For the purposes of this Section “electronic cigarette” means a product that is intended for inhalation of vapour via a mouth piece, or any component of that product, including but not limited to cartridges, tanks or e-liquids. The rules in this Section apply to marketing communications for, and which refer to, electronic cigarettes including but not limited to e-shisha and e-hookah products, whether or not they contain nicotine, and to products which in the opinion of the ASAI are sufficiently similar to electronic cigarettes and such products so as to warrant application of the rules set out in this Section.
The majority of e-cigarettes are currently sold as consumer goods, however advertisers may seek a medicines licence for their product from the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA). The rules in this Section also apply to marketing communications for electronic cigarettes which are authorised by the HPRA. For products authorised as medicines, the rules in Section 11: Health and Beauty also apply.
Depending on the formulation of their product and the means by which it is supplied, advertisers may have obligations relating to their advertising under chemical classification, labelling and packaging legislation. Advertisers are encouraged to take legal advice to ensure compliance with the law.
Tobacco Products Directive
Directive 2014/40/EU (on the approximation of the laws, regulations and
administrative provisions of the Member States concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products and repealing Directive 2001/37/EC) is now in force but has not yet been given effect in Irish law. The Irish Government is required to transpose its provisions by 20 May 2016, with a further transitional period for non-compliant e-cigarette products until 20 November 2016. Those provisions include restrictions on advertising.
Marketing communications should contain nothing which promotes the use of a tobacco product or shows the use of a tobacco product in a positive light. This rule is not intended to prevent cigarette-like products being shown.
Marketing communications should not contain health or medicinal claims unless the product is authorised for those purposes by the HPRA. E-cigarettes may be presented as an alternative to tobacco but advertisers should do nothing to undermine the message that quitting tobacco use is the best option for health.
Marketing communications should 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.
People shown using e-cigarettes or playing a significant role should neither be, nor seem to be, under 25. People under 25 may be shown in an incidental role but should be obviously not using e-cigarettes.
Marketing communications should not be directed at people under 18 through the selection of media or the context in which they appear. No medium should be used to advertise e-cigarettes if more than 25% of its audience is under 18 years of age.