Tobacco advertising on broadcast media has been banned for many years, thus, we no longer see any bran of cigarettes from the commercials aired while we watch television. However, many are speculating that that through ecig commercials, smoking will once again be glamorized especially to children.
Electronic cigarettes are promoted as better alternative to smoking because they do not give off health-damaging smoke; do not generate polluting litters; do not drain the wallet of its user and a lot of other advantages. They do not contain tobacco so they are not covered by any existing federal law.
Broadcasters Are Wary
Ecig companies are essentially free to advertise their products on any channel or means, including television and radio commercials. Yet, many broadcasters are still cautious in accepting ecig commercials.
Yet, through the latest update about this issue, broadcasters would probably now air electronic cigarette adverts. DOJ or the Department of Justice has announced that ecig adverts can now be aired by these broadcasters with no worries about violations to the 1965 law.
Regulators emphasize that ecigarettes deliver nicotine in high doses so there is high risk involved in using them, let alone promote them. Apparently, the Justice Department has already said that these products simply are not defined in the less than 5-decade old law.
Michael Blume, branch director for the DOJ consumer protection, said that these products are not similar to tobacco cigarettes. His comments were contained in the 2-page letter to Pilsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, a communications law firm.
Still, attorney Scott Flick stated that broadcasters might not be able to enjoy a smooth sailing business running the ecig adverts for a long time. According to him, this is only for the time being because other regulators also have a different view on the emerging market. The FDA, as well as state legislators is already taking a look at how they can monitor and control ecigs.
The FDA is still about to release its proposals on ecig regulation. Many speculate that these regulations would include limitations on how the products may be advertised.