Kicking the habit just got a bit trickier in Western Australia, and it's got implications that could affect the rest of the nation. The WA Supreme Court has just ruled that E-Cigarettes - those fancy glowing nicotine vaporisers that are supposedly safe to use indoors - are illegal under the state's Tobacco Products Control Act. The case allegedly sets legal precedent that could flow on to other states and threaten the legal status of the battery powered lung darts.

This particular case has been ongoing since around 2011, and involves the WA Health Department and a gentleman by the name of Vincent Van Heerden, who at the time ran a small business known as HeavenlyVapours.

The products fall afoul of the law because the WA Tobacco Act prohibits the sale of any product that looks like a cigarette, is shaped like a cigarette, produces smoke (or in this case vapour) that resembles that of a cigarette, but isn't actually a cigarette. So whilst the purchase of actual cigarettes remains perfectly legal, purchasing products that look like them, but aren't, is not.

The legislation is in place mainly as a safe guard against marketing smoking to the youth. But the legislation in Western Australia, along with New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria, doesn't necessarily reflect the spirit of that, and takes a hardline against imitation products. The laws in Tasmania, the ACT and the Northern Territory, however, make specific reference to the manufacture of toys, confectionary, or any product directly marketed to children.

This is combined with the fact that nicotine, as a standalone product, is a Schedule 2 drug that is only available through pharmacies.

All research for the benefits of e-cigarettes as a quit aid have returned modest results at best.

So if you're not in Western Australia and have been toying with the idea of purchasing an e-cigarette, now might be the time to do it. Otherwise you may just have to be content to munch regular ciggies - all day, all night ciggies - and run the risk of becoming, as the kids say these days, a ciggy-butt brain.

Photo: Andrew Burton via Getty Images.