The Indian Parliament, earlier this month, passed a bill to ban the production, import, and sale of ecigarettes in India. To further support this movement, social media platforms Facebook and Instagram will no longer allow influencers to promote vaping, tobacco products.
Instagram, on Wednesday (December 18), said that it would no longer allow branded content that promotes ecigarettes, tobacco products, and weapons on either platform, according to CNBC.
As of now, Facebook’s advertising policies don’t allow brands to advertise vaping, tobacco and weapons. However, the policies have allowed private users to post about them.
In June 2019, Instagram had allowed advertisers to promote influencers or users’ posts. However, the feature was misused by brands to advertise ecigarettes, tobacco products, and weapons on the platform. And now it seems that the social media platform has realised the loophole in its policies and hence decided to not allow influencers to promote vaping, tobacco products.
Facebook reportedly said that it would begin enforcement of the new rule in the coming weeks. An Instagram spokesperson told CNBC that this is the first time it’s implementing restrictions around the type of items that can be promoted for branded content. “Branded content that promotes goods such as alcohol or diet supplements will require special restrictions once new policies go into effect next year,” the company added.
Moreover, Facebook is also working on tools to help content creators comply with new policies. For instance, it will provide influencers with the ability to restrict which users can see their content based on age.
In its announcement about the policy changes, Instagram said that the company is testing Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager starting with 40 Instagram content creators in the US to test the new policy.
Ban On Ecigarettes In India
Following the blanket ban on the production, import and sale of ecigarettes, the central government has put the last nail on the coffin bypassing the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Bill 2019, in the legislature.
The bill makes the manufacturing, production, import, export, distribution, transport, sale, storage or advertisements of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), ecigarettes and vapes a cognisable offence.