Action on Smoking and Health

Tag Archives: advertising


Big Tobacco is desperate to prevent ‘plain packaging’ spreading around the world

Typical cigarette packages before and after plain packaging was introduced

 

Coming up to a year after standardised ‘plain packaging’ was fully implemented in the UK on 20 May 2017, the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association (TMA) [1] and now Japan Tobacco International (JTI) [2] have claimed that it’s a failure.

Why is Big Tobacco bothering, when it’s clear the UK is tough on tobacco, won its case in the courts and is not going to reverse the legislation? The reason is obvious, this is a last ditch and desperate attempt to delay and discourage the many other governments coming down the same track. Three countries have fully implemented plain packs to date (Australia, France and the United Kingdom), by the end of this year it will be six, with seven more having passed legislation and more following on behind. The dominoes are falling, markets around the world are going dark, and Big Tobacco is running scared. The WTO decision on the legality of plain packs is expected shortly, and the outcome, a defeat for the tobacco industry, has already been leaked [3].

JTI claim that plain packs aren’t supported by the public, citing a survey commissioned from Kantar TNS which it says is the ‘largest public opinion poll of its kind since plain packaging was introduced’. This is incorrect. The ASH smokefree GB survey undertaken earlier this year had a sample size of 12,767, which is five times bigger than the 2,464 in the JTI Kantar survey. Findings from the ASH survey confirm the levels of support found in previous annual smokefree GB surveys, with just under three fifths of the public supporting standardised plain packaging (58%) while only around one in ten oppose (11%). The public support plain packs, to suggest otherwise is ludicrous.

When it comes to the evidence that the policy has been ineffective, the report JTI commissioned from Europe Economics ignores the fact that it was always known that plain standardised packaging would have the biggest impact on discouraging young people from taking up smoking rather than in helping addicted adult smokers quit. This is a much smaller group than existing adult smokers, so any such effect will be small, particularly in the early years. In the first year or two of implementation most young people at the age of initiation will have been exposed throughout their life to the colourfully branded packaging as it was prior to the introduction of standardised plain packs. As with the advertising ban, it is in future years when young people grow up never having seen such packaging that we expect it to have greatest impact. This effect will be cumulative as young people grow up into adulthood in cohorts with lower smoking rates, and older smokers die off. The Europe Economics report only includes data up to January 2018 so it simply cannot capture any of this.

Furthermore, the ability of standardised packaging to produce immediate effects during the year that the legislation was phased in (i.e. not fully implemented) is predicated on the assumption that the policy was smoothly and quickly brought into effect by all parties. Evidence from the Institute for Social Marketing (University of Stirling), already shows that before, during, and after the implementation of standardised tobacco and the TPD, tobacco companies engaged in activities which may have disrupted and confounded the impact of the legislation on smoking attitudes and behaviour [4]. This included introducing limited-edition fully-branded packs and re-usable tins, changed brand or variant names (e.g. including the addition of a colour descriptor, with colour often used by consumers as an indicator of product strength or harm), and continued innovation of their products (e.g. new filter designs). In essence, they used the implementation period to continue to create interest in their products.

In addition, the UK Government allowed tobacco companies and retailers twelve months, from May 2016 to May 2017, to introduce standardised packaging, which is longer than the two other countries (2 months in Australia, 9 months in France) that have introduced this measure. The report claims that ‘the penetration of TPD2+PP compliant products has increased gradually over the implementation period’. This is not consistent with further findings by researchers at the University of Stirling, analysing real-time data from independent and convenience (small) retailers [5], which instead shows that tobacco companies and retailers responded to the extended implementation period by continuing to sell fully-branded products for as long as they could, meaning that most of the leading brands of cigarettes and rolling tobacco in the UK were not sold in standardised packs until near the end of the twelve months. It is plausible that this staggered introduction of standardised packaging may have mitigated some of the immediate intended effects of the legislation by desensitising consumers to the new designs and graphic health warnings.

