A constitutional court in Austria has overturned a planned amendment to tobacco laws that would have limited the sale of most electronic cigarettes to officially licensed tobacco shops, according to a Reuters story published by businessinsider.com.
Reuters reported that the government had proposed that sales of electronic cigarettes be limited to licensed tobacconists from October ‘to protect young people and for public health reasons’.
Retailers specializing in electronic cigarette objected because, under the amendment, they would have been allowed to sell only re-usable devices, but not the liquid to fill them or disposable products.
The court ruled on Monday however, that the proposed amendment was unconstitutional.
It said that the health arguments put forward were not solid enough to justify blocking the retailers’ right to trade freely.
And it said that electronic cigarettes should not be treated in the same way as tobacco products were treated.
“We are relieved that we can carry on our business and don’t have to shut up shop,” said Thomas Baburek, head of the electronic cigarette association, VFFED, and owner of an electronic cigarette shop.
Austrian tobacconists responded by saying that electronic cigarettes should not be allowed to be sold in an uncontrolled manner, according to comments reported by the APA news agency.