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25 June 2014

Fine sends warning on e-cigarette sales

Yesterday's Supreme Court decision to fine a retailer $1750 for selling e-cigarettes was evidence of WA's strong tobacco laws in action, WA Health's Environmental Health Director Jim Dodds said.

Mr Dodds said the prosecution of internet retailer Heavenly Vapours followed a Department of Health investigation that found it had breached the Tobacco Products Control Act 2006—which makes it unlawful to sell products that resemble a tobacco product.

It was the first prosecution and conviction in Western Australia of a person selling e-cigarettes. The retailer was initially acquitted by a Magistrate but was convicted on appeal.

"We believe this conviction will send a warning to other retailers about the consequences of breaching the Tobacco Products Control Act 2006 by selling e-cigarettes," Mr Dodds said.

"In addition to the sale of e-cigarettes breaching the Tobacco Products Control Act 2006, nicotine is a regulated poison under the Poisons Act and sales of e-cigarettes containing nicotine are not legal anywhere in Australia.

"All e-cigarettes are imported, and in many cases they are manufactured in an unregulated environment without evidence of quality control over design, content or consumer information."

Some sellers of e-cigarettes claim that they can be used to help people quit smoking, but the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has not assessed or approved e-cigarettes as a quitting aid, and their quality, safety and performance is not known (unlike nicotine replacement therapy products).

For more information about e-cigarettes visit www.healthywa.wa.gov.au

For information about the Tobacco Products Control Act 2006 visit: www.tobaccocontrol.health.wa.gov.au/legislation

Media Contact: 9222 4333
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