SEOUL, Sept. 17 (Korea Bizwire) — Cigarette manufacturers will no longer be allowed to conduct various marketing activities for electronic devices used for smoking electronic cigarettes.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare announced on Monday that new legislation will soon be implemented to ban such activities.
The new legislation classifies electronic cigarettes as tobacco products and will be applied to e-cigarettes and other devices used exclusively for smoking e-cigarettes, which will be banned from a variety of marketing activities including promotions that offer hotel vouchers, discount coupons, or facilities to try out e-cigarettes that encourage cigarette consumption.
In addition, e-cigarette goods that are classified as tobacco products will be banned from being advertised as equivalent to normal cigarettes, with violations punished by a fine of between 3 and 5 million won (US$2,500-4,200).
Cigarette manufacturers in South Korea and abroad have been conducting robust marketing activities for e-cigarettes as they exploited loopholes in current legislation.
Whenever new electronic cigarettes have been released, the manufacturers held a series of presentations, surveys, and other marketing activities to encourage cigarette consumption.
While current laws ban cigarette manufacturers from conducting marketing activities to retailers, it is limited to marketing activities directly carried out by manufacturers, which fell short of prohibiting various promotions of devices used for smoking electronic cigarettes that are not necessarily categorized as ‘cigarettes’ themselves, and indirect marketing activities carried out by third parties.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)