European rules may give heated tobacco a marketing advantage

Heat-not-burn (HnB) products could benefit from greater marketing opportunities in the European Union than e-cigarettes and combustible tobacco as the heating devices are not themselves considered to be tobacco products, according to an ECigIntelligence report.

The EU imposes advertising restrictions on certain media, including television, print and radio, through the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), but member states may allow certain types of advertising, for example at the point of sale.

By their nature, with heated tobacco products there is no smoking, as there is no actual combustion involved, but the consumables – tobacco sticks or capsules – are covered by the EU definition of tobacco products: “all products intended to be smoked, sniffed, sucked or chewed inasmuch as they are made, even partly, of tobacco”.

By contrast, the heating devices do not contain tobacco and so may be exempt from current regulations.

Tobacco sticks or capsules tend to be available only from retailers that traditionally sell tobacco products, whereas the devices are more widely available.


What This Means: The EU directives relating to the advertising of tobacco products in member states were drafted before the widespread emergence of heated tobacco products and are open to some degree of interpretation with regard to HnB products.

–ECigIntelligence staff

Photo: Clare Black

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