Adequate marketing by companies in the vaping industry is important to educate smokers about the advantages of e-cigarettes compared to traditional cigarettes. However, the right to advertising must go hand in hand with rules for responsible marketing and against misleading designs or implementations.
E-cigarettes are significantly less harmful than conventional cigarettes.1 Therefore, we advocate for the right to advertise for e-cigarettes adequately. We aim to educate smokers about the advantages of e-cigarettes. This is of particular importance because, according to representative surveys, the majority of Europeans assume that e-cigarettes are at least as harmful as conventional cigarettes. The freedom of advertising must go hand in hand with rules for responsible advertising and against misleading designs or implementations. As convinced as we are that e-cigarettes have a significant potential for harm reduction, we are also aware that they must be marketed responsibly. We, therefore, target with our advertisement exclusively adult smokers and e-cigarette users and educate them about the products. Youth protection is imperative for us: we sell our products only to consumers who can prove that they are of age. The following self-commitment of the members of the industry association Independent European Vape Alliance is also recommended to companies not organised in the associations.
The producers of e-cigarettes organised in IEVA commit themselves to adhere to the following marketing principles:
- Tobacco smoking cessation:
Advertising for e-cigarettes can and should contribute to motivating smokers to quit smoking. Advertising should, therefore, contain a reference to the fact that e-cigarettes are much less harmful than conventional cigarettes – if they are used as intended.
- No marketing to minors
E-Cigarette marketing should not make vaping seem appealing to minors.
- Dual consumption:
Advertising messages and images that encourage dual consumption of e-cigarettes and cigarettes are prohibited. E-cigarettes should not be advertised as a means of circumventing smoking restriction laws.
- Health risks:
Advertising messages and – pictures, which create the impression that the consumption of e-cigarettes is harmless, are prohibited.
E-cigarette advertisement must contain clear warnings and references that the ad is exclusively intended for adult smokers and vapers.
- Minimum age:
Nobody younger than 30 years is featured in e-cigarette advertisements.
E-cigarettes may not be advertised in establishments or at events which are mainly frequented by children and teenagers. A minimum distance of 100 meters must be maintained to the main entrance of schools
- Appeal to minors:
E-cigarette advertising abstains from using cartoon characters and other fictional characters that could trigger the interest of minors.
- Product design
The products must not be designed in any way to be particularly appealing to minors. Appealing in this context is the presentation using comic figures, the depiction of candies and generally any visual representation that can attract the attention of minors in a special way.
E-cigarette advertising does without competitive sport motives.
- Health Professions:
Advertisement for e-cigarettes does not contain persons, who represent health occupations or create the impression that the products would have a medical effect.
- Inspection Authority:
Manufacturers and dealers strive for the establishment of an independent control committee, which examines the adherence to the above-mentioned guidelines
Manufacturers and distributors regularly review these guidelines with regard to market developments and make adjustments if necessary.
- No exception
Even if local national legislation from European Union countries allows some of the prohibited content listed above, each member agrees to comply with the Code for Responsible Marketing.