Exactly a week ago, the US Navy announced that it was banning the use of vaporizers and other similar electronic devices on their aircrafts, ships and submarines, due to several incidents of exploding batteries resulting in injuries of personnel.
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Rep. Hunter, who has been incessantly pointing out the benefits of the products as harm reduction tools, and only last February sent a letter to President Trump explaining how the US is doing it all wrong, wrote a letter once again this time to acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley.
Reduce risks, rather than denying “life-saving alternatives”
“It has come to my attention that the Navy has banned vaping on ships citing battery explosions and related injuries,” said Hunter. “Given the reduced health risks vaping represents compared to tobacco products, I would like to better understand the Navy’s position in eliminating access to vaping products for sailors and Marines who are attempting to take a positive step to improve their health.”
In the letter, the Congressmen demanded answers pertaining to the amount of incidents related to vaping that have occurred over the last year, the amount of sailors or Marines that have been injured together with the severity of the injuries, and also the number of incidents that were the user’s fault.
“I certainly understand the Navy’s need to mitigate risks aboard ships, and I recognize that under rare circumstances, batteries in vaping devices can cause injury,” added Hunter.
Urging the Navy to be cautious
The ban will go into effect on the 14th of May, and while Hunter stated that he will introduce a legislation to regulate vaping devices, he also urged the Navy to be cautious in banning the products. In line with what many public health experts have been saying, he pointed out that since the devices are proven to be the preferred smoking cessation tool of smokers, they have the potential of drastically reducing tobacco consumption.