Back in April, we brought you the news that the US Navy would be banning the use of e-cigarettes on board its vessels. According to naval commanders, this ban was due to the risk of exploding lithium-ion batteries as the US Navy claimed that ‘the explosions had caused fires, facial injuries, dental trauma and first degree burns, with these incidents stopping sailors working for a total of 77 days combined.
The ban seemed unfair to many, not only because lithium-ion devices are found in an array of different electrical devices but also because this would take away a comfort from these crew members, consequently making these sailors’ (who vape or smoke) life at sea even more difficult than it already is.
Thankfully, GOP California Rep. Duncan Hunter has now come out and defended e-cigarettes as he sent a letter to acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley. Duncan Hunter has previously defended the use of e-cigarettes and tobacco in the military and he has now urged the US Navy to re-think the vape ban.
In the letter he explained that he:
“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.”
Duncan Hunter has a knowledge of e-cigarettes and understands that the occurrence of exploding batteries is very uncommon and therefore asked the following questions to try and gain a better understanding of the issue and whether it warrants the action that was taken:
“Over the last year how many incidents related to vaping occurred aboard ships?
How many sailors or Marines have been injured by vaping devices?
What was the severity of these injuries?
Of the incidents how many can be attributed to user error?”
Hunter concluded by stating:
“I would also ask that the Navy consider joining me in reducing any risks associated with system use rather than taking such an extraordinary step to deny a life-saving alternative to traditional tobacco use”