Anti smoking zealots seem to have an ever expanding wish list of things they wnt banned. Not content with advertising bans and plain packaging laws, as well as restrictions on where smoking can be carried out, including private property, they have for some time gone after nicotine replacement methods.
For some time such products as nicotine patches, lozenges, and gum could only be obtained with a doctor’s prescription. Attempts at liberalizing this in order to make this therapy more easily available was resisted with the claim that travelers on public transport could use it to avoid smoking on planes and trains etc. (Go figure)
Now they want to ban E cigarettes, even though they contain no nicotine and a number of friends have successfully used them to give up smoking. They are currently demanding a purge of Western Australia’s laws after a case was thrown out of court:
The Cancer Council wants WA's tobacco laws changed to specifically ban electronic cigarettes after a test case that sought to charge a business for selling them was thrown out of court.
Joondalup Magistrate's Court ruled last week there was not enough evidence that two types of electronic cigarettes looked like cigarettes or cigars, acquitting the operators of Heavenly Vapours of breaching the Tobacco Products Control Act.
So-called e-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that do not burn tobacco but turn nicotine or fruit flavours into vapour that is inhaled and exhaled. It is illegal to sell e-cigarettes that contain nicotine under Australian law.
The WA Health Department prosecuted the Duncraig-based operators who sold e-cigarettes and nicotine-free "e-juice" through a website in late 2011. WA tobacco laws prohibit the sale of any food, toy or other product that is not a tobacco product but is designed to resemble a tobacco product.
But the court ruled the electronic cigarettes did not necessarily resemble a cigarette or cigar and could also look like a fountain pen. Unlike normal cigarettes, they also required the user to press a button. …
… Mr Slevin said the Tobacco Products Control Act was due for a review and could help ban e-cigarettes as well as address issues such as the need to reduce the number of licensed tobacco retailers. "This incident of a failed attempt to prosecute points to the fact that the current provisions are not adequate," he said.
So, the argument is that because a prosecution based on the device having the appearance of a cigarette failed because the magistrate thought it didn’t, indicates that the law is inadequate for banning a harmless product.
Rules seem to vary from state to state. In Queensland they can, and are sold through some tobacconists and unlike real tobacco products do not have to be hidden from view and can be spoken of. According to one shop owner, “It is legal to sell them through tobacconists because they don’t contain nicotine.”
Once again, go figure.