Facebook is banning e-cig vendors.

Matthew Olmstead
by Matthew Olmstead
August 29, 2012

It would seem that some e-cig related commercial pages on Facebook have been deleted for TOS violations.  Hundreds of manufacturers and vendors network using Facebook, offering coupon codes, info on their latest products, and contests for their customers.  A thread on UKVapers.org talks about this new phenomenon. There is also a post on a vaping related Facebook page  where a vendor states he lost contact with 14,000 fans of his page with no explanation or prior warning.  More information about this incident can be found here.

Looking up Facebook’s TOS agreement regarding ecigs, it seems that e-cigs are considered by Facebook to be tobacco products in the same vein as cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, etc.

Vendors beware!  In the post referenced above, the aggrieved vendor stated that Facebook continued to take funds for advertising even after they deleted his page and sponsored links.

Was the prohibition of vendor pages, along with sponsored advertising of e-cigs and related products always prohibited on Facebook, or is this a new thing ushered in with shareholders and tanking stock prices?  Perhaps it has more to do with US big tobacco companies getting into the e-cig market, or the fact that minors as young as 13 are allowed to use Facebook?  Honestly, it’s hard to tell.  What is clear, however, is that it seems that manufacturer and vendor pages are being targeted for removal now.  Per the TOS, groups that promote the community aspect of vaping such as Vapors Lounge, Real Vapers, Vapers Network, et al. have not been targeted… yet.



61 Responses to “Facebook is banning e-cig vendors.”

      Runarnd on August 29th, 2012 5:15 pm

      Facebook is really going to wonder one day how they sank their own ship if they keep messing with the wrong crowds. It’s becoming more than annoying over things like this and starting to cover several other vendors that are helping them be what they are. Tisk Tisk FB!

        forpetessake on August 29th, 2012 5:17 pm

        they havent banned my page yet, but they probably will. Again, this is just another sign of ignorance. this stinks worse that a dirty diaper.

          Adrian Bayless on August 29th, 2012 5:19 pm

          Once again, ignorance and greed to the rescue… of ignorance and greed. I can’t believe I just liked this on Facebook.

            mysti on August 29th, 2012 5:36 pm

            My former employer lost 80K fans a few months ago and has started rebuilding. Thanks for the heads up!

              BlahBlahBlah on August 29th, 2012 6:29 pm

              This vendor probably does not check their email. Facebook always sends a warning if you are caught trying to sell ads that it deems unacceptable. They only delete the page if you keep selling adspace. My guess is that these pages either didn’t see the email or didn’t care. This is why you should always read your TOS.

                Another blockade stands in the ways of vaping!!! | Vapingdaz's Blog on August 29th, 2012 7:38 pm

                [...] thanks to The Ashtray Blog and E cig Advanced for the [...]

                  .nate on August 29th, 2012 7:40 pm

                  This was implemented quite some time ago and from what I could tell back then was basically adopted from Google’s AdWords TOS (including e-cigs in their ATF policy). It’s important specifically for vendors who sell the devices to not promote them. ECA would be fine to promote their community, because there are no transactions being placed on the site, and no sales being made directly. It is also fine for vendors to “exist” there, but where you get into trouble is running ads, incentivizing likes through discounts or games, or running any kind of unrestricted promotion to/through your FB page where users under the legal age could potentially be targeted – which is still incredibly hard to control, but the burden falls on the vendor.

                  Extra irony bonus: Facebook gives $50 in ad credits to vendors who reach a certain number of Likes. While I’m sure this is just an incentive they’re giving out to everyone, it’s rather indicative of their inability to control their own platform according to their own policies. Again, burden displaced on the vendors.

                    debb on August 29th, 2012 8:29 pm

                    Well that just sucks! I like the vendors pages to keep up with the new things they offer and sales!

                      David on August 29th, 2012 9:20 pm

                      This is not new. Facebook has had these ToS in place for a year. They allow vendor pages, they just do not allow vendors to advertise any ecig products in ads or sponsored stories which is pretty clear.

                        Sherry on August 30th, 2012 12:00 am

                        I can understand the ban on things lk ciggaretts and alcohol, but the ecigs right now are saving my life and my sanity.I was forced to give up a 30 year habbit. Without these I would not have been able to do it.

