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ACCC commences legal action for false claims

Discussion in 'Research, Health and Legal' started by Donna, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. Donna

    Donna Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2015
    http://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/accc-takes-action-against-the-joystick-company-for-alleged-misleading-e-cigarette-“no-toxic-chemicals”-claims

    ACCC takes action against the Joystick company for alleged misleading e-cigarette “no toxic chemicals” claims
    9 September 2016


    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against The Joystick Company Pty Ltd (Joystick), an online e-cigarette retailer, for alleged false or misleading representations that its products did not contain any toxins or formaldehyde, were “independent from” chemicals found in conventional cigarettes, and had been approved by the ACCC.

    The ACCC had previously issued Joystick with three infringement notices as it had reasonable grounds to believe that the company had made a number of false or misleading representations. Joystick did not pay the penalties specified in the infringement notices within the specified payment period.

    The proceedings were commenced after independent testing commissioned by the ACCC indicated that the Joystick’s e-cigarette product tested contained toxic chemicals including formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acrolein.

    “It is crucial that suppliers have scientific evidence to support claims that their products do not contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

    “This is particularly important when, as here, products are designed to be inhaled and are being differentiated from conventional tobacco cigarettes because they are claimed not to contain toxic chemicals.”

    “This action against Joystick also reflects the ACCC’s policy that enforcement proceedings will be considered against businesses which do not pay the penalties specified in infringement notices within the payment period,” Ms Court said.

    The ACCC has also alleged that the sole director of Joystick was knowingly concerned in the conduct.

    The ACCC is seeking pecuniary penalties, declarations, injunctions, orders for an ACL compliance program, publication orders and costs.

    Background

    The proceedings against The Joystick Company follow the ACCC’s decision to commence proceedings againstSocial-Lites Pty Ltd and Elusion New Zealand Limited in June 2016, also for alleged breaches of the ACL.

    The ACCC’s enforcement actions against these three suppliers follow a survey it conducted of Australian e-cigarette businesses websites. The ACCC will write to other industry participants putting them on notice about their consumer law obligations not to mislead consumers about the composition and safety of the products they are offering for sale.

    Notes to editors

    Formaldehyde is classified by the World Health Organisation International Agency for Cancer Research as a Group 1A carcinogen, meaning there is sufficient evidence to show it is carcinogenic to humans.

    Acetaldehyde is classified as a Group 2B carcinogen by the IARC. That classification is applied to a chemical agent that has been evaluated as being possibly carcinogenic to humans.

    Acrolein is classified by the World Health Organisation as a toxic chemical. It is also listed as a dangerous poison in Schedule 7 of the Poisons Standard of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Cth).

    Infringement notices are designed to provide a timely, cost-efficient enforcement outcome for contraventions of the ACL.

    The ACCC may issue infringement notices where it has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has contravened certain consumer protection provisions. Payment of the penalties specified in infringement notices prevents the ACCC from brining proceedings against the person to whom the notice was issued by the ACCC in respect of the contravention specified in the notice.

    More information is available at: Guidelines on the use of infringement notices



    Release number:
    MR 165/16
    Media enquiries:
    Media team - 1300 138 917


    https://www.accc.gov.au/about-us/au...umer-commission/compliance-enforcement-policy
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
  2. Judith

    Judith Mostly harmless

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Location:
    Tasmania
    Interesting that they didn't pay the original penalty.

    PS I think you double pasted the press release Donna.
     
    Donna likes this.
  3. margyb

    margyb Great Balls of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Location:
    Lindisfarne Tasmania
    Maybe they are going to fight it?
     
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  4. Jennifer

    Jennifer Pyjama Queen

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    Jun 2, 2015
    Location:
    Perth
    Who is Joystick? I thought it was a different company they nabbed?
     
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  5. Donna

    Donna Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2015
    The article implies it is a third one to the two we already knew about. I've looked Joystick up and can't find them anywhere.
     
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  6. Jennifer

    Jennifer Pyjama Queen

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Location:
    Perth
    Ok, ta.

    http://www.ibizaexpresscard.com/portfolio/joystick-e-shishas/

    I found the other thread: http://www.vapercafeaustralia.com/threads/accc-takes-two-aussie-ecig-vendors-to-court.3341/

    I wonder if Socialites and Elusion were both given infringements that they didn't pay. And I also wonder how much the fines were? Maybe they couldn't afford to pay?
     
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  7. Donna

    Donna Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2015
    Thanks Jen, I did look for the original thread but couldn't find it. Mods, feel free to combine if you see fit.
     
  8. Pippi

    Pippi Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    Location:
    Victoria
    I think Elusion could afford to pay, thier prizes were astronomical 7 years ago when I tried them. I confess I felt exploited and ripped off.
     
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  9. Squid

    Squid Member VCA Approved Vendor

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2015
    (The ACCC will write to other industry participants putting them on notice about their consumer law obligations not to mislead consumers about the composition and safety of the products they are offering for sale.)

    Received a letter today from ACCC, with no specific problems on my site mentioned, just a warning about the above.
     
    margyb, Jennifer, Donna and 2 others like this.
  10. Squid

    Squid Member VCA Approved Vendor

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2015
    Lots of mention about Elusion and Socialites too.
     
    Pippi and Judith like this.
  11. Flea

    Flea Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    All warnings?
    Poor Vince in Perth didn't get any warnings,
    confiscate his gear and straight into court.
     
    Christina Ballerina and Jennifer like this.
  12. Donna

    Donna Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2015
    Hi Squid,

    Any chance of you emailing the letter to me. Happy for you to take out any personal details.

    If so Donna@nnalliance.org.au

    Thanks.
     
    margyb likes this.
  13. Judith

    Judith Mostly harmless

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Location:
    Tasmania
    @Squid JIC Squid doesn't check the thread for a while but logs on. Don't want you missing Donna's post.
     
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  14. Squid

    Squid Member VCA Approved Vendor

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2015
    Email sent
     
    Judith, margyb and Donna like this.
  15. Donna

    Donna Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2015
    Thanks
     

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