Congressman Vapes During Hearing

He argued against vaping ban on planes
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2016 1:19 AM CST
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., speaks during a 2011 news conference on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
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(Newser) – In what may be a House first, Rep. Duncan Hunter pulled out his e-cigarette and blew out a cloud of vapor during a hearing on banning use of the devices on planes. "So this is called a vaporizer," the Republican from California said, per CNN. "There's no combustion, there are no carcinogens," he said. "There is no burning, there is nothing noxious about this whatsoever." Hunter, a prominent advocate of vaping, argued that e-cigarettes are "the future" and they had helped many smokers, including himself, quit, the Verge reports.

The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, unmoved by the stunt, voted 33-26 to include a vaping ban in legislation on new Federal Aviation Administration policy, USA Today reports. "I don't think we want to have clouds of vapor inside the aircraft," said Rep. Peter DeFazio, a Democrat who helped ban cigarette smoking in planes 30 years ago. Republican Rep. Bill Shuster countered that if mere vapor is banned, body odor could be next. "I've been on the floor before talking to some of you, and I've had to take a step back," he quipped. Vaping is apparently still allowed in the House chamber, which banned smoking in 1896. It wasn't banned in the rest of the House side of the Capitol until 2007. (Read more vaping stories.)

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