                          ouiser on August 30th, 2012 12:17 am

                          I can not believe this totally ridiculous Go ahead and ban e- cigs u will lose a lot of Facebook fans. Maybe totally wicked can start there own site. Tobacco is what made most of this country. Crazy just plain crazy

                            Carmen on August 30th, 2012 12:21 am

                            If they take my favorite ecig companies down i am deleting my facebook! They have alcohol sites on there so whats wrong with ecigs?

                              Heidi on August 30th, 2012 1:09 am

                              Any wonder that between this attitude, timeline being forced on customers, lack of listening to feedback from customers, that FB’s stock continues to drop?


                                Judy on August 30th, 2012 1:28 am

                                I certainly hate to accuse without any real proof, but…if I had to venture to guess, I would think that the cigarette companies might have something to do with this. That or the folks at FB are just ignorant regarding vaping.

                                  Bob Bowden on August 30th, 2012 2:09 am

                                  I’ve used these products for a little over 4 years now, to quit a 50-year cigarette addiction. But I’ve said from the beginning on forums that we can’t have it both ways: It is a tobacco product or a drug product. Simple. The FDA took e-cig companies to court and the final ruling said these are tobacco products. They are thus subject to
                                  ALL rules for tobacco cigarettes. Had they been ruled a drug product, the FDA would have had immediate jurisdiction to demand proofs of safety, etc. And we would NOT have e-cigs today. Most users were happy with the tobacco ruling. Now, live with it. -TropicalBob

                                    Tropical Bob on August 30th, 2012 2:10 am

                                    I’ve used these products for a little over 4 years now, to quit a 50-year cigarette addiction. But I’ve said from the beginning on forums that we can’t have it both ways: It is a tobacco product or a drug product. Simple. The FDA took e-cig companies to court and the final ruling said these are tobacco products. They are thus subject to
                                    ALL rules for tobacco cigarettes. Had they been ruled a drug product, the FDA would have had immediate jurisdiction to demand proofs of safety, etc. And we would NOT have e-cigs today. Most users were happy with the tobacco ruling. Now, live with it. -TropicalBob

                                      Jeannie on August 30th, 2012 2:39 am

                                      I seriously wish that they weren’t called e-cigs. This is not a “real” tobacco product for pete’s sake. I vape. I don’t smoke! Take down the alcohol ones too then.

                                        Cindy Swan on August 30th, 2012 3:53 am

                                        Not Tobacco, just nicotine and and none of the other things cigarettes have. wake up people running facebook

                                          LR on August 30th, 2012 8:26 am

                                          Yet Smirnoff seem to be able to happily promote their liver destroying vodka on there with no problems…

                                            nikki on August 30th, 2012 8:33 am

                                            facebook should know their own TOS and realise that ecigs are not breaking them,,there is NO tobbacco in an ecig i know cos iv been on one for 15 months now!!! really fb need to wake up and smell the vapping

                                              Simon on August 30th, 2012 9:12 am

                                              Couldn’t give a toss! After what totally-wicked have done to a friend of mine who used to sell their products, they can get vaporised for all I care! Totally-wicked in my opinion are totally-wank! I big fish business shitting on a little fish trying to help them. Do Vaping electronic cigarette manufactures really need Facebook? Probably not, a fanominom that is sweeping the globe can market well enough through word of mouth.

                                                Jonny on August 30th, 2012 10:22 am

                                                I saw their blog post and they did get a response back from Facebook stating it was against their advertising T&C’s to promote tobacco related products including e cigs.

                                                The thing is though they also stated this “Ads and commercial content (including page post content) Are subject to our advertising guidelines.”

                                                Annoying to say the least.

                                                  Docfuton on August 30th, 2012 11:47 am

                                                  Tropical Bob; how can ecigs be a Tobacco product when they don’t contain tobacco…. in any form? Those sorts of court rulings are very suspicious and smack of “intervention” probably by the tobacco companies who are scared that they might lose their grip on the market. They will never be able to ban ecigs because they don’t contain anything illegal (except for possibly the nicotine, but then they will have to ban all forms of nicotine) The propylene glycol is freely available, and you can’t make rechargeable batteries illegal.

