LANGUAGE
Last updated: January 22nd 2019

Regulated Forms of Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship

Domestic TV and radio (including all broadcast media such as satellite and cable)

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
Analysis:

The regulations broadly prohibit, among other things, the display, distribution, printing or publication of any tobacco advertisement. Therefore, tobacco advertising is prohibited on domestic TV and radio.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to tobacco advertising on domestic TV and radio.

Domestic newspapers and magazines

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
Analysis:

The regulations broadly prohibit, among other things, the display, distribution, printing or publication of any tobacco advertisement, and specifically prohibit the sale of any newspaper or magazine that contains a tobacco product advertisement. Therefore, tobacco advertising is prohibited in domestic newspapers and magazines.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to tobacco advertising in domestic newspapers and magazines.

Other domestic print media, such as pamphlets, leaflet, flyers, posters, signs (not including print advertising at the point of sale)

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
Analysis:

The regulations prohibit, among other things, displaying or affixing any tobacco product advertisement; distributing any tobacco product advertisement; and printing or publishing any brand name, trade mark or pictorial device related to a tobacco product advertisement. A “tobacco product advertisement,” by definition, includes pamphlets, circulars, brochures, posters, banners and placards. Therefore, tobacco advertising by domestic print media, such as pamphlets, leaflets, flyers, posters and signs is prohibited.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to tobacco advertising in domestic print media.

Law Source, Section

International TV and radio (including all broadcast media such as satellite and cable)

Uncertain
The status of the regulation is uncertain due to lack of clarity in the law or inability to obtain all relevant laws.
Analysis:

The regulations broadly prohibit, among other things, the display, distribution, printing or publication of any tobacco advertisement. The regulations do not specifically address cross-border tobacco advertising via broadcast media. Therefore, the regulatory status “Uncertain” is assigned. However, in practice, no television ads are broadcasted, even on foreign television stations such as MTV or HBO. In American songs, the word “cigarette” is bleeped out.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should make clear that tobacco advertising and promotion on cross-border or international TV and radio is prohibited.

International newspapers and magazines

Uncertain
The status of the regulation is uncertain due to lack of clarity in the law or inability to obtain all relevant laws.
Analysis:

The regulations broadly prohibit, among other things, the display, distribution, printing or publication of any tobacco advertisement, and specifically prohibit the sale of any newspaper or magazine that contains a tobacco product advertisement. Arguably, this provision could be used to prohibit tobacco advertising in international newspapers and magazines. However, because the ban does not explicitly cover international newspapers and magazines, the regulatory status “Uncertain” is assigned.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should make clear that tobacco advertising and promotion in international newspapers and magazines is prohibited.

Internet communications

Uncertain
The status of the regulation is uncertain due to lack of clarity in the law or inability to obtain all relevant laws.

Internet communications (not sales)

Analysis:

The regulations prohibit, among other things, the “distribution” of any tobacco product advertisement. The definition of “tobacco product advertisement” broadly includes “any representation . . . information, or advertisement made in any manner to any person or to the public for the purposes of promoting directly or indirectly the sale or disposal of tobacco product. . . .” Under these provisions, arguably, tobacco advertising by internet communications is prohibited because this constitutes the “distribution” of tobacco product advertisement. However, the regulations do not explicitly ban internet advertising and in practice, advertising and promotion by internet exists. Therefore, the regulatory status “Uncertain” is assigned.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should make clear that tobacco advertising and promotion by internet communications is prohibited.

Internet tobacco product sales

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
Analysis:

The regulations, as amended, specifically prohibit the sale of tobacco products online.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to internet tobacco product sales.

Outdoor advertising (e.g., billboards, posters)

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
Analysis:

The regulations prohibit, among other things, the display of any tobacco product advertisement, the distribution of any tobacco product advertisement, and the printing of any brand name, trademark or pictorial device associated with a tobacco product advertisement. The definition of “tobacco product advertisement” includes, among other things, “displaying any poster, banner, placard, notice or other document on any wall, billboard, or on any other object or thing.” These provisions ban outdoor tobacco advertising.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to outdoor advertising of tobacco products.

Law Source, Section

Point of sale advertising/promotion

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.

Point of sale advertising/promotion (other than product displays)

Analysis:

The regulations prohibit, among other things, displaying or affixing any tobacco product advertisement; distributing any tobacco product advertisement; and printing or publishing any brand name, trade mark or pictorial device related to a tobacco product advertisement. A “tobacco product advertisement,” by definition, includes pamphlets, circulars, brochures, posters, banners and placards, all of which are typically used at point of sale. Therefore, point of sale tobacco advertising and promotion is prohibited. In addition, the regulations, as amended by the 2009 amendments, require a retailer to post a prominent notice with the minimum retail price of cigarettes, and this notice may not contain any logo, brand or trademark of any cigarette.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to point of sale tobacco advertising and promotion.

