E-cigarette vendor loses WA court appeal

File image of an e-cigarette. Source: AAP

A Perth man who was convicted of selling e-cigarettes, making WA the first jurisdiction in the world to outlaw their sale, has lost his appeal.

The man at the centre of a landmark legal case has lost his bid to appeal a judgment that deemed the sale of electronic cigarettes illegal in Western Australia.

In 2014, Vincent van Heerden of online business Heavenly Vapours lost a case brought against him by the WA Health Department that made the state the first jurisdiction in the world to outlaw the sale of e-cigarettes.

The business sold electronic inhalers that vaporise a liquid into a mist for inhalation as well as nicotine-free 'e-Juice'.

He was convicted under the state's Tobacco Products Control Act, which prohibits the sale of any food, toy or other product that is not a tobacco product but is designed to resemble one.

The WA Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal against conviction on Thursday, with Justice Robert Mazza saying no finding had been made to support van Heerden's assertion that the e-cigarettes in question were designed as "tobacco harm reduction products".

"This court should not be understood as having considered whether e-cigarettes are therapeutic and ought be available for sale," Justice Mazza said.

"These are matters for parliament."

After the appeal was dismissed, van Heerden said he would have to pay costs of up to $60,000.

"That will probably leave me in a situation where I have to declare bankruptcy because there's no way to pay that money," he said.

Source: AAP