                                                    natalie on August 30th, 2012 11:56 am

                                                    why? these pages are promoting an healthier option for people who dont wan to give up smoking, i love my e cig and have been a lot healthier since starting it, facebook are pissing me off

                                                      kimer44 on August 30th, 2012 12:55 pm

                                                      FB is already experiencing problems with stock shares prices because they cannot reach to as big number of customers as advertisers would expect.
                                                      Personally I do not think that making vaping communities all over the world angry and losing users will help.
                                                      And I don’t think that kind of publicity will help.
                                                      Problem is FB has grown too big and now they don’t care about those relatively small numbers of users.
                                                      What they do care is pressure from corruptible US congressmen who own more shares of huge tobacco companies i.e. P.Morris than FB shares.
                                                      To bad FB doesn’t reallise it is shooting their own foot.
                                                      If they keep upsetting people the landslide will move and soon we will witness fall of the Facebook. It won’t be the first at it won’t be the last social site who shared that faith. Regardless how huge it is at the moment.
                                                      And that will be the moment for others, non US placed sites.
                                                      And it won’t be because vaping case it will be about to much control and interfering.

                                                        Lori Leidig on August 30th, 2012 1:16 pm

                                                        Always follow the money. Big Tobacco has a lot at risk with the popularity of e-cigs gaining daily. PM & Co are scared and tossing money hand-over-fist at trying to make ecigs go away.

                                                          Ryan Dixon on August 30th, 2012 1:50 pm

                                                          This is one more reason I think Facebook is falling apart and won’t have staying power over the next few years. It seems like the salad days for Facebook are about done. I intend on deleting mine come November. It’s absolutely absurd that they are doing this.

                                                            Charlie-Coyote McKinnon on August 30th, 2012 7:28 pm

                                                            Well this doesn’t surprise me in the least. I mean after all once you get so big, you get the “big head” & forget about the little people & how you got big, so you start crapping in your own yard! FB is not the only social site for all of us to congregate. Myspace though they we’re it too & look what happened to them! Haha!!! Myspace was all for this & that, whatever it took to get the numbers & then once they got the numbers, started changing everything constantly, creating more restrictions, pissing people off & now look, everyone came over to FB. Now here it is a few years later & FB keeps changing things all the time, adding things here, changing things there, & people have time & time sgain told them to “leave it alone, stop changing things around, stop adding things, & why fix something if it ain’t broken”, but does FB listen? Nope! Just like myspace they tell us they want our input, but yet we’re ignored as usual, so like someone mentioned in a comment above, FB will fall in the end, they will be of the past when another popular site comes along. People are NOT faithful to any social site, they will go where they have the freedom to express & be themselves & do what’s fun & the Vaping community is growng every minute of the day. I think FB should stop & think before taking such an action, because since the Vaping numbers are climbing, they’ll be pissing off an extremely LARGE number of their members! You know, just because some stupidass judge classifies an e-cig a tobacco product doesn’t make it so. If a judge says a soda is going to fall under the alcohol category, because it’s a drinking beverage that they serve in bars, does that make a soda like Coke or Pepsi liquor? Hell NO! So I say this FB, if someone tells you to jump off a bridge….are you gonna do it? “If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it must be a duck”

                                                            Wake up & listen to your members, you want our input, well here it is, so are you gonna listen or just ignore us again like you always do?

                                                            An e-cig is NOT a tobacco product, is doesn’t have an trace of tobacco in it ANYWHERE! There’s nothing to smoke, there’s only nicotine & that’s it! As a matter of fact, some people that vape have lowered their nicotine intake to “ZERO” nicotine, so they’re just vaping flavored water vapeor, so why should they be penalized? They shouldn’t!

                                                            Ok well I got that off my chest, however I don’t think any of what we’re saying is gonna be read or heard. Your people will skim through a couple or few comments & then dismiss it like you do on everything else, because as long as you’re making a fortune while the rest of the world is just looking for a place to have convos on what we like, have in common, make friends, & share great info on something that helps us & the environment, then why would you ever care what we think or what we want? You wouldn’t.

                                                            So there it is in a nutshell!

                                                            Vapers Of The World………Keep Rockin’ Those Vapes! Peace! <3

                                                              gary reid on August 30th, 2012 8:22 pm

                                                              What an absolute load of sh 1 t, or even tosh. E cigs are saving lives. Are you on loopy juice or just ignorant to the fact. Be real and care about your members! Instead of your image!!!!!

