RTE refuses to air ads for e-cigarettes
RTE says it will wait for the development of specific advertising codes before deciding if it will air commercials for e-cigarettes.
Advertisements for the controversial products have already appeared on TV3 and the first commercial showing a woman smoking one of the devices was broadcast on British television last night.
A spokesman for RTE said that "broadcasting codes normally refer to tobacco products or smoking cures. The advertising of tobacco products is prohibited on a European-wide basis for television and on-demand services.
"Irish broadcast codes prohibit the advertising on both radio and television of tobacco products and apply restrictions on the advertising of smoking cures."
He pointed out that e-cigarettes are neither classified as tobacco products nor cures for smoking, and therefore fall outside the area of these codes.
Some European countries have moved to prohibit their advertising, while others allow it. A Europe-wide code is in development.
"The UK authorities have decided to allow advertising on television for e-cigarettes, but under a detailed code. While the products are presently fully legal, for the present RTE does not carry advertising for them. RTE will await developments in the area of codes."
The Government has said it will bring forward legislation next year to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s.
The devices have divided opinion, with concern being expressed that they "normalise" regular smoking. Others insist they help smokers quit and avoid cancer-causing chemicals.