New Zealand allows first radio advertisement for e-cigarettes

ecig cig TBEC reviewAn e-cigarette ad is this week being broadcast on radio in New Zealand for the first time – a milestone which could be indicative of changing official attitudes toward e-cigs in the country.

Currently all nicotine-containing e-cigs and e-liquids are considered to be medical products in New Zealand, and as none have been granted a medical licence, selling them is illegal through regular retail channels.

However, a limited supply may be bought online from overseas for personal use. Nicotine-free e-liquids and non-nicotine-containing components such as hardware can also be sold by retailers., the company behind the radio advertisement, produces, packages and distributes its e-cigarette products from the U.S. (the e-liquids) and China (the hardware), and says that it is fully compliant with New Zealand’s laws governing e-cigarette importation and sales.

It hopes that the new ad will expand its customer base by reaching older smokers who might not rely on the Internet for information about e-cigarettes.

“With these ads we are able to reach out to a whole new client base that until now has been fairly inaccessible,” said managing director Q.J. Satchell. “I hope that this step helps to break down a few walls for the industry. We have worked very hard to ensure that our business is compliant with NZ laws, and to be able to tell people that now is a huge deal for us.”

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    The 35-second radio clip is being broadcast on an Auckland radio station between 11th and 15th May. It positions e-cigarettes and vapour as a “cleaner” alternative to smoking and focuses particularly on the ability to vape in areas where smoking is prohibited. “Completely smoke-free and able to be vaped where smoking is not allowed,” runs the tagline.

    The advertisement was pre-approved by New Zealand’s Broadcasting Standards Authority.

    What This Means: The New Zealand government allowing an e-cigarette ad to be broadcast – albeit only on local radio – does seem to signal a potential softening. However, this does not mean that legislation is going to change.

    It’s more likely that the government will continue to impose the same medical device licensing and personal-use importation rules, but might relax its attitudes on related areas – such as advertising – in order to enable the e-cigarette market to grow.

    – Freddie Dawson ECigIntelligence staff



    Freddie Dawson

    Senior news editor
    Freddie studied at King’s College, London and City University and worked for publications including The Times, The Malay Mail, PathfinderBuzz and Solar Summary before joining the ECigIntelligence team. He has extensive experience in covering fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), manufacturing and technological innovation.

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