Banned tobacco advertising is on the agenda.

The reporter recently learned from an informed person who participated in the revision of the "Advertising Law" that the draft plans to expand the scope of media forbidding the release of tobacco advertisements, and Internet, books, and audio and video products will all be prohibited.

However, these efforts still fail to meet the requirements of the International Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (hereinafter referred to as “the Convention”). “China has already postponed the implementation of the Convention for six months in the total ban on all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.” On June 14th, the tenured professor of China University of Political Science and Law told reporters.

Ying Songnian said that in accordance with the requirements of the "Convention", China should adopt appropriate legislation, implementation, and administrative measures before January 9, 2011 to completely ban all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

In the eyes of the non-smoking people like Yingnian, it is worthwhile for the Legal Affairs Office of the State Council to increase the revision of the "Advertising Law." However, in fact, the current "Advertising Law" still fails to meet the requirements of the "Convention", and its overall thinking is only to increase restrictions." . A person who has read the draft of the "Advertising Law" disclosed that according to the current revision schedule, there is little hope of launching this year.

In fact, the central ministries and the local governments have already made a lot of efforts to control tobacco.

The Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation issued a notice in 2010 to specify that tobacco companies’ expenditures for tobacco advertising and business promotion must not be deducted when calculating the taxable income of corporate income tax, which will affect the actual profits of enterprises after tax.

The prohibitions on tobacco advertising in local tobacco control legislations such as Hangzhou and Guangzhou are more stringent than the “Advertising Law” of the superior law. For example, the Hangzhou Smoking Control Regulation does not enumerate the types of public places, but directly stipulates that all public Places prohibit tobacco advertising.

However, the above-mentioned sources said that if the last-promulgated "Advertising Law" does not do major surgery on smoking, it means that China will continue to violate the "Convention" on the road to prohibit smoking.

The "Advertising Law" revised the controversy: "When you turn on the television, you can see the advertisements of the Hongta Group's 'Shandong High Peak' on CCTV; when you open the internet, you can see the ads of 'Love Me China' on the Shanghai Tobacco Group's website. You can go to the airport and you can see the advertisment of Emperor's Cigarettes. When you drive on the expressway, outdoor billboards such as 'Dacheng Yuxi' can be found everywhere.

Xiao Lin, an associate researcher at the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, pointed out that these tobacco advertisements, which either explicitly or implicitly permeate our daily lives, should be banned in accordance with China's accession to the "Convention".

“But the trick is that there is a huge gap between the relevant domestic policies and the requirements of the framework convention, which leaves room for these ads.” Xiao Lin said that at present, there are no outdoor advertising prohibitions in current laws and regulations in China, and there is no clear definition of indirect advertising. It does not involve promotions and sponsorships. It also lacks clear management practices for tobacco advertising in tobacco sales shops, and the Internet is not banned from tobacco advertising.

According to China's current "Advertising Law," the prohibition of tobacco advertising is limited to five types of media: radio, movies, television, newspapers, and periodicals. The scope of banned advertising is limited to four kinds of public places: various types of waiting rooms and theaters. , conference halls, sports competition venues and other public places.

Other forms of advertising explicitly prohibited by the "Convention" are legal in our country. For example, distributing or giving cigarettes to middle school students, or giving consumers a shopping bag with tobacco advertisements, distributing or mailing brochures or leaflets. Wait.

According to Xiao Lin, the recent findings of the China Youth Tobacco Advertising Exposure Survey conducted by the Tobacco Control Office of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Global Adult Tobacco Survey show that the three major channels of tobacco advertising are: sales of cigarettes, televisions, and outdoor billboards. . The survey results show that there is a high positive correlation between activities such as tobacco advertising and promotion and people starting smoking.

However, in these three major categories of advertising channels, the two categories of shops selling cigarettes and outdoor advertising are not prohibited or restricted by law.

The above-mentioned person who read the "Advertising Law" (draft) disclosed that the "Advertising Law" (draft) intends to expand the scope of media that prohibits the issuance of tobacco advertisements: including the Internet, books, audio-visual products, and communication networks, prohibiting the establishment of tobacco advertising public Places also increase hospitals and public transport.

He further stated that the "Advertising Law" (draft) does not include the sale of cigarettes in shops and outdoor advertising, and the prohibition is still issued and set in two ways. It requires a total ban on tobacco promotion and sponsorship in the "Convention". There are no provisions in the "Ad Law" (Draft).

In addition, regarding the current stealth advertisements with obvious controversy, the "Advertising Law" (Draft) followed the "Prohibition of disguised publication of tobacco advertisements" in the Interim Measures for the Administration of Tobacco Advertisements.

