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BAT Uganda Ltd v. Attorney General & Center for Health, Human Rights and Development [Uganda] [May 28, 2019]
British American Tobacco Uganda (BATU), a subsidiary of British American Tobacco, filed a lawsuit in the Constitutional Court of Uganda in 2016 challenging the constitutionality of several key provisions in the Tobacco Control Act, 2015. The Court dismissed the Petition in its entirety and awarded costs to the government. The Court found that the Petition appeared to have been misconceived or brought in bad faith as part of a global strategy to fight tobacco control legislation. The challenged provisions upheld by the Court include provisions:
- requiring 65% or larger picture health warnings;
- banning smoking in all indoor public places and workplaces, on all means of public transport, and in specified outdoor public places;
- banning all tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship, including product displays at points of sale;
- prohibiting the sale of tobacco products in specified places (health institutions, schools, prisons, and other places);
- prohibiting the import, manufacture, distribution, and sale of electronic nicotine delivery systems, and shisha, smokeless, and flavored tobacco;
- banning the sale of tobacco products through vending machines and through remote means of sale (e.g., mail, internet); and
- implementing WHO FCTC Article 5.3.
ASA Adjudication on Must Have Ltd. [United Kingdom] [September 24, 2014]
A TV ad for e-cigarettes featured a woman running her hand over her thigh while discussing the feeling of touching, holding, feeling and tasting something great. The ad also contained the phrase, "quality assured since 2009." Viewers challenged whether the ad was offensive because it sexualised e-cigarette use, whether it was suitable for broadcast before 9pm, and whether "quality assured" could be substantiated. The ASA found that the ad was advertised responsibly and that the quality statements were substantiated. Because of the level of sexuality in the ad, the ASA ruled that the ad should have been aired after 9pm to minimize the risk of children seeing it.
Hawkins v. Van Heerden [Australia] [April 10, 2014]
The operator of a website selling electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) was convicted of violating the Tobacco Products Control Act 2006 (WA) by selling a product that is “designed to resemble a tobacco product.” The Supreme Court overturned an earlier ruling by a lower court, which had acquitted the seller.
The Supreme Court found that the e-cigarettes, which contained only “e-juice” and no nicotine, resembled a tobacco product because they are used for inhaling vapour, which is exhaled in a manner similar to smoke from a cigarette.
See further the sentencing judgment: Hawkins v. Van Heerden [No 2]  WASC 226 (24 June 2014).
ASA Adjudication on Must Have Ltd t/a VIP Electronic Cigarette [United Kingdom] [February 26, 2014]
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received more than 1,000 complaints about two commercials for e-cigarettes featuring a man and a woman, respectively, making reference to oral sex. The ASA found that the ads were sexually provocative and should have been aired only after 11 pm rather than allowed to air after 9 pm. In the future, the ASA ordered the company not to broadcast the ads before 11 pm and to ensure that the ads were not likely to cause serious or widespread offence. The ASA did not uphold other complaints about the ads, finding that the ads were not likely to be viewed as degrading or exploiting women, did not encourage smoking or the harmful use of nicotine products, did not promote the product to young viewers, and made clear that the product contained nicotine.
ASA Adjudication on CN Creative Ltd [United Kingdom] [January 08, 2014]
A print ad for e-cigarettes included images of the package alongside text that stated “A BIG DEAL FOR SMOKERS.” In response to a complaint, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) investigated whether the ad was irresponsible because it encouraged non-smokers smokers to take up smoking. The ASA found that the ad did not violate the country’s advertising code because it targeted existing smokers and was clearly for a non-tobacco product. Therefore, the ASA concluded that the ad was unlikely to encourage tobacco smoking among non-smokers.
ASA Adjudication on UKVapes Ltd [United Kingdom] [November 20, 2013]
A radio ad for e-cigarettes mentioned a variety of vapor flavors, such as cherry and cola. A listener complained that the ad was irresponsible and could encourage children to use the product. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the ad did not violate the country’s advertising code. Because the ad started with the statement “Do you smoke?” the ASA found that the ad was targeted at existing smokers. Additionally, the ASA found that the flavors referenced in the ad were not limited to those that would appeal only to children and, as a result, the ad was not irresponsible.
ASA Adjudication on ZULU Ventures Ltd [United Kingdom] [November 20, 2013]
A poster on a commuter train advertised e-cigarettes. In response to a complaint, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) investigated whether the ad was irresponsible because it was placed in a location likely to be seen by children. The ASA found that the ad did not violate the country’s advertising code because e-cigarettes are legal products and are allowed to be advertised. Additionally, the ASA found that trains were not likely to carry a high percentage of children and the ad, which mostly contained text, did not contain any images likely to be particularly attractive to children.
ASA Adjudication on Ten Motives Ltd [United Kingdom] [September 25, 2013]
A television ad for e-cigarettes featured animated images of day-to-day activities and objects such as a young family, a beach vacation, and a TV. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found the ad misleading because it did not make clear what product was being sold and that the product contained nicotine. However, the ASA said the ad was not socially irresponsible because it did not encourage the harmful use of a nicotine product. The ASA ordered that the ad should not appear again in its current form. The agency noted that the ad was broadcast before the government announced its intention to regulate e-cigarettes as medicines, which are subject to different advertising rules.
ASA Adjudication on Zandera Ltd [United Kingdom] [September 25, 2013]
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 65 complaints about a series of ads for e-cigarettes, including a television ad, a radio ad, an internet banner ad, a poster at a bus stop, and a display on the side of a bus. After evaluating the ads for potential violations of the advertising code, the ASA found that the television and radio ads were misleading because they did not make clear what product was being advertised and whether it contained nicotine. The ASA noted that this information was especially important because e-cigarettes were still a relatively new product in the UK. Additionally, the ASA found that the TV ad was of particular interest to children because it featured a dancing baby. Because the ad was appealing to children and also referred to smoking it violated the advertising code related to tobacco advertising. The ASA ordered that the TV and radio ad not be broadcast again in their current form. However, the ASA found that the internet ad and posters did not violate the advertising code by encouraging smoking because they promoted an alternative to smoking.
ASA Adjudication on Sorse Distribution Ltd [United Kingdom] [September 25, 2013]
Seven viewers complained about a television ad for disposable fruit-flavored e-cigarettes. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found the ad to be misleading because it did not identify the product being advertised or state that the product did not contain nicotine. Additionally, the ASA said that the ad should have stated that the product was not available to those under 18. The ASA told the company that future advertising should clearly identify the product as an e-cigarette, that it does not contain nicotine, and that it is not available to those under the age of 18. The ASA noted that the ad was broadcast before the government announced its intention to regulate e-cigarettes as medicines, which are subject to different advertising rules.