                                                                Gina on August 30th, 2012 9:35 pm

                                                                This TOC just goes to show how clueless the general population is about electronic ciggies. They do NOT vaporize TOBACCO in any way, shape or form.

                                                                  MysticFire on August 31st, 2012 3:14 pm

                                                                  Well so FB goes down more and more people are starting a decentralized social network called Friendica.

                                                                  A Test Server with no permanent account storing is found here: http://tryfriendica.de/

                                                                  A Hub where u can register to use it permanent as long as u want can be found on the web. Or u can set up a own Hub. Liking, Disliking, Tagging, sharing vids and pic. All possible, and it’s trusty.

                                                                  My Hub i run is the Website i typed into that Comment Form.

                                                                  So let’s chill seeing the FB Ship sink down ;-)

                                                                  And Keep on Vaping ;-)

                                                                    Jimbo on August 31st, 2012 3:45 pm

                                                                    It’s Facebook, the AOL of the current day. I don’t think the kids will really notice or care as Facebook isn’t relevant if you have a life outside of cyberspace.

                                                                      Jeff Baldwin on August 31st, 2012 8:33 pm

                                                                      I’m still amazed how ecigs are thrown into the same camp as tobacco cigarettes.

                                                                      Anyway, I’m glad that this is being publicized for the general public and ecig vendors to see. Word needs to get out so that advertisers on facebook can make the necessary changes before they lose everything.

                                                                        vap n addict on September 4th, 2012 2:10 pm

                                                                        lol u guys are funny……unfortantly anything with nicotine in it is classified as a cigarette.it does not necessarly need tobacco in it. If you are caught trying to bring e juice liquid over to canada and it has nicotine in it they say its tobacoo related……although I def like the rest of you do not agree with fb but i hate fb lol.

                                                                          unclerj on September 4th, 2012 6:43 pm

                                                                          Great Idea from MysticFire!

                                                                          Except for the fact that we might want to go with the English version http://friendica.com/

                                                                          As far as facebook is concerned, sounds to me like someone with a small mind has a bit too much power and control and is Throwing the Baby out with the Bathwater!

                                                                            Jim Brown on September 5th, 2012 9:09 pm

                                                                            I feel the blame lies with the FDA, (A government run department, influenced by lobbyists with money) who continuously push their opinions on us regardless of what the American People want.
                                                                            They ruled e-cigs to be tobacco products. Regardless of the fact that there is no tobacco in them whatsoever. Because they can. This the the result of misguided religious influence, outdated stubborn ideals, and other influences which all lead to a totally un-American practice of “Do what we say or we will persecute you.”. The very reason the War of Independence was fought!
                                                                            Can someone tell me what happened to our freedom of choice? I would really like to know.
                                                                            Before you classify me as an anarchist please understand that I am a patriotic American. I pay my taxes. I love my country. I’m a retired Peace Officer. This doesn’t mean I have to agree with all the laws my government makes.
                                                                            I believe that Big Tobacco probably has a hand in this. I gave them money for thirty-nine years while my health declined as a direct result of their products. Six months ago I purchased an e-cig and they instantly lost money. Since then I have seen a dozen others do the same thing. If you multiply this experience by the billions of people on earth you begin to realize their desperation. They are done for.
                                                                            I believe that Vaping is the future of a much healthier world population. If governments are not allowed to take it away from us. Which they have a history of doing.
                                                                            Again, please try not to classify me, but I grew up in the sixties and seventies. Although I do not do it now, solely because the government made it illegal, I have smoked a great deal of marijuana in the past. Just for the heck of it I did a search; ‘What is marijuana?’ (you really should do that search.) and was surprised to find that it, in fact, contains many medical benefits. Including a penicillin like antibiotic. Yet, in 1938 a propaganda film called “Reefer Madness” was released, (undoubtedly instigated by religious groups and alcohol representatives.) insinuating that one puff of this herb would absolutely plunge you into a tangled ‘web of murder, sex, lunacy, and jazz music.’ Seriously? Come on. (lol) Although we are no longer that gullible, to this day the law stands.
                                                                            This is the power of a government influenced by big business. FB must do what they say just as we must. Or face persecution.
                                                                            Rather than blame FB, we should voice our opinion to our Government Representatives so as to stop such unfounded assertions on our freedom of choice before it’s too late.
                                                                            There are those of you who would argue Nicotine is a poison. You are correct. However, it is a poison that, in small doses, our bodies can metabolize with no ill effects whatsoever. Just like Oxygen, a corrosive gas capable of dissolving steel. My health has improved since switching to an e-cig and I have already begun to reduce my nicotine dependency by reducing the nicotine level of my vape. I cannot stand the taste or smell of cigarettes anymore and as long as I can have my e-cig I will never smoke again.
                                                                            To quote Dennis Miller, “That’s my opinion, I could be wrong.”

