TIM HAMMOND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR RESOURCES
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR PERTH
VAPES OF WRATH: FEDERAL COURT FINES ANTI-CONSUMER E-CIGARETTE COMPANIES
Labor has today welcomed the finding by the Federal Court that three e-cigarette companies have breached the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by making false and misleading claims about toxins present in their products.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) launched the action against three e-cigarette companies that falsely claimed their products did not contain harmful carcinogens and toxins, including formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acetone.
Importantly, because directors and CEO of the e-cigarette companies knowingly took decisions leading to the false and misleading claims, the Federal Court found them to be personally liable to pay penalties of up to $15,000.
Under the ACL businesses must not make false or misleading representations about the goods or services they sell. This is particularly important for goods that are harmful, unsafe or that can have adverse health effects.
Labor has long called for increased penalties for anti-consumer conduct from $1.1 million to $10 million, and its calls have now been backed in by the ACCC, the Productivity Commission, consumer advocacy group CHOICE and Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand.
The ACCC’s statement on the Federal Court’s finding is available here: https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/e-cigarette-companies-to-pay-penalties
MONDAY, 8 MAY 2017