Once the legislation became mandatory for packs at point of sale, which was not until May 2017, the University of Stirling researchers found that 97% of tobacco sales volume [6] in small retailers was compliant with the TPD and standardised packaging legislation (rising to 99.5% ten weeks after full implementation). Given the aforementioned industry-led disruption during the transition period, research evaluating the impact of standardised packaging should reflect on how trends in smoking attitudes and behaviours change in the years after full implementation, not reactive conclusions based on limited time periods.

Governments need to apply the rule of thumb known as the ‘scream test’, if the industry is campaigning so hard to prevent it, clearly standardised ‘plain’ packaging does work, otherwise Big Tobacco wouldn’t care.

ASH thanks researchers from the Institute for Social Marketing, University of Stirling — part of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies — for their analysis of the Europe Economics report for JTI.

The studies carried out by the University of Stirling were funded by Cancer Research UK.

References

[1] Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association, Plain packaging failing one year after full introduction, 14 May 2018

[2] Japan Tobacco International, Plain Packaging on Tobacco Backfires Within First Year in the UK, 17 May 2018

[3] Reuters, Australia wins landmark WTO tobacco packaging case — Bloomberg, 4 May 2017

[4] BMJ Tobacco Control, How tobacco companies in the UK prepared for and responded to standardised packaging of cigarettes and rolling tobacco, January 2018

[5] Nicotine and Tobacco Research, Introduction of Standardized Tobacco Packaging During a 12-Month Transition Period: Findings From Small Retailers in the United Kingdom, 12 January 2018

[6] BMJ Tobacco Control, Did independent and convenience (small) retailers comply with standardised tobacco packaging in the UK?, November 2017

PMI, Poverty and the Political Game

Don’t let smokescreens like the PMI-funded ‘Foundation for a Smoke-Free World’ [1] deceive you — Big Tobacco continues to pump its lethal smoked products into low- and middle-income countries, exacerbating poverty and racking up billions of dollars along the way.

As the company continues to undermine tobacco control policies across the globe, [2] [3] its solemn commitment to a smokefree future is more than a little disingenuous. [4]

Major advancements in tobacco control across countries like the UK, have displaced international conglomerates such as PMI to low- and middle-income populations, where 80% of the world’s smokers now live. [5]

In these countries, implementation of the WHO’s Framework Convention Tobacco Control (FCTC), a lifesaving treaty which reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health, has often been low. [6] Indeed, by 2014 a survey of two thirds of Parties to the Treaty found that 51 countries had implemented no measures at the highest level. [7]

But rather than mobilising to address this discrepancy and advance its shiny new smokefree agenda, PMI has been doing all it can to undermine tobacco control, both in spirit and in practice.

PMI ignores the philosophy of tobacco control by taking advantage of existing legislative loopholes and capitalising on the lack of substantive advertising restrictions in low- and middle-income countries. Though PMI promises “advertising activities are directed only toward adult smokers,” [8] its intensive marketing ploys bombard kids in countries like Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Nigeria and Uganda, with tobacco sale outlets often visible from the school gates. [9] The company also uses child-friendly flavoured cigarettes to entice young people, [10] and encourages “single stick” sales by providing retailers with free promotional materials. [11]

And by attempting to subvert further implementation of the FCTC, the company also undermines the role out of tobacco control measures. Its army of corporate lobbyists are encouraged to “play the political game” [12] and deliberately target so-called “anti-tobacco extremists” at FCTC conferences (where delegates set the guidelines) and apply pressure at the country level (where delegates are selected and the treaty is transposed into law). [13]

One popular method has been to water down the health minister delegates with trade, finance and agriculture representatives, since these people are more likely to be supportive of PMI’s deadly cause — a strategy that somewhat contradicts its smokefree advocacy. [14]

It is unsurprising that 80% of the world’s tobacco-related deaths are anticipated to occur in low- and middle-income countries by 2030. [15] And in addition to the personal tragedy of life lost, this is leaving less money available for food, schooling and doctors’ fees, since spending on tobacco products can add up to over 10% of total household earnings, and premature death causes a significant loss of income. [16]

Meanwhile, even though undernourishment remains a big problem in many tobacco-producing countries, 4.3 million hectares of arable land is currently gobbled up by tobacco cultivation, which could instead be used to feed hungry people. [17] Growing tobacco also pollutes water supplies with toxic pesticides and fertilizers, and generates over 2 million tonnes of solid waste each year. [18] In fact, cigarette butts account for 30–40% of all rubbish picked up in coastal and urban clean-ups. [19]

And the worst part is that this social, economic and environmental burden is falling upon those countries least equipped to deal with the consequences.

