E-cigarettes can save lives - says German court

"E-cigarettes save lives". A claim that has sparked debate. Now a German court has ruled in favour of allowing companies to use the phrase in their marketing.

Retailers are allowed to market e-cigarettes as a life-saving product. At least in Germany. This is after a court ruled on a dispute in which an e-cigarette retailer was sued for misleading advertising.

Competition with cigarettes

It was an e-cigarette company that in German Trier came under fire for promoting e-cigarettes as a "life-saving" product. The organisation Competition Centre, which monitors advertising and competition in Germany, argued that the advert was misleading. The claim that "e-cigarettes save lives" leads to unauthorised competition with traditional tobacco products, the Wettbewerbszentrale said in its lawsuit.

Court: smokers get better health

But when the case finally reached the Higher Regional Court (OLG) in Koblenz, there was a setback. According to an article in the world the Court found that e-cigarettes can be considered less harmful than analogue cigarettes. The Court justified its decision by referring to current research on the relative risk of e-cigarettes compared to smoking.

"Smokers who switch to e-cigarettes are likely to enjoy better health," the Court said. 

Does not attract non-smokers

The Court also found that the advert was not intended to attract non-smokers to buy the products. It was clear that smokers were the target audience, according to the judgement.

"The aim is to make tobacco consumers aware of the alternative product," writes the Commissioner. the world regarding the judgement.

Not allowed to make health claims in Sweden

In Sweden, it is not allowed to make health claims when selling e-cigarettes. Not even if the sale is aimed at smokers. It is also not permitted to entice smokers with the possibility of quitting smoking by using e-cigs. The Swedish Consumer Agency notified last year a company for breaking the law when banners saying "Quit smoking with our starter packs!" and "Beginners!" were displayed. and "Beginners? We'll help you" were displayed on the website.

The case is the first of its kind in Sweden and is still pending. Ecoswe, The company in question has in turn reported the Consumer Agency to the Ombudsman.. According to the company, the Consumer Agency interprets the law on marketing unnecessarily harshly and therefore abuses its legal power.

Sources for this article:

Judgement: Advertising slogan "E-Ziga save lives" not misleading

Judgment: "E-ZigaRettenLeben" authorised as advertising

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