The marketing of tobacco products, tobacco substitutes, smoking accessories, tobacco imitations, electronic cigarettes or nicotine-containing liquids is prohibited. Marketing means advertising, indirect advertising and other promotion efforts as well as tobacco sponsorship. By nature, marketing is commercial communication with the aim or direct or indirect effect of promoting the sales of a product. Marketing is prohibited via all advertising channels. The ban on marketing includes the prohibition on linking products referred to in the Tobacco Act to the sale or supply of other products, or to the provision of services.
Indirect advertising means the promotion of a product through the advertising of other commodities by exploiting the established symbol of a product or an altered but identifiable version thereof, or by otherwise creating an impression of a particular product.
Other promotion efforts referred to in the Tobacco Act mean any measures aimed at generating or promoting the consumption of or demand for products referred to in the said Act. Such measures include displaying products for advertising purposes. The ban on marketing also applies to the labelling of products and their unit packets.
The ban on marketing also relates to electronic commerce and marketing of the products referred to in the Tobacco Act. For example, an Internet marketplace containing products referred to in the Tobacco Act and not covered by the ban on distance sales (such as smoking accessories) must not be in breach of the ban on marketing laid down by the Tobacco Act. All sales promotion is prohibited, including on the Internet. In practice, this means, among other things, that posting product names, images or other product information on an open Internet site is regarded as marketing and thus prohibited by the Tobacco Act.
Tobacco sponsorship covers any form of public or private support to an event, activity or individual with the aim or direct or indirect effect of promoting the sales of a tobacco product, tobacco substitute, smoking accessory, tobacco imitation, electronic cigarette or nicotine-containing liquid.
Derogations from the marketing ban
The marketing ban does not apply to
- marketing in publications which are printed and published outside the EU and are not principally intended for the EU market, and whose main purpose is not the marketing of a tobacco product, tobacco substitute, smoking accessory, tobacco imitation, electronic cigarette or nicotine-containing liquid
- the marketing of individual smoking accessories, other than new accessories, that are considered collector’s items, if the brand names of the products are not visible in the marketing
- product information provided by product manufacturers or importers to parties engaged in the sale of the product (for example, persons whose main duties involve the purchasing of tobacco products). However, it should be noted that product information provided to these parties must not be in advertising style, but neutral, appropriate and providing them with correct and comprehensive information about the product and its characteristics.