E-cig industry association sues Spanish government over anti-vaping campaign

Spain’s e-cigarette industry has launched legal action against the central government, claiming a long-running anti-vaping campaign is against the law on several counts.

The lawsuit, started by the Union of Vaping Promoters and Entrepreneurs (Unión de Promotores y Empresarios del Vapeo, UPEV), claims the Ministry of Health campaign “El tabaco ata y te mata” (“Tobacco ties and kills you”) violates several articles of the Spanish General Law of Advertising and the Law of Publicity and Institutional Communication.

According to the UPEV, the campaign launched in 2019 and still continuing “identifies vaping and smoking tobacco in a manifestly misleading way, putting both activities on the same level and attributing the same harmful effects to them”.

The association is demanding immediate cancellation of the campaign, which has been promoted in a variety of media including on websites, social media, television and radio.

In its submission to the court, the UPEV has presented a technical and scientific report that shows the benefits of vaping as a smoking cessation tool.

The union has blamed the government campaign to discourage vaping for the closure of about 40 shops in 2019, with the loss of 400 jobs, and last year took its complaint to the Spanish Ombudsman.

 

What This Means: The UPEV believes the campaign promoted by the Spanish Ministry of Health “attacks the honour and prestige of the professionals”.

The association believes the lawsuit has a good chance of succeeding due to the scientific evidence it has provided, although it is not yet known when the court case will begin.

Marta Villena ECigIntelligence contributing writer

Photo: Simon Hermans 

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