As an appeal to revoke the ban on electronic cigarette sales in Western Australia goes before the state’s Supreme Court today, NSW-based e-cigarette brand Genecigs has released an interactive infographic that showcases the dangers of smoking the real thing.
Titled The Smokers’ Slaughterhouse, the online infographic takes web users on a journey through a gruesome slaughter factory, where they encounter numerous illustrated statistics on the hazardous effects of smoking.
‘Smokers are more likely to get blood vessel blockages which can require limb amputation’ reads one statistic, accompanied by a grisly drawing of a severed leg.
In another example, an embarrassed couple avoid eye contact as they lie on a bed beneath the words 'Men who smoke heavily are 40% more likely to report erectile problems'.
After enduring a barrage of disturbing smoking facts, users are encouraged to donate to the legal costs of appealing the WA Supreme Court's decision to outlaw electronic cigarette sales.
Lawyers' fees for challenging the verdict come to $50,000, with just over half that amount having so far been raised via an online donation drive established by WA e-cigarette vendor Vincent van Heerden, who was convicted in April for selling goods resembling tobacco products.
The outcome of the landmark case, which was brought against van Heerden by the WA Health Department, has forced all electronic cigarette vendors in the state to shut down.
Alisha Young, owner of Genecigs, believes that overzealous opponents of electronic cigarettes are so fixated on appearances that they have lost sight of the real enemy.
“Some officials seem to forget that smoking tobacco causes all these horrific health problems, while using e-cigarettes hasn't caused a single premature death or preventable illness," she said. "Electronic cigarettes improve public health by offering addicted smokers a way out.”
Young hopes the The Smokers’ Slaughterhouse will help increase awareness and financial support for the appeal to restore e-cigarette sales in WA, and prevent similar bans being enacted in other states.
"Everyone should have the right to choose a less harmful alternative to smoking," she said.