The consumption of tobacco products poses an increased health risk to the consumer. For this reason, Germany regulates advertising for cigarettes through laws and voluntary self-restrictions by manufacturers and member companies.
In December 2019, the parliamentary groups of the governing parties CDU / CSU and SPD voted for a de facto complete ban on advertising for tobacco products and e-cigarettes. This will be the first time in Germany that the commercial communication for products freely available to adults is prohibited. A respective Draft Law (in German) is currently under review by the EU Commission, and the German Bundestag will deal with it before the summer break 2020.
The freedom to advertise is essential for any consumer goods company in order to be competitive. Advertising is an important tool for communicating with adult consumers and for boosting their brand loyalty.
Therefore, advertising for the legal stimulant tobacco must also be possible in the future within the constitutional limits. Given the increased health risks to consumers, it is reasonable, however, to regulate marketing activities for tobacco products.
In addition to the legal requirements, the BVTE member companies manufacturing tobacco products apply uniform and binding guidelines to their marketing activities, which ensure that children and adolescents must not be the target group of tobacco marketing and that the risks of smoking are not downplayed. DZV Advertising Code (in German)
Novel products such as e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn products provide potentially lower-risk opportunities for the consumption of nicotine. In this innovation-driven and dynamically developing market, commercial communication with consumers is of paramount importance to informing about the products, correcting misconceptions consumers may have and increasing brand awareness. To further develop these product categories, it must remain possible for companies to responsibly communicate with adult consumers.
Responsible marketing also means that the advertising activities must not address minors. Nor should the impression be given that the consumption of these products is harmless to one’s health. Due to these reasons, BVTE members agreed on complying with joint Advertising Standards for E-Cigarettes in addition to the applicable statutory provisions.
You can find all legal documents under “Regulations”.