PMI’s website reads “Society expects us to act responsibly. And we are doing just that by designing a smoke-free future.” [20] But evidently for PMI that responsibility and that future are not intended for low- and middle-income countries.

With PMI’s AGM set for this week, ASH urges the company to ditch its blatant double standards.

 

by Anna Hazelwood

 

References

[1] Tobacco Tactics, Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, March 2018

[2] The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Big Tobacco: Tiny Targets, a project by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

[3] African Tobacco Control Alliance, Big Tobacco Tiny Targets: Tobacco Industry Targets Schools in Africa, November 2016

[4] Philip Morris International, Designing a Smoke-Free Future

[5] World Health Organisation, Tobacco Key Facts, 9 March 2018

[6] Gravely et al, Implementation of key demand-reduction measures of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and change in smoking prevalence in 126 countries: an association study, 2017

[7] Gravely et al, Implementation of key demand-reduction measures of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and change in smoking prevalence in 126 countries: an association study, 2017

[8] Philip Morris International, Underage tobacco and nicotine use

[9] African Tobacco Control Alliance, Big Tobacco Tiny Targets: Tobacco Industry Targets Schools in Africa, November 2016

[10] African Tobacco Control Alliance, Big Tobacco Tiny Targets: Tobacco Industry Targets Schools in Africa, November 2016

[11] African Tobacco Control Alliance, Sale of single sticks of cigarettes in Africa: survey report from 10 capital cities, March 2018

[12] Reuters, Inside Philip Morris’ campaign to subvert the global anti-smoking treaty, July 2017

[13] Reuters, Inside Philip Morris’ campaign to subvert the global anti-smoking treaty, July 2017

[14] Reuters, Inside Philip Morris’ campaign to subvert the global anti-smoking treaty, July 2017

[15] World Health Organisation, The Global Tobacco Crisis, 2008

[16] World Health Organisation, Tobacco is a deadly threat to global development, May 2017

[17] World Health Organisation, Tobacco and its environmental impact, 2017

[18] World Health Organisation, Tobacco is a deadly threat to global development, May 2017

[19] World Health Organisation, Tobacco is a deadly threat to global development, May 2017

[20] Philip Morris International, Designing a Smoke-Free Future

All links active 9 May 2018

Commons Committee warned that smoking on TV and in films is encouraging child take-up

15 April 2018

In a strongly worded submission to the Select Committee on Science and Technology ASH and the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol studies warn that smoking on TV and in films encourages children to take up smoking [1]. They point out that children in the UK are still exposed to significant amounts of smoking on screen and that it is the amount of smoking that is important, not whether it is glamourised or not.

The submission includes new survey results showing that 81% of 11-15 year olds and 88% of 16-18 year olds report seeing smoking in films. For TV the numbers reporting seeing smoking on TV were 68% of 11-15 year olds and 77% of 16-18 year olds. [2]  One of the worst examples, included in the submission, was last summer’s reality TV programme Love Island.  The series, which was very popular with teenagers, delivered an estimated 47 million gross tobacco impressions to children aged under 16. [3] The proportion of Oscar-listed films containing smoking this year was 86%, up from 60% four years ago, with smoking featuring by far and away most heavily in a PG rated British film, ‘Darkest Hour’.[4]

Professor John Britton said:

“Seeing people smoking in the media can increase the likelihood that a young person takes up smoking by as much as 40%. It doesn’t matter whether the people smoking are heroes or villains, glamourous or otherwise. All smoking content is a role model which results in some young people becoming addicted to a lethal product for life.”

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said:

“Our surveys show children reporting high awareness of smoking on screen, particularly in films and TV. Ofcom and the BBFC, which regulate these sectors, need to take the necessary steps to warn parents of the risks and protect our children from the harmful effects of tobacco imagery.”

