In recent months, there have been many calls to regulate e-cigs, and potentially to regulate the marketing of all sorts of vaping products, including a call last week by an FCC Commissioner in an op-ed article in USA Today. So far, the FCC has had no real role in regulating these products. In fact, one wonders if it really has any authority to take action against the advertising of e-cigs without congressional action.
Broadcasters should be very careful when considering whether to accept e-cigarette or vaping ads, especially on stations having a high percentage of minors or teens in their audience. The FDA has threatened to review the promotional activities of the e-cigarette and vaping industries to evaluate compliance with the law.
Last year, the FDA adopted requirements to tag advertisements for vaping and e-cig advertising with a warning that e-cigs contain nicotine and that nicotine is an addictive chemical. According to the FDA, the new disclosure obligations are still set to become effective on Aug. 10, 2018.