A global scan of policies regulating e-cigarette advertising, promotion and sponsorship
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Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, United States of America
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A737
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Tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship is an important policy domain for tobacco control. There is emerging evidence that e-cigarettes are being marketed to consumers using similar techniques and strategies deployed by the tobacco industry. This study explores the extent to which advertising, promotion and sponsorship restrictions or bans are being applied to e-cigarette products across the globe.

National policies regulating e-cigarettes were identified primarily through direct contact with representatives of Ministries of Health or tobacco control experts in approximately 130 countries. Further, media monitoring was used to identify emerging or new e-cigarette advertising, promotion and sponsorship policies/legislation, which resulted in direct contact with in-country experts. Copies of written policies were reviewed and policies/approaches were categorized. Finally, policy summaries and classifications were verified by in-country experts including Ministry of Health staff.

The study identified 79 countries that enacted policies regulating e-cigarettes. Of these, 58 countries had a policy regulating any or all aspects of advertising and/or promotion and/or sponsorship. In many cases restrictions include conforming to specific guidelines on the type of media where advertising may be permitted and locations where it is prohibited. Six countries apply the advertising restrictions only to nicotine-containing e-cigarettes that are regulated as medicines. Twenty countries have a policy restricting or banning sponsorship related to e-cigarettes (nicotine and non-nicotine), including eight countries that specifically prohibit cross-border sponsorship of e-cigarettes.

The results of this scan determine that advertising and promotion restrictions or bans are included in the majority of countries that are regulating e-cigarette products. Fewer countries regulate the practice of sponsorship. Monitoring the status of e-cigarette legislation will support further research to measure the impact or effect of policies.

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