Marketing Under The New Swiss Tobacco Regulation

Author:Ms Ann Sofie Benz (VISCHER)
Profession:Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA)
 
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New Tobacco Products Act

Tobacco products and e-cigarettes are currently governed by the Swiss foodstuffs regulation. As part of the revision of the latter, tobacco and other smoking products shall be separated from the foodstuffs legislation and be transferred into a new, independent Tobacco Products Act (TPA). The TPA is set to enter into force in mid-2022.

The TPA will govern two main categories of products: "Tobacco products" and "e-cigarettes". The category of tobacco products shall comprise tobacco products to be smoked or heated, tobacco products for oral use or snuffing as well as plant-based smoking products. The category of e-cigarettes shall encompass both those with and without nicotine. E-cigarettes without nicotine, however, only fall under the TPA provisions concerning marketing and continue to be governed by foodstuffs law otherwise.

Marketing and advertisement

One key provision of the TPA is the protection against deception from the point of view of the protection of health. It provides that the presentation, labeling and packaging of tobacco products and nicotine-containing e-cigarettes as well as the advertising of them must not deceive consumers. They must not contain any false, inaccurate or incorrect information about the health effects of the product.

Whereas certain products under the TPA are subject to laxer labelling and packaging obligations than others, the general rules on marketing shall be the same for all products covered by the TPA. One important novelty is that the legal age for purchasing tobacco products or e-cigarettes will be harmonized on federal level and defined as 18. Currently, the Cantons have the competence to define the legal age for such purchases. Certain Cantons have already defined 18 as the legal age, whereas others currently only ban the sale to children of under 16.

Not only the sale, but also the advertisement aimed at minors of under...

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