E-cigarette seller falls foul of law

SMOKING: e-cigarette vendor is against the law classing them with tobacco products.
SMOKING: e-cigarette vendor is against the law classing them with tobacco products. Max Fleet

AN ELLIOTT Heads man who launched a petition last year against having e-cigarettes treated as tobacco products has become a victim of the new law.

Shane Kerrigan, who owns a store selling e-cigarettes, pleaded guilty and was fined $350 on April 1 for possessing nicotine liquid.

Mr Kerrigan said he was charged after police and Queensland Health officials raided his home

.The legislation was introduced to State Parliament by then Health Minister Lawrence Springborg.

But Mr Kerrigan said e-cigarettes contained no tobacco, no combustion and therefore did not produce smoke.

And he said it was "absolutely crazy" to group them under the Tobacco Act (2008).

Mr Kerrigan said the legislation classed e-cigarettes as a tobacco-related product, when they had nothing to do with tobacco.

He said e-cigarettes had helped him kick his 25-year smoking habit.

Mr Kerrigan has vowed to continue his fight, and he was scathing about the inaction on tobacco of governments around the world.

He said they reaped too much from taxing the sale of cigarettes to ban tobacco

."If tobacco was taken off the market today the world economy would fall over tomorrow," he said.

Mr Kerrigan said governments would do their best to keep people smoking.

"It's a conspiracy against us," he said.

Mr Kerrigan said e-cigarettes were completely legal unless nicotine liquid was placed in them.

"You're not allowed to have nicotine in Queensland unless the government has sold it to you in the form of cigarettes," he said.

Mr Kerrigan said he planned to "truck on" with his business, even though he was struggling.

"I have got nothing against the police," he said.

"We even advertise in the Australian Police magazine."

A spokesman for Health Minister Cameron Dick said liquid nicotine was already banned in Queensland, and the fact that it sat under the Tobacco Act was irrelevant.

There were no plans to change the legislation.

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