Point of sale product display

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The regulations generally prohibit tobacco product advertising; however, the regulations specifically exempt from the ban advertising in or on product packaging. Regulation 5A could be interpreted as prohibiting point of sale product display, but it is our understanding that it is not being interpreted in this way. Therefore, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco product display and visibility, as this is a form of advertising.

Vending machines

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
Analysis:

The regulations prohibit vending machines that sell tobacco products.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, and meets FCTC Art. 16 (Sales to Minors) with respect to tobacco vending machines.

Law Source, Section

Conventional mail

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
Analysis:

The regulations state that no person shall "distribute, or cause or permit to be distributed any tobacco product advertisement." A "tobacco product advertisement," by definition, includes pamphlets, circulars, and brochures, which are the types of materials that would be delivered by conventional mail. Therefore, these provisions are interpreted as prohibiting tobacco product advertising via conventional mail because this involves "distribution" of tobacco product advertising.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to tobacco product advertising via conventional mail.

Law Source, Section

Telephone and cellular phone

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
Analysis:

The regulations prohibit, among other things, displaying, distributing, printing and publishing tobacco product advertising. The definition of “tobacco product advertisement” includes, among other things, advertisement “through any communication, whether between persons and persons . . . in the form of sound. . . .” These provisions are interpreted as prohibiting tobacco advertising by telephone and cellular phone, as this practice involves distributing a tobacco product advertisement through person to person communication.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to tobacco advertising by telephone and cellular phone.

Brand marking on physical structures

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.

Distinctive words, designs, images, logos, sounds, or colors to promote tobacco products in entertainment venues, retail outlets, on vehicles and equipment, or other physical structures (brand marking on physical structures, other than on tobacco product packaging and labeling and print material)

Analysis:

The regulations prohibit displaying or affixing any tobacco product advertisement. The definition of “tobacco product advertisement” includes, among other things, “any writing or painting on any wall, vehicle, calendar, clock, clothing or any other object or thing.” Therefore, brand marking of building, vehicles or other equipment is prohibited, as this involved displaying tobacco product advertisements.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to brand marking.

Law Source, Section

Free distribution of tobacco products

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
Analysis:

The regulations prohibit the distribution of free samples of tobacco products.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, and meets FCTC Art. 16 (Sales to Minors) in this respect.

Promotions with a tobacco product purchase

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.

Promotional discounts, gifts, prizes, rewards to consumers in conjunction with a tobacco product purchase (e.g., buy one pack, get one free or, key chains, t-shirts, coupons, points)

Analysis:

The 2004 Regulations prohibit promotional gifts, prizes or other rewards to consumers in conjunction with a tobacco product purchase. In addition, the regulations, as amended by the 2009 amendments, clearly prohibit promotional discounts.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to promotional discounts, gifts, prizes, or rewards to consumers in conjunction with a tobacco product purchase.

Competitions associated with tobacco products

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.

Competitions associated with tobacco products or brand names, whether requiring the purchase of a tobacco product or not

Analysis:

Competitions associated with tobacco products violate the ban on tobacco product advertising and the ban on tobacco sponsorship. Regulation 4 prohibits the display of a tobacco product advertisement, and therefore any display of any tobacco product brand name, trademark or other symbol in association with a competition would violate the ban on advertising. Further, Regulation 5 prohibits any contract, agreement or understanding to promotion a tobacco product in exchange for sponsorship. Competitions associated with tobacco products may be considered a form of sponsorship and therefore prohibited by Regulation 5.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to competitions associated with tobacco products. However, to clarify the scope of the ban on tobacco sponsorship and to aid in enforcement of the ban, the law should provide a definition of “tobacco sponsorship” in accordance with the definition contained in FCTC Art. 1.

Law Source, Section

Direct person to person targeting of individuals

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
Analysis:

The regulations prohibit any person from “promot[ing] the sale of any tobacco product directly or indirectly.” This provision directly addresses targeting of individuals with marketing pitches in places such as bars or sporting events. Therefore, direct person-to-person targeting of individuals is prohibited.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to direct person-to-person targeting of individuals.

Brand stretching/trademark diversification

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.

Non-tobacco products or services using tobacco brand names or carrying a brand logo or other brand indicia (brand stretching)

Analysis:

The regulations prohibit displaying or affixing any tobacco product advertisement. The definition of “tobacco product advertisement” includes, among other things, “any writing or painting on any wall, vehicle, calendar, clock, clothing or any other object or thing.” Therefore, brand stretching is prohibited, as this involved displaying tobacco product advertisements.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to brand stretching.

Law Source, Section

Reverse brand stretching or brand sharing

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.

Tobacco products or services using non-tobacco brand names (reverse brand stretching or brand sharing)

Analysis:

The law does not directly address the use of non-tobacco brand names on tobacco products or services. Regulation 5A could be interpreted as prohibiting reverse brand stretching, but it is our understanding that it is not being interpreted in this way. Therefore, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should make clear that reverse brand stretching is prohibited.

