Despite that electronic cigarettes cause alarm among authorities as they are sources of nicotine and other components harmful to health, their advertisement, offer and sale has not yet been regulated by Ministry of Health.
However, based on advertisement regulations, the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce within a consumer protection investigation, decided to fine BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO COLOMBIA S.A.S., LIFETECH S.A.S, and GRUPO DYI S.A.S., with USD$319,000, USD$59,000, and USD$5,000, respectively.
The decision was based on the fact that, the packaging, containers and advertising of these products lacked warnings about contraindications for the health of consumers.
Consequently, all providers of electronic cigarettes must:
- Supply information in a clear, timely, sufficient, precise manner and in Spanish, regarding all of the products offered, either through the website or advertising pieces issued physically or digitally by the marketers.
- Inform consumers that electronic cigarettes, contain nicotine salts and vaping liquids, which are harmful products. This information must be provided in perfectly legible characters, either through labels, on its containers or packaging, or, through an annex. Moreover, the harmful effects must be described, as well as the conditions or indications necessary for its correct use, and the contraindications of these.
- Adjust future physical or digital advertising to clearly warn the public about the harmfulness of the components of vaping products, specifically nicotine salts and vaping liquids, as well as the need to consult the conditions or indications for its correct use and the contraindications of the case.
This decision is a simple reminder that, even if something is not regulated, it does not mean that it does not have to comply with the Consumer Protection regulation.