Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton has advanced a bill that would ban vaping on Amtrak trains.
“Although Amtrak has implemented its own policy banning smoking on trains, this policy could be reversed if not codified, particularly in regard to e-cigarettes. My bill would make the ban a matter of federal law and put Congress on record in support of protecting people from secondhand smoke and its proven detrimental health effects. I am reminding my colleagues of the countless lives lost during the decades it took states to ban smoking in public areas. We should not make the same mistake again by delaying banning electronic cigarettes and vaping devices on trains.”
Nothing like using the power of the Federal government to ban things which aren’t illegal.
While various outlets equate the banning of smoking and vaping on trains to the same bans on aircraft, the two are not equivalent. Firstly and most obviously, no passenger on an airliner can “crack a window” to dissipate second hand smoke. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, studies have shown that “second hand vapor” is no more harmful than exhaled breath. There is zero equivalence between smoking on an aircraft and vaping on a train.
Yet Congresswoman Norton’s statement ignores these distinctions and, worse still, makes clear her intention that no one may, in the future, take these distinctions into account. Read again:
“…this policy could be reversed if not codified…”
This illustrates the fear of the autocrat: that the people might, somehow, eventually have their say.