Congress Seeks to Close E-Cigarette Ad Loophole
For more than five decades, tobacco ads have been prohibited on radio, but advertising for e-cigarettes and other vaping related products have made their way onto the airwaves in recent years.
In an effort to make such marketing less attractive, the U.S. Congress wants to close a tax loophole that allows manufacturers to claim federal tax deductions for the cost of advertising for e-cigarettes and tobacco products. That includes the ads they buy on the radio.
Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Richard Blumenthal have reintroduced the No Tax Subsidies for E-Cigarette and Tobacco Ads Act (S. 464), which if passed would not make the direct-to-consumer ads illegal, but would end the ability for companies to take tax deductions for advertising expenses related to vaping and other tobacco products, according to Insider Radio.
“Tax breaks for tobacco and e-cigarette giants allow the industry to profit from its manipulative marketing,” Blumenthal said. “Our legislation ends these write-offs to protect kids and other consumers from being lured into lifetimes of addiction.”
Radio and television advertising for traditional tobacco products has been banned under federal law since January 1971, and certain other forms of tobacco advertising are restricted under the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. However, none of these restrictions apply to e-cigarettes.