Australia seems to be on a steady downhill path to madness when it comes to electronic cigarettes. The latest installment has an actually citizen slapped with an actual fine for using his e-cigarette at a train station. The man told the police officer it was an electronic cigarette and was let go with a warning. But later, he got a ticket in the mail with a large fine attached. The man took his case to the local court to try to get the whole thing straightened out.
Anthony Campo pleads not guilty after being fined for smoking an electronic cigarette at a train stationHowever, when magistrate Alan Railton, who described the case as “a first for me”, said he had to enforce the fine, Mr Campo changed his plea to not guilty.
Producing a zip-lock bag containing the ciggy and a small charger, Mr Campo told the magistrate “it was only an electronic cigarette”. Amid chuckles from the galler, the bemused magistrate said, “That's a good one.”
The prosecutor said irrespective of whether it was an e-cig the regulations defined the offence as including “any tobacco or any other product intended to be smoked”.
Mr Railton said there was nothing the court could do but enforce the fine.
Granted I'm not familiar with Australian law, it seems like this ruling could potentially have a ripple effect if it's not appealed. Since e-cigarettes aren't actually smoked, this could make the devices legall fall under that definition, which could further expose them to restrictive laws in that country.