goals simultaneously.

This time around, the subject under discussion was a proposed amendment to that no-vaping-on-airplanes bill from last year that got Hunter so hot and bothered in the first place.  According to The Hill, Washington, DC Delegate Eleanor Holm Norton (under the US constitution, DC is not allowed to have an official congressional post), Norton argued that the definition of smoking should be revised to include the following.

“…a device that delivers nicotine to a user of the device in the form of a vapor that is inhaled to simulate the experience of smoking.”

So, Hunter once again pulled out not one but two different vaping devices, one with nicotine-enhanced e-liquid and one without.  He questioned whether Norton’s proposal made any sense.  After all, under the Norton amendment, one e-cig would be technically legal while the other would not.  So, why even discuss new legislation when the politicians voting on it do not even understand the very basics of vaping in the first place?

“That doesn’t make sense to me. Either say that an e-cigarette is illegal, whether it has nicotine or not in it,” insisted Hunter.

So, what did the congressional panel do?  They voted 30-29 in favor of Norton’s amendment. Meanwhile, most airlines already ban the use of e-cigs in flight – regardless of what type of substance is inside them.

The Vaping Congressman and the Hunter Vaping Bill

Some are speculating that Hunter’s latest congressional vaping antics are an attempt to gain media attention for his own piece of proposed legislation called the Cigarette Smoking Reduction and Electronic Vapor Alternatives Act.  Sometimes referred to as the Hunter Vaping Bill, his proposal attempts to redefine the existing FDA deeming regulations passed during the Obama Administration that threaten to wipe out thousands of vape shops across the nation. 


One of its primary objectives of the Hunter bill is to declassify e-cigs and vaping products as ‘tobacco products’ as currented defined by the Tobacco Control Act.  If e-cigarettes are declassified, then retailers would no longer be required to adhere to the controversial Pre-Market Tobacco Application (PMTA) process that can cost perhaps $350,000 to $1 million per product. 

The Hunter Vaping Bill would also require retailers to adhere to existing manufacturing standards as set forth by the American E-liquid Manufacturers Standards Association (AEMSA) until more permanent standards could be put into place.  It would also require manufacturers to implement serial or lot numbers, follow stricter electronic and battery standards, and impose penalties on retailers who do not comply, among other itemized revisions to the existing FDA deeming regulations.  So far, the bill is still stalled in congress.


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