NEW SIGNS: Shane Kerrigan has changed his signage to comply with health department regulations at his e-cigarette shop, iVape, on Bourbong St.
NEW SIGNS: Shane Kerrigan has changed his signage to comply with health department regulations at his e-cigarette shop, iVape, on Bourbong St. Eliza Goetze

Vape store 'raided by health department'

INSIDE shop 79 on Bourbong St the shelves - previously lined with e-cigarette parts and flavours - are looking empty.

Wide Bay Public Health Unit officers attended the iVape store after reportedly receiving complaints about the store's e-cigarette signage, stock displays and advertising, and ordered business owner Shane Kerrigan to remove his displays of e-cigarette parts and flavours.

Also known as "personal vapourisers" under Queensland law, e-cigarettes and their related components came under the same display laws as regular cigarettes in 2015.

They cannot be "advertised, promoted or displayed at retail outlets".

That means in Mr Kerrigan's shop, all smoking products must be kept out of sight of customers and be concealed by an opaque covering.

 

SHOP WITH NOTHING IN IT: Shane Kerrigan has been ordered to remove his displays of e-cigarette flavours and accessories from his Bourbong St shop.
SHOP WITH NOTHING IN IT: Shane Kerrigan has been ordered to remove his displays of e-cigarette flavours and accessories from his Bourbong St shop. Eliza Goetze

The flavours in the bottles he had displayed do not contain any nicotine - a substance illegal to sell in Australia.

The colourful liquids contain propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin and food grade flavourings, Mr Kerrigan said.

"You can tip those bottles straight into your smoothie and it would taste lovely.

"I did ask if we could keep the shelves with the bottles lying down so you couldn't see the labels, but they wouldn't allow that.

"Even the mats on the bench top, because it has Coilmaster written on there, they call that a tobacco-related product, so we've had to turn these upside down."

Mr Kerrigan has changed the signage at the front of the shop from "electronic cigarettes" to "non-tobacco alternatives". "The front window is now 100% legal."

He faced a $2000 fine if he did not comply in seven days.

Mr Kerrigan is railing against the laws. He believes e-cigarettes are better for you than tobacco cigarettes and says his products help people to quit smoking.

He cited a recent report by Public Health England that suggests e-cigarettes are "95% less harmful to your health than normal cigarettes" and described the visit from government officers as "ironic".

 

 

 

 

SHOP WITH NOTHING IN IT: Shane Kerrigan has been ordered to remove his displays of e-cigarette flavours and accessories from his Bourbong St shop.
SHOP WITH NOTHING IN IT: Shane Kerrigan has been ordered to remove his displays of e-cigarette flavours and accessories from his Bourbong St shop. Eliza Goetze

"We're trying to help people get off cigarettes... and we've got the health department trying to stop us. It's crazy."

"Officers confirmed that the signage, stock display and advertising was not compliant with the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 and enacted a number of improvement notices as outlined under the Act," a Queensland Health spokesman said.

Last month Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council concluded that there was "currently insufficient evidence to support claims that e-cigarettes are safe and further research is needed to enable the long-term safety, quality and efficacy of e-cigarettes to be assessed" and "insufficient evidence to conclude whether e-cigarettes can assist smokers to quit".


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