Australia, land of deadly venomous creatures and deadly nanny politics has seen an interesting unintended consequence of its plain packaging laws. For those not familiar, smokes in Australia must be packaged in generic packs with gross images of the bad stuff smoking can do to you. In Australia, e-cigarettes without nicotine are legal and not a tobacco product (duh!) Therefore, plain packaging rules don't apply to these types of ecigs. Some enterprising local companies took note of this fact and decided to add things like blinky lights to their packages.
Entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the Government's plain packaging laws – which have dressed up traditional packets in drab brown – to sell boutique packets of electronic cigarettes in stores.
“It's been of massive benefit to us,” said company owner of Social-Lites e-smokes, Lee O'Hare, whose product is sold in more than 50 tobacconists, convenience stores and chemists on the Gold Coast.
E-cigarettes can be prominently displayed on counters despite plain packaging laws because “they are not governed by tobacco laws,” Mr O'Hare said. “They do not contain tobacco.”
Apparently prohibitionists in that country are trying to figure out how to ban a device that is essentially a stage prop. Without nicotine, there's not much cigarette-like about them except some flavored vapor.