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Tobacco advertising ban extends to e-cigarettes as well

The same restrictions on advertising which apply to regular cigarettes apply to e-cigarettes as well, which is why the Consumer Protection Board is going to start cracking down on violations of the advertising ban.

ERR’s online news portal came across an advertisement in Tallinn’s decades-old Narva Café which stated that the model of e-cigarette for sale at their café was suitable for beginners — which can be interpreted as an e-cigarette ad inviting nonsmokers to try it.

Hanna Turetski, head of the Public Relations Department at the Consumer Protection Board, said that the café was violating advertising laws banning the advertisement of tobacco products, to the extent that the same principles extend to the advertisement of e-cigarettes as well.

"E-cigarettes, which are products related to tobacco products, are treated as tobacco products, i.e. subject to similar regulations — thus the advertisement of e-cigarettes is banned," Turetski explained, adding that the ban does not extend to information directed at handlers of tobacco products, such as specialty publications or specialty exhibitions.

Not counted as advertising is information provided at a point of sale regarding a product and its terms of sale, which is why the situation must be assessed on a case-by-case basis based on whether the info is neutral and related directly to the product and its terms of sale or not.

The sign at the Tallinn café read, "Ego ALO best e-cigarette for beginners 25.99." According to Turetski, such wording points to its counting as an advertisement for the e-cigarette.

"Our initial assessment of the picture sent to us is that the words ‘best’ and ‘for beginners’ are superfluous, i.e. this specific information is not neutral information regarding the product and its terms of sale and its display in such form is not proper," Turetski said, adding that the board would handle it.

Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla

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