LG Essen: Unlawful advertising statements promoting e-cigarettes

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Liquids for e-cigarettes must not be promoted using the slogan “Genuss ohne Reue” (enjoyment without regrets). That was the verdict of the Landgericht (LG) Essen, the Regional Court of Essen, in a ruling from October 25, 2019 (Az.: 41 O 13/19).

Consumers must not be misled by health claims in advertising. We at the commercial law firm MTR Rechtsanwälte note that this kind of advertising is unlawful and in breach of competition law.

The Landgericht Essen recently ruled that in the context of promoting liquids for e-cigarettes, the statement “Genuss ohne Reue” constitutes a health claim. The statement was said to give consumers the impression that consuming these liquids does not pose any health risk whatsoever and was found to be misleading to consumers as well as unlawful.

In addition, the Court held that the manufacturer must also refrain from advertising its products as “apothekenreine Liquids” (liquids of pharmacy-grade purity), as the law already requires that liquids exhibit a certain degree of purity. As such, the statement was deemed to be self-evident, and, as noted by the LG Essen, advertising featuring self-evident statements is unlawful.

Unlawful statements in advertising and violations of competition law may be met with rigorous sanctions. Experienced lawyers can offer advice.

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