West Australia has become the first region to ban e-cigarette devices outright. The Cancer Council of West Australia have been campaiging locally to ban eCigarettes and eLiquids for over 12 months and now have succeeded. The main reason behind the ban seems to be because they pose a threat at being “starter products for children and ex-smokers”, blanketing the fact that these devices help people already addicted to smoking regular cigarettes.
The man pictured here, 33 year old Vince Van Heerden from Perth Australia, has been fined by the Supreme Court $1,750 on June 24th 2014, with an additional $14,000 in court costs and legal fees, following a raid by health officials on Mr Van Heerden home. Whats more, when charged, he was only selling nicotine free e-Liquids, which the courts ruled to be illegal even without nicotine. He was originally acquitted of the charge, but later found guilty on appeal.
Justice Janine Pritchard, who was the sentencing judge, refused Mr Van Heerdens request for a spent conviction order, which would have meant he would not have a criminal record even though she stated that “Mr Van Heerden honestly and reasonably believed e-cigarettes were a healthy alternative to cigarettes”.
Mr Van Heerdens fight against the law also counted against him. He was campaigning in the media against the ban of e-Cigarettes and also against his court case, because of this Justice Janine Pritchard ruled “It is clear you do not consider the sale of e-cigarettes should be prohibited”.
“I will appeal, I know e-Cigarettes have changed smokers lives”
Mr Van Heerden is currently launching an appeal with west Australia’s court of appeal, to be seen by three judges. He has 21 days from the conviction date to submit this appeal.
“I have to fight on because honestly this isn’t about my business,” said Mr Van Heerden.
“If it was about my business I would have walked away from this a long time ago.”
“Everything I’m doing now is costing me money.”
“I know that my health has changed dramatically since using electronic cigarettes and I know the lives of dozens of people in real life that have been changed.”
Van Heerden rejected claims that he was not remorseful.
“They argue that I can’t feel remorseful while campaigning for the law to be changed,” he said.
“Well no, I am remorseful because I’m an honest, abiding citizen who never intended to break the law.
“So it’s very disappointing that inadvertently I have.”