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TAPS ban

Enforcing tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship bans

Each year, the tobacco industry spends tens of billions of dollars to market its products. Using increasing sophisticated and covert forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS), the tobacco industry links its products with success, fun and glamour.

TAPS increase smoking initiation among youth, and even brief exposure to can influence adolescents. The more aware and appreciative young people are of tobacco advertising, the more likely they are to smoke or say they intend to.

A total ban on direct and indirect advertising, promotion and sponsorship can substantially reduce tobacco consumption and protect people from industry marketing tactics. To be effective, bans must be complete and apply to all marketing categories. Otherwise, the industry redirects resources to nonregulated marketing channels.

Source :

Regulations on Tobacco Advertising, Promotion, and Sponsorship

Legal Basis

Article 9-4 of the National Health Promotion Act, Article 25 of the Tobacco Business

Act and Article 9 of the Enforcement Decree of the Tobacco Business Act

  • (Prohibition of, or Restriction on, Advertisements of Tobacco) Allowed scope of tobacco advertising and sponsorships and rules for advertising materials to follow

Article 25-4 of the Tobacco Business Act

  • (Prohibition against Offering Money or Goods, etc. for Promotion of Tobacco Sales) Manufacturers, import and sale business entities and wholesalers shall not conduct any act of offering money or goods to retailers in order to promote their tobacco sales

Status of regulations on tobacco advertising, sales, promotion, and sponsorship in Korea

In Korea, among tobacco control measures, regulations on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship (TAPS) is an area where immediate improvement and efforts are needed. In particular, marketing strategies of the tobacco industry have been quickly changing with the rise of new types of tobacco products such as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and heated tobacco products (HTP), finding haven in legislative blind spots. Therefore, it is necessary to enforce effective restrictions on TAPS to respond to the tobacco industry’s everchanging tactics.

Category Allowed Not Allowed
Advertising Magazine Advertising Up to ten times a year for each group of products (for each brand), but not more than two pages each time Advertising is not allowed in magazines for women or juveniles
Mass Media Tobacco and smoking advertising is prohibited
Others Advertisements published within an airplane or passenger ship operating in an international route or any other places specified by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare
  • Limitations shall apply to the content of advertisements
  • Misleading words likely to cause any misconception about tobacco may not be used
Internet No retailer shall sell (advertise) tobacco to consumers by way of postal sale or electronic transactions
Promotion Essential items necessary for tobacco retailers (display shelf, stickers, and posters may be provided) Offering money or goods to retailers or any similar act is forbidden: bounty for tobacco sales, premiums, merchandise coupons, and other money or goods
Sponsorship Sponsorship of social, cultural, musical, or sports events
  • Sponsoring events for women or juveniles is prohibited
  • Advertising products shall not be permitted in addition to using the sponsor's name
Corporate Social Responsibility A manufacturer may directly carry out public activities, such as public health, medical care, protection of environment, etc., or make a contribution to those carrying out such projects
  • See TOBACCO CONTROL FACT SHEET No. 15 ‘Regulations on Tobacco Advertising, Promotion, and Sponsorship’ & TOBACCO ISSUE AND FORUM No. 76 ‘Targeting Teenagers and Youth to Secure Future Customers; The Tactics of Big Tobacco’