Toys that resemble tobacco products

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The law does not address toys or candy that resemble tobacco products. Regulation 5A could be interpreted as prohibiting toys and candy that resemble tobacco products, but it is our understanding that it is not being interpreted in this way. Therefore, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit the sale, manufacture or distribution or toys or candy that resemble tobacco products.

Candy that resembles tobacco products

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The law does not address toys or candy that resemble tobacco products. Regulation 5A could be interpreted as prohibiting toys and candy that resemble tobacco products, but it is our understanding that it is not being interpreted in this way. Therefore, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit the sale, manufacture or distribution or toys or candy that resemble tobacco products.

Retailer incentive programs

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.

Retailer incentive programs (e.g., rewards to retailers for achieving certain sales volume, enhanced displays, etc.) or other payments to encourage them to sell tobacco products

Analysis:

The regulations prohibit any person from entering into a “contract, agreement, understanding or undertaking” to promote the sale of any tobacco product, either directly or indirectly. Therefore, retailers are prohibited from entering into any kind of program or agreement that provides incentives for the sale of tobacco products.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to retailer incentive programs.

Paid placement of tobacco products in TV, film or other media

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
Analysis:

The regulations prohibit, among other things, the “display” or “distribution” of any tobacco product advertisement, as well as the sale of any film or video containing a tobacco product advertisement. The definition of “tobacco product advertisement” includes “any representation . . . made in any manner . . . through any communication . . . [including] sound [and] visual images” for the purpose of promoting a tobacco product, directly or indirectly; and thus encompasses tobacco product placement. Therefore, the paid placement of tobacco products in TV, film, or other media is prohibited, as this involves the “display” of a “tobacco product advertisement.”

Moreover, the 2013 amendments prohibit any person from entering into a “contract, agreement, understanding or undertaking” to promote the sale of any tobacco product, either directly or indirectly. This provision also prohibits any paid placement of tobacco products.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to paid placement of tobacco products in TV, film and other media.

Unpaid depiction of tobacco use or tobacco products in media that does not serve a legitimate purpose

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.

Unpaid depiction of tobacco use or tobacco products in TV, film or other media that is not legitimate journalistic, artistic, or academic expression or legitimate social or political commentary

Analysis:

The regulations do not address unpaid depiction because the definition of “tobacco product advertisement” encompasses “any representation . . . for the purpose of promoting a tobacco product”; and thus does not encompass unpaid depiction, which generally is not for the purpose of promoting a tobacco product. Therefore, the regulatory status “Allowed” is assigned. However, in practice, on the radio, the word “cigarette” is bleeped out of at least one popular song.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should make clear that unpaid depiction of tobacco use or tobacco products in TV, film or other entertainment media is prohibited.

Tobacco industry sponsorship of events, activities, individuals, organizations or governments

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.

Financial or other sponsorship or support by the tobacco industry to events, activities, individuals or groups (e.g., groups involved in sports, the arts, politics, charitable or welfare, or other activities, or youth smoking prevention programs)

Analysis:

The law prohibits any contract, agreement, undertaking, or understanding to promote a tobacco product in exchange for any sponsorship, gift, prize, reward, scholarship, or like benefit. Many of the key terms including “sponsorship” and “promotion” are not defined, so the full scope of the law is unclear. The “like benefits” is interpreted to include all financial or other contributions that promote a tobacco product or tobacco use.

With this interpretation, the law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to financial contributions that promote a tobacco product or tobacco use. For better clarity, the law should prohibit all contributions, financial or otherwise, that have the aim, effect, or likely effect of promoting a tobacco product or tobacco use, directly or indirectly.

Publicity of financial or other sponsorship or support by the tobacco industry if tobacco sponsorship is not banned

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
Analysis:

The law prohibits any contract, agreement, undertaking, or understanding to promote a tobacco product in exchange for any sponsorship, gift, prize, reward, scholarship, or like benefit. The law is interpreted as prohibiting all contributions by the tobacco industry. Therefore, there can be no publicity of such sponsorship. However, many of the key terms including “sponsorship” and “promotion” are not defined, so the full scope of the law is unclear.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to publicity of tobacco sponsorship.

Promotion by any means that are false, misleading or deceptive

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.

Promotion by any means that are false, misleading or deceptive or likely to create an erroneous impression about a product's characteristics, health effects, hazards or emissions (covering any term, descriptor, trademark, emblem, marketing image, logo, color and figurative, or any other indicia)

Analysis:

The regulations prohibit the use on tobacco product packaging of any information that is false, misleading or deceptive or that is likely or intended to create an erroneous or false impression about the characteristics, health effects, hazards or emissions of a tobacco product. This ban includes a ban on words or descriptors such as “light”, “ultra light”, “mild”, “cool”, “extra”, “low tar”, “special”, “full flavor”, “premium”, “rich”, “famous”, “slim”, “Grade A” or any similar terms or descriptors. This prohibition, together with the general prohibition on tobacco advertising, effectively prohibits promotion by means that are false, misleading or deceptive.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to promotion by means that are false, misleading or deceptive.