Congressman Duncan Hunter Introduces Legislation
California Republican congressman Duncan Hunter has decided that the Cole-Bishop Act Will not be enough to satisfy him and if the vaping community were to look at the whole picture, it definitely won’t satisfy us either. Although Hunter’s legislation seems like wishful thinking, it’s nice to actually see a politician taking a tough stance against the FDA.
Not to mention, if vapers truly wish to see those sever FDA regulations disappear, then this legislative move is a necessity. Hunter states “to repeal and replace the FDA regulations, there needs to be a comprehensive plan in place to do so and the Cole-Bishop Legislation alone will not do that.” In a Vaping Post article published just several days ago, it reiterates the statement from Hunter’s Chief of Staff, the story states, “Cole-Bishop is like gaining the inch, and Hunter’s legislation the yard,” said Joe Kasper, Hunter’s chief of staff.
However, this piece of legislation is not just one step further than the Cole-Bishop Act nor is it a matter of differentiating two legislations by inches and yards. The legislation being introduced by congressman Hunter is in the right direction, this is a complete repeal and replace approach to the existing FDA deeming rule. Congressman Hunter said, “What we are trying to do is separate vaping from tobacco.”
Repeal & Replace
Congressman Hunter’s primary bullet points of the “Cigarette Smoking Reduction and Electronic Vapor Alternatives Act of 2017” are listed below:
- Separates Vaping From Tobacco
- Establishes Independent Regulatory Framework
- Enshrins Vaping as Harm Reduction
- Changes name of the Center for Tobacco Products at the FDA to the Center for Tobacco Products & Harm Reduction
There are many more “sensible regulations” listed in Hunter’s idealistic bill to overturn the FDA deeming rule, including setting standards for battery safety. It seems almost too good to be true, but the only way to completely repeal the FDA regulations is to have a new regulatory framework already drafted – this is Mr. Hunter’s reason for introducing this legislation.
Of course, the new vaping legislation raises a number of questions. For instance, one vaping advocate mentioned to me, “Why didn’t we know of this sooner? Why are they introducing this now – why not earlier?” Certainly a logical inquiry.
However, after researching this bill further, it makes complete sense as to why it is happening now. Apparently, there were a number of reasons for delaying it’s introduction to the House.
Possible Reasons for the Timing of this Bill
One reason being the Republican Party’s failed attempt to pass Health Care as they tried to repeal The Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act without having a comprehensive plan or any form of logical legislation to replace the PPACA (aka “Obamacare”).
Another reason is perhaps Mr. Hunter’s current legal issues were creating further complications. Hopefully, the fact that Congressman Duncan Hunter is being investigating by the Dept. of Justice will be overlooked as he introduces this very ambitious political message Hunter is sending to the unelected federal regulators.
Perhaps one other reason for introducing this bill right around this time is that it could just deal with the fact that this is merely a strategic approach – just more political games being played. We will most likely never know.
The Big Picture
Regardless, this bill is a thorough, but necessary legislative move. It was put together and drafted along with the AEMSA. Hunter’s primary bullet points of the “Cigarette Smoking Reduction and Electronic Vapor Alternatives Act of 2017” are nearly a picture perfect illustration of what the U.S. Vape Community truly would love to have – that is, a complete “Repeal & Replace” of the FDA’s Deeming Rule.
It is crucial to keep in mind that Congress does have the power to do all that is being outlined in Hunter’s bill and the 115th Congress should absolutely do all of it. After all, they handed the power over to the FDA to Regulate this Industry, so why not take it back?
Then again, Vapers and especially advocates would settle for anything the community can get at this juncture, so the Cole-Bishop Act is still certainly a possibility for what vapers will end up with. Congressman Hunter’s Legislation is literally what many refer to as “sensible regulation,” covering everything advocates have been criticizing and calling to change. So, while it may paint a pretty picture, it may also be too much wishful thinking.