The submission includes new figures calculated by Cancer Research UK which show that despite declines in smoking prevalence a large number of young people are still taking up smoking causing significant harm to their health and wellbeing. Between 2014 and 2016 around 127,000 children a year started smoking for the first time [5], equivalent to 17 classrooms of secondary school children a day.[6] Research shows that over 60% of those who try smoking go on to become regular smokers.[7]

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable premature death, killing over half all long-term smokers. While much of the damage is long-term there are immediate impacts too. Young smokers have a lower level of lung function than those who have never smoked and smoking reduces the rate of lung growth. [8]

George Butterworth, Senior Policy Manager at Cancer Research UK, said:

“Smoking is an addiction of childhood, not an adult choice. New figures published by Cancer Research UK show that 127,000 children start smoking each year in the UK. The introduction of standardised packaging of tobacco products, backed up the complete ban on advertising, leaves smoking in the entertainment media as the main way smoking is promoted to children. Yet parents seem unaware of the risks.”

Now that all advertising, promotion and sponsorship is banned in the UK, smoking in the entertainment media has become an increasingly important factor in youth smoking initiation. Yet a Yougov survey for ASH found that parents remain unconcerned about such exposure with 42% saying that there is the right amount of smoking on TV, 31% saying they don’t know, and only 23% saying there is too much. When it comes to adults with children under 18 in their household concern is even lower, with 20% of adults with thinking there is too much smoking on TV, and 45% that it is the right amount. [9]

The relevant regulators are Ofcom (TV and video on demand) and the BBFC (film and videos/DVDs including video games). The ASH and UKCTAS recommendations to the regulators, which they would like to see the Select Committee endorse [1], are that:

  • Ofcom and the BBFC should monitor youth exposure to depictions of tobacco use on screen in the channels they regulate and publish these data in their annual reviews;
  • Ofcom and the BBFC should revise their guidelines with respect to smoking on screen in entertainment media viewed by under-18s to discourage any depictions of tobacco use; and require action to mitigate any remaining exposure.

ASH and UKCTAS have already shared the evidence with Ofcom and are having very constructive discussions with Ofcom. Ofcom has agreed to review the evidence we have provided it with and undertake its own analysis of the impact of smoking depictions on young people, preparatory to making any decisions about how to proceed. ASH and UKCTAS have written to the BBFC this week with a copy of our submission asking to meet to discuss our recommendations with them.

ENDS

 

Notes and Links:

Action on Smoking and Health is a health charity working to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco use. For more information see: www.ash.org.uk/about-ash

ASH receives funding for its programme of work from Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.

ASH staff are available for interview and have an ISDN line. For more information contact ASH on 020 7404 0242 or out of hours Deborah Arnott on 07976 935 987
References

[1]  ASH and UKCTAS submission to the Select Committee on Science and Technology Committee Inquiry into the Impact of social media and screen-use on young people’s health

[2] Survey conducted by YouGov for ASH online, via parents for 11-15 year olds and directly with 16-18 year olds. The 2018 survey had a sample of 2291 and the figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB 11-18 year olds. The fieldwork was carried out between 28th February and 17th March.

[3]  Barker AB, Opazo Breton M, Cranwell J, et al.  Population exposure to smoking and tobacco branding in the UK reality show ‘Love Island’.  Tobacco Control Published Online First: 05 February 2018. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2017-054125

[4] Compiled by the University of California, San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. March 2018

[5]   Data calculated by the Statistical Information Team at Cancer Research UK using Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use in Young People in England 2016 data. Figures are the average per year between 2014 and 2016. Percentage of new smokers was calculated for each single-year age band, and ‘smoker’ was defined as ‘regular’, ‘occasional’ or ‘used to smoke’. For example, percentage of new smokers aged 13 in 2016, was calculated by subtracting the percentage of smokers aged 12 in 2015, from the percentage of smokers aged 13 in 2016. This calculation was used for ages 12, 13, 14 and 15; for age 11 all smokers were considered new smokers. 2015 figures were estimated as the average of 2014 and 2016, as no 2015 survey was carried out. Percentage of new smokers in England was applied to UK population estimates to obtain number of new UK smokers.

