Congressional hearings can be boring and uneventful, especially when the issues at hand are not ones that draw headlines, but sometimes a legislator will do something noteworthy that warrants mention.
Such was the case Thursday during a markup of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, when members of Congress present were discussing an amendment that would ban vaporizers on planes.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R., Calif.) felt mere rhetoric was insufficient to argue against the amendment, opting instead to demonstrate the benefits vaping can have on the human body.
Hunter took out his own personal vape and took a big puff, blowing out the smoke to the apparent disgust of Rep. Candice Miller (R., Mich.), who was sitting next to Hunter and frantically fanned the smoke away with her hand.
“This is called a vaporizer,” Hunter said, holding up the object and drawing a few laughs from observers. “There’s no combustion; there’s no carcinogens. What the gentlelady did not say is that smoking has gone down as the use of vaporizers has gone up. There is no burning. There is nothing noxious about this whatsoever.”
Duncan added that vaporizers “have helped thousands of people quit smoking. It’s helped me quit smoking. And in the next decade or so, you’re going to be able to inhale ibuprofen, you’re going to be able to inhale your Prozac, and anything else that you need drug-wise, you’re going to be able to inhale it.”
The congressman concluded his remarks by explaining how the amendment under discussion, as currently written, will not allow people to have asthma inhalers or nebulizers on planes and not able to inhale anything else.
“This is the future,” Duncan then said, holding up his vaporizer again. “Smoking is going away, and the ability to be able to take in nicotine or any other form of medication in the future will be in something like a vaporizer.”
“For freedom’s sake, and for the sake of people trying to quit smoking, and quit dipping, and still have nicotine, I would urge friends here and colleagues to oppose this amendment.”