                                                                              Keifus Mathews on September 12th, 2012 3:12 pm

                                                                              Just use Google Plus, it’s better I think, you can reach more people and less hassle…

                                                                                Mike on September 17th, 2012 9:48 pm

                                                                                I have been banned by Facebook 3 times. They have blocked my account for 3 days on 3 separate occasions. I was banned for posting MY PERSONAL opinion. It doesn’t surprise me at all that Facebook will start banning different groups. They are a corporate run entity, and they are going to follow the almighty dollar. Of course their stock is losing value everyday, because they are making poor decisions. This one will end up biting them in the butt as well.

                                                                                  Carlie Bentley on September 27th, 2012 12:55 am

                                                                                  Since so many people are being banned, why is it that I can easily find Facebook Stores dedicated to eCigs. Obviously, these people are paying facebook to use it’s “Store” app. Maybe that’s all that is required, give facebook a little taste, and they’ll let you play with their toys.

                                                                                    e cig fan on September 29th, 2012 7:07 am

                                                                                    @ Jim Brown
                                                                                    FDA might have a problematic role in this, but if you take a look around the world other drug and health regulating associations are way worse… In Denmark for example the equivalent to FDA ‘Sundhedstyrelsen’ says that e cig was created by Camel and besides is coming from China – and we can’t trust either Big Tobacco or Chinese people?!?!?! Well at least FDA is a serious institution, and hopefully they will see in time how many lives can be saved per year and make that their reason for being more positive toward e cigs… (Funny note: Apparently the danish equivalent to FDA didn’t even stop to wonder on the fact that Camel is not a chinese company, but just went on with their prejudices…)

                                                                                      Sylvie on September 30th, 2012 4:31 am

                                                                                      I rarely go to facebook these days and when i do it is to like or read a supplier page updates/etc. so them being taking down stinks but no biggy for the majority of us do not nor did we find our suppliers/vendors through facebook…

                                                                                      my bet is on the big tobacco companies’ watchdogs why they are prohibiting ecig suppliers now and the fact that ecigs are now considered tobacco devices probably is a big part of reason too.. We, and anyone non bias, know they are not but legally they are so cannot really argue with facebook’s decision on this one..

                                                                                        DeeJ on October 1st, 2012 8:08 am

                                                                                        This is so stupid…they take off ecigs but leave up beer and other alcohol sites?? How many people die or are hurt by drinking compared to a ecigs?? I don’t think you can get ecig poisoning from vaping or hurt in a car wreck but you can from drinking!! People under age are more likely to get their hands on cheap alcohol than they are a expensive ecig. Even if they get a cheap throw a way ecig it’s not going to last long but if they buy cheap alcohol it will last longer and they have money leftover to buy more! Not to meantion all the sites that has all kind of crap on them that most of the adults don’t even go to but kids do! Get real Facebook!

                                                                                          Donna on October 6th, 2012 7:43 am

                                                                                          I might be the minority but I had to give smoking for very real health concerns when I developed a disabling autoimmune disease so I went to 0 nicotine almost immediately. I honestly don’t know how I could have done it without vaping. Given that I have for the most part have not even used what is the reason for a ban I am doubly pissed off. I also don’t for a minute think that the reasoning behind this is social consciousness or concern for anyone’s health. I hope this this all comes back to bite good ole Mark Z. in the ass. He was a controlling greedy kid back in college and he’s turned into an even greedier more controlling little man!

                                                                                            Karla Lyle on October 17th, 2012 11:27 am

                                                                                            It is just completely rediculous that FB would ban ecigarettes. Have you seen all the terrible things it hasn’t banned. You can have hate speech and prejudice but you can’t post something that will detour people from smoking and potentially save millions of lives? Absolutely rediculous.

