TOBACCO ADVERTISING IN BULGARIA (2013)
Tobacco advertising seems to be a major world-wide issue concerning public health protection, since it is well documented that tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship increase tobacco use. This urged many national legislatures to implement a series of restrictive measures or even a complete ban on such activities. International campaigns, including the adoption of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, are also raising the public awareness on the topic.
In the European Union, this issue is addressed by Directive 2003/33/EC (“the Directive”). The Directive does not provide for a general ban, but rather set out a number of highly restrictive measures on tobacco advertising and sponsorship with cross-border effects in the media other than television1. The scope of the Directive results from the European Court of Justice’s finding that the Community legislature could legitimately introduce restrictions only on certain types of tobacco advertising and sponsorship on the basis of Article 95 of the EC Treaty (internal market)2.
Bulgaria has fully transposed the Directive in its domestic legislation in the Tobacco and Tobacco Products Act (the “TTP Act”). The Bulgarian TTP Act addresses both advertising of tobacco products and sponsorship from tobacco companies.
The TTP Act regulates all forms of advertising of tobacco products in Bulgaria – in printed media, on the Internet, on radio and television and all other forms of advertising. The common approach used by Bulgarian legislature in drafting these regulations is, first, to lay down a principle ban on tobacco advertising and, then, to allow several exceptions with specific conditions to be met in each case.