Anthony Campo, 67, has just put his name in history as the first person to be fined for smoking an electric cigarette in public. The retired builder was accosted by the police when he got his e-cigarette out and started puffing away while waiting at Gosford station. He maintained that the female officer told him that he was being let off after issuing a warning, but instead he was slapped with an AUD 300 fine through post for smoking in public.
Campo complained to the Gosford Local Court on Friday where he had planned to plead guilty to avoid the fine. However, magistrate Alan Railton enforced the fine and Campo eventually resorted to pleading not guilty instead.
The latter produced his resealable bag containing the electronic cigarette and its charger to inform the magistrate “it was only an electronic cigarette,” which amused both the gallery and the magistrate.
The prosecutor for the case justified that whether it’s electronic or not, the policy that outlines the felony includes “any tobacco or any other product intended to be smoked.” Railton, who had described the case as “a first,” had no choice but to carry out the fine.