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Tobacco Advertising

Volume 404: debated on Thursday 1 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the marketing materials not covered by the ban on tobacco advertising. [109202]

When fully in force, the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002 will provide a comprehensive ban on the advertising and promotion of tobacco products with certain limited exceptions. The Act does not list marketing materials but does define "tobacco advertisement' and 'tobacco product'.In the Act, 'tobacco advertisement' means an advertisement:

whose purpose is to promote a tobacco product, or
whose effect is to do so and

`tobacco product' means a product consisting wholly or partly of tobacco and intended to be smoked, sniffed, sucked or chewed.

Section 4 of the Act identifies exclusions. These relate to:

tobacco trade communications aimed at specified trade contacts;
communications made in reply to a particular request by an individual for information about a tobacco product;
publications (other than an in-flight magazine) whose principal market is not the United Kingdom (or any part of it), or if it is contained in any internet version of such a publication.

Section 4 also provides for the appropriate Minister to provide in regulations that no offence is committed if a tobacco advertisement:

is in a place or on a website where tobacco products are offered for sale; and
complies with requirements specified in the regulations.

Section 5 provides defences.

Section 6 of the Act provides an exemption if the tobacco advertisement:

was in or fixed to the outside of the premises of a specialist tobacconist;
was not for cigarettes or hand-rolling tobacco; and
complied with any requirements specified by the appropriate Minister in regulations in relation to tobacco advertisements on the premises of specialist tobacconists.

Section 9 permits the giving away of products or coupons that are aimed at specified tobacco trade contacts.

Section 11 provides for the Secretary of State to make regulations governing brandsharing. It is intended that the regulations will set out limited circumstances in which brandsharing will be permissible.

Section 20 provides for transitional provisions to be made in regulations covering tobacco sponsorship agreements. The Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Sponsorship) Regulations 2003 were made under that section and came into force on 14 February 2003.

Draft regulations governing point of sale advertising and brandsharing have been consulted on and will, when in final form, be notified to the European Commission under the Technical Standards Directive 98/48/EC. Until the regulations are made, temporary provision is included in the Orders bringing the Act into force. In particular, the Orders permit the promotion of tobacco products in a place or on a website where tobacco products are offered for sale and provide exceptions for brandshared goods from various offences created by the Act.