[6] National Statistics. Schools, pupils and their characteristics: January 2017. Figure G: Average one-teacher class size: secondary schools 20.8

[7]  Max Birge, Stephen Duffy, Joanna Astrid Miler, Peter Hajek; What Proportion of People Who Try One Cigarette Become Daily Smokers? A Meta-Analysis of Representative Surveys, Nicotine & Tobacco Research, , ntx243, https://doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntx243

[8]  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: 50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014

[9] Survey conducted online by YouGov for ASH. Fieldwork for 2018 survey was undertaken between 8th February and 6th March. Total sample size was 12767 GB adults and the figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swift action by the ASA finds marketing of e-cigarettes using a 7-year-old not ‘socially responsible’

23 August 2017

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), has welcomed the swift response of the ASA in taking action to address a company’s marketing of e-cigarettes using a 7-year-old. It follows revelations in The Sun [1] on Monday 21st August that a North East based e-cigarette company was sponsoring the girl in a beauty pageant with advertising images being shared through social media platform Instagram.

ASH was informed by the ASA Tuesday 22nd August that the company had agreed to remove the advertising images showing the child in their branded clothing without the need for the ASA to launch a formal investigation.

The ASA found that the company was in direct breach of the following Codes:

22.1 Marketing communications for e-cigarettes must be socially responsible
22.9 Marketing communications must not be likely to appeal particularly to people under 18, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture. They should not feature or portray real or fictitious characters who are likely to appeal particularly to people under 18. People shown using e-cigarettes or playing a significant role should not be shown behaving in an adolescent or juvenile manner.
22.10 People shown using e-cigarettes or playing a significant role must neither be, nor seem to be, under 25. People under 25 may be shown in an incidental role but must be obviously not using e-cigarettes.

Commenting, Director of Policy Hazel Cheeseman said:

“We are delighted the ASA have acted swiftly given what a serious breach of the advertising code this was. It sends a clear message to all e-cigarette companies that their marketing must be socially responsible and not targeted at children.

“E-cigarettes have helped many adults to quit smoking and advertising products responsibly has played a part in this. However, advertising aimed at children is rightly prohibited and the speed of the ASA reaction in this case is very reassuring.”

E-cigarette advertising depicting or targeting children is prohibited because of the risk it will encourage young people to try products. Nicotine has been shown to have an impact on adolescent brains [3] so there are particular concerns about young people who have never smoked using e-cigarettes.

ENDS

Notes and Links:
Action on Smoking and Health is a health charity working to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco use. For more information see: www.ash.org.uk/about-ash

ASH receives funding for its programme of work from Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.

ASH staff are available for interview and have an ISDN line. For more information contact ASH on 020 7404 0242 or out of hours Hazel Cheeseman on 07754 358 593.

References

[1] The Sun, Smoke Without Fire?, 21st August 2017: https://www.thesun.co.uk/living/4288944/pageant-girl-7-faces-backlash-after-a-vaping-company-sponsor-her-100-to-promote-their-shop/

[2] Full ASA rules on e-cigarettes are here: https://www.asa.org.uk/advice-online/electronic-cigarettes.html#children

[3] Goriounova NA, Mansvelder HD. Short- and Long-Term Consequences of Nicotine Exposure during Adolescence for Prefrontal Cortex Neuronal Network Function. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in medicine. 2012. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3543069/

ASH response to CAP consultation on advertising of e-cigarettes

ASH’s response to a consultation on the updating of the CAP’s advertising code for e-cigarettes following implementation of the EU Tobacco Products Directive in the UK.   Oct. 2016

ASH response to CAP consultation on the advertising of e-cigarettes

Tobacco Policy and the European Union

This fact sheet summarises tobacco control policy formulated by the European Union.  Aug. 2016.