                                                                                              Bobby on October 17th, 2012 2:04 pm

                                                                                              This annoys me. Like someone said above, how can they allow Beer and Tobacco but not ecigs….just doesnt seem fair and adds more flames to the fire that the government is applying pressure due to financial implications

                                                                                                Lincoln on October 19th, 2012 5:07 am

                                                                                                Facebook does it again :(

                                                                                                  Brock on October 28th, 2012 1:38 am

                                                                                                  Like the person above stated. How can they allow the beer and cigarette ads but want to ban ecigs. It’s so backwards. It’s like the harmful things are ok but something that could save lives they don’t want. I just cannot understand.

                                                                                                    John on December 10th, 2012 1:53 pm

                                                                                                    It would seem like our vendors are going to have to be a bit sneakier on FB….
                                                                                                    Although I still see a lot of well reputed vendors with a stable FB site

                                                                                                      sandi on December 12th, 2012 12:55 am

                                                                                                      banning vendors but their site is full of advertising

                                                                                                        Johnathan Brown (Sepsis) on December 14th, 2012 8:02 pm

                                                                                                        I completely agree with some of you. I understand its in their TOS. That being said, have you seen the kind of things that are posted on facebook that do not get banned? Sometimes, completely horrible stuff. Seriously, they need to lighten up before their social network loses members. Myspace is dead now, facebook could be next if they dont watch it.

                                                                                                          alejandro on December 22nd, 2012 5:21 pm

                                                                                                          Oh facebook…

                                                                                                            Philippe Caron-Boutin on December 22nd, 2012 5:27 pm

                                                                                                            Thank you facebook, for another time you will think for me what is good for me!!!

                                                                                                            (ironic voice)

                                                                                                              crystalT64 on January 31st, 2013 6:37 am

                                                                                                              face book i really do hate it and have been tempted to delete it so many times one day something they do will be the last straw and BYE BYE FB !!!!

                                                                                                                jimpo42 on February 5th, 2013 1:12 am

                                                                                                                It’s considered a tobacco product, except it has no tobacco in it? Interesting

                                                                                                                  brianwilson on February 12th, 2013 3:18 am

                                                                                                                  Facebook is a gonner to me now. No more shall I be it’s slave. That was just ridiculous.

                                                                                                                    walking dead season 3 episode 3 online on February 28th, 2013 12:09 am

                                                                                                                    Just listened your vidios, and thought I would visit the wed site. I like you reviews using mythology, but I would to add there is also the under tone in The Walking Dead and The Road of the fragile nature of complex society. As can be seen in real historical accounts, when an over specialized complex society fails the masses unable to produce resources to survive individually, often revert to a form of canibalism sometimes litterally. Just thought that might also be part of the obsession with this subject. You’re geopolitical and historical insights are some of the best I’ve heard.

                                                                                                                      Gareth Witty on May 7th, 2014 1:44 pm

                                                                                                                      Err what tobacco? its just PG and VG and some flavours and a little nicotine?

                                                                                                                        Nerdsauce on May 8th, 2014 4:47 am

                                                                                                                        It wouldn’t be so bad if Facebook weren’t showing their ignorant side. Classifying e-cigs as “vaporized tobacco delivery devices”. Don’t they realize there’s no tobacco in the product at all? I think they need to stop listening to these fake paid-for “scientists” that the Government has on their payroll and start doing their own research into the “vaporized NICOTINE delivery devices” (no tobacco necessary).

                                                                                                                          Junk Mountain on May 8th, 2014 7:57 pm

                                                                                                                          I’m sure reddit or skype or twitter would love to have the hundreds of thousands of us ready to abandon the #facebook ship. Apparently they care not that every single vendor sells zero nicotine e-juice as an option, which is what I buy. Let’s discuss our options and organize. I’m ready.

                                                                                                                            Joe M. on July 21st, 2014 7:25 pm

                                                                                                                            Facebook doesn’t mind if Big Alcohol promotes their product though……

                                                                                                                              Mark dahlin on July 21st, 2014 8:32 pm

                                                                                                                              Remember Facebook. Biting the hand that feeds you, never ends well….

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