Relevant legislators pointed out that the statement “Disguised Tobacco Advertising” is inaccurate in itself. The focus of legislation should be to issue "Disguised Tobacco Advertisements". However, in the current amendments, the invisible tobacco advertising or indirect tobacco that is of great concern to the legal community is concerned. Advertising does not give clear definitions and specifications.

“This is related to the game between the various interest groups in the legislation. The China Tobacco Monopoly Administration and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology have strong opposition to the comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising.” The person involved in the legislative discussion admitted frankly.

In view of the current legal status of tobacco advertising in China, Wang Qingbin, an associate professor at the China Academy of Political Science and Law Legal Research Institute, suggested that the "Advertising Law" should prohibit tobacco advertising in a general form. It can be clearly stated in the article: "All purposes, effects, or possible effects are prohibited. Or indirectly promote the advertising of tobacco products or tobacco use."

At the same time, he suggested that the State Administration for Industry and Commerce should formulate tobacco advertising standards and forms in the form of regulations, and that “distribution, setting up, distribution, gifting, and placement, etc.” should be regarded as forms of tobacco advertising.

Experts Call for More Punishment Wei Yanfang, director of the Advertising Monitoring Center of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Industry and Commerce, said that in his actual work on tobacco advertising supervision, he often encounters a situation where tobacco companies “trim the ball”, such as tobacco companies engaged outside the tobacco business. other industry.

According to Wei, in addition to the production of tobacco by the Hongta Group, subordinate companies have wood companies and material companies. When these companies publish or install advertisements, they often have the name of the registered trademark of cigarettes. However, when the law is enforced by industry and commerce, it is difficult to determine directly. It is tobacco advertising.

In addition, tobacco companies tend to sponsor or donate titles such as culture, charity, and charity to promote their corporate image and increase their visibility. However, it is also difficult to argue with tobacco advertising.

Wei pointed out that the biggest constraint in law enforcement lies in the fact that the “ad law” penalties for penalties for illegal activities are very low. “Advertising regulators have ordered the responsible advertisers, advertising operators, and advertising publishers to stop publishing and confiscate advertising costs. , It can impose fines of more than double and less than five times the cost of advertising."

Wei Yanfang believes that it is unreasonable to use advertising fees as a benchmark for punishment. In law enforcement, she discovered that tobacco companies advertise in some magazines or newspapers. Advertising may cost only a few thousand yuan. Even if a fine of five times is imposed, it would not be deterrent to tobacco companies. She suggested that when setting penalties, it is necessary to consider the harm caused by tobacco advertising to people's health and that a higher penalty standard should be set.

Wang Qingbin also believes that the current "Advertising Law" is insufficient for the punishment of illegal tobacco companies and it is difficult to achieve self-discipline by making them fearful of the law. Wang suggested that a limit on the minimum amount of fines should be set in the "Advertising Law," and that the "can be punished" fine in the article should be changed to "same place".

According to Yang Gonghuan, deputy director of the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, according to China's commitment to join the "Framework Convention on Tobacco Control," Wei Yanfang encountered in the law enforcement work is actually very easy to solve the puzzle.

Because the "Convention" clearly stipulates that each State Party should ban the linking of tobacco brands with non-tobacco products and services, such "brand extension" and "brand sharing" also belong to tobacco advertising and promotion.

The "Convention" states that the parties should ban tobacco companies from donating to "socially responsible undertakings" of any other entities because such donations are sponsorships.

The “socially responsible” propaganda for the tobacco industry should be banned because such advertising constitutes advertising and promotion.

Yang Gonghuan pointed out that China's ratification of the "Convention" provides clear requirements for tobacco advertising control. At present, the revision of the "Advertising Law" should also be consistent with the principles and contents of the Convention.

However, according to people who have read the draft, the current "Advertising Law" and the provisions of the "Convention" are far apart from each other. They did not regard tobacco companies as "brand extensions," "brand sharing," and engaging in public welfare activities. Advertising means are prohibited.

He expects that the revised "Advertising Law" will be issued this year without hope. "Now the State Council Legislative Affairs Office is still drafting the research phase and will also go through the first and second trials of the National People's Congress."

This means that, for a longer period of time, China will continue to wear hats of “defaulters” regarding the ban on tobacco advertising.

Ying Songnian said that although international conventions do not have mandatory binding force, the "Convention" is after all signed by China itself. Failure to comply will undermine China's international image, and more importantly, it will allow tobacco advertisements to be discredited and harm national health.

"Don't say that there is no performance on January 9 this year. By January 9 next year, it will be difficult to fulfill." The 75-year-old man who is committed to promoting China's tobacco control legislation sighed.

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