20. Tobacco Policy and the European Union

Advertising, promotion & sponsorship

Regulation Description
United Kingdom
ASA Guidance on advertising e-cigarettes
(External web page)
Introduced restrictions on the advertising, promotion and sponsorship of e-cigarettes.
Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Display and Specialist Tobacconists) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2011
(External web page)
These regulations amend the commencement dates of the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Display) (England) Regulations 2010 (the “Display Regulations”) and the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Specialist Tobacconists) (England) Regulations 2010 (the “Specialist Tobacconist Regulations”).
The Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Display) (England) Regulations 2010
(External web page)
The regulations were due to enter into force in October 2011 for large shops and October 2013 for small shops. However, following publication of the Government’s Tobacco Control Plan on 9 March 2011 implementation of the regulations was postponed until April 2012 and April 2015 for large and small shops respectively.
The Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Display of Prices) (England) Regulations 2010
(External web page)
These regulations set out the requirements for tobacco price lists which will enter into force at the same time as the product display regulations – see above.
Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010
(External web page)
Point of sale display ban, created retail register, gave enforcement officers power to issue FPNs for tobacco sales violations, criminalised proxy purchase and underage purchase.
The Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010 (Ancillary Provisions) Order 2010 (regs for the above)

Regulations for the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010 (Scotland only).
UK Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002 (In Force)
(External web page)
The Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act received Royal Assent on 7 November 2002 and came into force on 14 February 2003.The Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002 comprehensively bans the advertising and promotion of tobacco products including the use of brand-sharing and sponsorship of cultural and sport events.

The ban was implemented in stages as follows:

14 February 2003 – From that date it became illegal to advertise tobacco products on billboards, in newspapers and magazines. Direct mail was banned in May 2003.

31 July 2003 – Tobacco sponsorship of domestic sporting events was banned.

21 December 2004 – Regulations governing advertising at the point of sale came into effect. These limit advertising to one A5 sized ad per outlet.

31 July 2005 – The ban on tobacco sponsorship of international events such as Formula One motor racing entered into force. In addition, regulations on brand-sharing came into effect.

Commencement order
(External web page)
Transitional regulations (sponsorship)
(External web page)
Brandsharing regulations
(External web page)
Point of Sale regulations
(External Web Page)
Internet regulations
(External web page)
ASH response to the consultation on the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion regulations
2002
Submission by ASH to the consultation on the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion regulations
Department of Health consultation on draft regulations relating to brand-sharing, sponsorship and point of sale materials
(External web page)
On 30 May 2001 the European Commission presented its revised proposal for a Directive on tobacco advertising and sponsorship. In August 2001 the Government issued a consultation document in respect of this proposal.The proposal initially concerned tobacco products, defined as ‘all products intended to be smoked, sniffed, sucked or chewed’. However during discussions on the proposal, other Member States have suggested that any restrictions on the advertising and sponsorship of tobacco products should also include cigarette papers.
ASH response to the consulation on the inclusion of Cigarette Papers
2002
ASH Submission to the Department of Health Consulation on the inclusion of cigarette papers within the scope of the proposed EU Directive on tobacco advertising and sponsorship
Department of Health Consultation on inclusion of cigarette papers
(External web page)
Consultation by the Department of Health on the inclusion of cigarette papers within the scope of the proposed EU Directive on tobacco advertising and sponsorship.
European Union
Directive on the banning of tobacco advertising and promotion
COD 2001/0119 (Agreed) (pdf)
2002
On 2 December 2002 the Council reached an agreement on a proposed directive to ban tobacco advertising. The directive covers four areas of cross border advertising (printed publications, internet, radio and sponsorship), but does not include indirect advertising.
Directive 2003/33/EC
2003
Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to the advertising and sponsorship of tobacco products
DTI consultation on draft EU regulations relating sales promotion
2002
Public consultation on a proposal for a regulation concerning sales promotions in the internal market.

From previous European Commission papers in the 1990s it was concluded that long-standing market controls in many member states prevented the development of a Single Market in sales promotions across borders. In October 2001, the European Commission issued a proposals for a Regulation on Sales Promotion, the Department of Trade and Industry undertook a consultation to examine the issue.

