A tobacconist from Toulouse, France has filed a lawsuit against an electronic cigarette shop for unfair business competition. As the EU passes new smoking laws, attorneys on both sides state there is a “legal vacuum” with e-cigarettes. The e-cig vendor being sued is named Esmokeclean, which opened in June in France.

The tobacconist wishes for the e-cig company to be issued a €1000 per day penalty just for promoting its business, as tobacco is no longer able to advertise, the tobacconist see’s this as monopolising the tobacco market and unfair trading.

“I don’t deal in the same product as them at all,” states Esmokeclean proprietor Reynauld Pirat and his lawyer Benjamin Echalier. e-cigarettes and e-liquids are not tobacco but the tobacconist seems to see it differently.

Three million people in Europe alone have tried e-cigarettes so far and French tobacco sales fell 4.9 per cent in 2012, and have been falling steadily a while now, so it’s easy to see where the tobacconist gets his frustration.

I can’t help wondering though, instead of trying to sue an e-cigarette company, why didn’t the tobacconist just start selling and promoting e-cigarette products himself from his already established shop?

For more details the full story can be read here at world news RFI.