Members Code of Conduct
The Vapour Products Association of South Africa (VPASA) represents manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers of smoke-free vapour products in South Africa. We have come together to work with Government and other stakeholders to develop legal regulations and standards for our industry and to ensure that consumers have access to all available information about vapour products.
- As the united voice for the vapour products industry and a growing contributor to the South African economy, we are committed to:
- Providing consumers with an alternative to smoking;
- Working with Government and regulatory bodies to set standards and ensure that our industry is transparent and well-regulated;
- Ensuring that our products are sold only to adults above the age of 18; and
- Ensuring that all containers are childproof, have appropriate warning labels, and do not contain potentially harmful components.
We are committed to quality and safety in all our products and marketing, and seek to contribute to the growing body of scientific evidence that our products represent a safer alternative to smoking, and have the potential to save millions of lives.
VPASA members commit to ‘The Code of Conduct’ by promoting responsible Advertising, Marketing, Packaging, and Sales, according to the guidelines presented in this Code and agree to hold themselves to a higher standard than required. The Association provides guidance on compliance with the Code to all members involved in the promotion of their respective brands.
distribute, transport, and dispose of vapor products, including product advertising, consumer communications, promotional events, packaging, labels, sales collateral
The Code applies to:
- All print and electronic media, including the Internet and any other online communications, including social media, used to advertise or market vapor products.
- Every type of promotional or marketing activity or event, including all product placements and sponsorships.
- Sponsorships are commercial, contractual agreements between a vapor company (the sponsor) and a sponsored party or sponsorship property to support an event, activity, person, or organization financially or through the provision of products and/or services.
(Note: A sponsor is the individual or group that provides the support, similar to a benefactor).
VPASA members understand it is not possible to address every eventuality and, therefore, agree to observe the spirit, as well as the letter, of The Code of Conduct.
Questions about the interpretation of the Code, member companies’ compliance with the Code, and the application of its provisions should be directed to VPASA’s Board of Directors.
Restrictions on Advertising and Promotion
Marketing to persons under age 18
- No Manufacturer, Importer, Distributor, or Retailer may take any action, directly or indirectly, with the intent of targeting persons under 18 years of age in the advertising, promotion, or marketing of ENDS Products, or take any action, the primary purpose of which is to initiate, maintain or increase the incidence of ENDS Product use by persons under 18 years of age.
General marketing restrictions
- No Manufacturer, Importer, Distributor, or Retailer, may place or cause to be placed any advertising or promotion of a relevant product at any educational establishment or health facility, except in the pursuit of a normal retail channel such as that of a pharmacy;
- No Manufacturer, Importer or Distributor, or Retailer may place, or cause to be placed, an automated vending machine containing a relevant product in or on any place or premises;
- Permit the placement by any other person of an automated vending machine containing the relevant product in or on any proprietor’s place or premises.
The following restrictions are applicable to any advertising or promotional materials placed or caused to be placed within the Republic of South Africa:
- No person depicted in any advertising and promotional materials shall be or shall appear to be under age 25;
- No advertising and promotional materials shall suggest that use of ENDS Products is essential to social prominence, distinction, success or sexual desirability;
- No advertising and promotional materials shall feature sports or celebrity testimonials, which are in anyway intended to link their success in their chosen endeavour to ENDS product.
- No advertising and promotional materials shall depict an ENDS Product user participating in, or just having participated in, a physical activity requiring stamina or physical conditioning beyond that of normal recreation; and
Marketing health claims
- All product marketing claims shall be supported by documentary evidence demonstrating that the claim is accurate and not misleading;
- All product marketing claims shall refrain from using the phrase “safer than, when juxtaposed against combustible tobacco, to avoid miscommunication to potential users under 18. All claims of safety shall be couched in cautious terms such as “less harmful than” when the relevant product is juxtaposed against combustible tobacco;
- No Manufacturer, Importer, Distributor, or Retailer may issue or cause to be issued any advertising or promotion, in any media, that states or implies, directly or indirectly, any medicinal or health benefit claims with respect to any ENDS Product, including claims relating to quitting smoking, satisfying cravings, or smoking cessation.
Marketing performance claims
- All product marketing claims shall be supported by documentary evidence demonstrating that the claim is accurate and not misleading. All performance claims shall remain accurate over the expected lifetime of the product and its components;
- To the extent a claim is made with respect to battery and Heating Element or Atomizer life, such claims shall be supported by documentary evidence, such as performance test reports which relate directly to the product for which the claims are made, and which demonstrate that the product reliably achieves the performance claimed.
- Age Verification Policy for online and face-to-face purchases.
- VPASA members do not sell to purchasers under the legal age.
- For online sales, age verification at checkout executed by a 3rd party.
- Members are strongly encouraged to verify age before completion of face-to-face transactions.
Code Review Process
The VPASA Board will consider complaints lodged by VPASA members or other interested parties,including members of the public. To lodge a complaint, send an email to email@example.com indicating your intention to submit a formal complaint. You will then be sent a Complaint Form to fill in and submit to the Board of Directors.
Procedure for Complaint Resolution
Once a complaint is received, the Board of Directors of VPASA will appoint one of its Board Members to lead a process of mediation between the parties involved. Should this fail to resolve the issue, the Board will appoint a Committee of Members to adjudicate the dispute and make relevant recommendations.
Should the dispute remain unresolved and the party against whom a finding has been made refuse to comply with the recommendations, the said party may be liable to a suspension of membership and/or termination of its membership. A decision on termination will be taken by the full Board pf Directors on the advice of the Executive of VPASA. Suspension and/or termination becomes effective on the date on which it was made.
Given the collaborative and voluntary nature of VPASA, members agree not to pursue legal action against each other on disputes under consideration by structures of the Board of Directors. Parties further agree to work together for the good of the industry and to refrain from conduct that could prejudice each other’s’ commercial interests.