ASH response to DTI Consultation of the EU proposal for internal sales promotions
2002
ASH Submission to the Department of Trade and Industry on their consultation on draft European Commission proposal for a sales promotion regulation CCP 001/02
Regulation of information society service – “the e-commerce directive”
This directive establishes a free internal market in information society products such as services offered over the web. Its relevance to tobacco is that uses a particular definition for ‘commercial communication’ (advertising) – see article 2(f) and provides in-principle exemptions from general freedom for public health.
Exemption for Public Health
Article 1 (3). This Directive complements Community law applicable to information society services without prejudice to the level of protection for, in particular, public health and consumer interests, as established by Community acts and national legislation implementing them in so far as this does not restrict the freedom to provide information society services.Article 3 (4) defines exemptions from single market rules more specifically.
EU Directive 2000/31/EC (In Force)
(External Web Page)
Sales promotions in the Internal Market
COM 546 2001 final
(External web page)
In the interest of a strong internal market, emphasis of this EU proposal falls on the primacy of free movement of goods and services within member states. It seeks to harmonise differing sales promotion regulations between countries to minimise distortions in trade. It describes sales promotion as financial discounts, free gifts, promotional contests or games offered by a producer in order to expand markets.Though the proposal makes reference to public health in Article 5 (protection of children and adolescents), it remains highly controversial – article 3 of the proposed regulation prohibits member states from restricting commercial communications of a sales promotion unless required by community law.

In the absence of an EU directive explicitly prohibiting tobacco promotion, the proposal carries the potential to undermine any effort to ban the promotion of tobacco products at national levels.

EC Directive 98/48/EC
(External web page)
A previous EC directive to ban tobacco advertising 98/43/EC was struck down by a European Court of Justice ruling (Case C-376/98) on account of its legal base.The court argued that the Directive must contribute to “eliminating appreciable distortions of competition” and “eliminating obstacles to the free movement of good and to the freedom to provide services.” The Court found the Directive had failed these tests.

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UK Tobacco Control Policy and Expenditure: An overview

Health policy is largely formulated and implemented by the devolved administrations of each of the member countries of the United Kingdom. However, as tobacco falls within the remit of a number of different government departments: e.g. Treasury, Business, HMRC as well as Health, tobacco control policy is partly determined at UK-wide level and partly by the devolved administrations. The four nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have responsibility for their own smoking cessation and health education campaigns while UK-wide policy and law applies to taxation, smuggling, advertising, and consumer protection issues such as the provision of health warnings on tobacco packaging. Some of these measures are determined by European Union legislation.

UK Tobacco Control Policy and Expenditure: An overview

ASH response to DH consultation on proposed implementation of advertising rules for e-cigarettes

ASH response to a Department of Health consultation on proposed implementation of advertising rules for e-cigarettes.

ASHconsultation_ecigadregs160104.pdf

DH consultation on implementation of the revised Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU).

ASH response to a Department of Health consultation on the implementation of the revised Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU).

ASH_DHTPD-consultation-response.pdf

Tobacco Advertising and Promotion in the UK

While most forms of tobacco advertising and promotion in the UK are banned, the tobacco industry has continued to promote its products through packaging and “below the line” marketing.

Tobacco Advertising and Promotion in the UK

ASH Briefing on Tobacco Displays at the Point of Sale

Research shows that Point of Sale (PoS) display has a direct impact on young people’s smoking. In 2006, almost half (46%) of UK teenagers were aware of tobacco display at PoS and those professing an intention to smoke were more likely to recall brands that they had seen at the point of sale.

ASH Briefing on Tobacco Displays at the Point of Sale

ASH Briefing: Industry claims on point of sale display

This briefing debunks the various claims made to try and discredit the tobacco products display ban.

ASH Briefing: Industry claims on point of sale display

ASH Briefing on Tobacco Vending Machines

The sale of tobacco products from vending machines became illegal in England from 1 October 2011. This briefing explains the background to the law and why it was introduced.

ASH Briefing on Tobacco Vending Machines

‘You’ve got to be kidding’

A compelling dossier of BAT’s activities in promoting its tobacco products to young people around the globe.

'You've got to be kidding'

 

 

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