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15/10/2014

CAP ruling paves the way for E-cig TV advertising

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The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has ruled that Electronic cigarettes can be shown in UK TV adverts from 10 November.

Focusing for the first time on e-cigarettes, the CAP announced that adverts could not show tobacco “in a positive light”, target under-18s or non-smokers.

Although e-cigarettes are currently advertised on TV, the device itself has had to remain absent from adverts.

While the advertising of e-cigarettes on TV is currently allowed, the device itself must not appear on screen.

Before the ruling, the CAP held a consultation to take into account the range of views on e-cigarettes, including their role in re-normalising smoking and the case being made over public health benefits.

The rules state that adverts are forbidden from:

1. “appealing particularly to people under 18, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture”

2. encouraging non-smokers to use e-cigarettes

3. claiming e-cigarettes are “safer” or “healthier” than smoking tobacco

4. making any health claims without approval from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

The committee said the new rules would be reviewed after a year.

CAP director Shahriar Coupal said: “While the debate about e-cigarettes continues our commitment is to make sure they are advertised in a responsible way and that children are protected”.

From next month, E-cigarettes will be shown in TV advertising and will continue to be featured in non-TV advertising.

The CAP writes and maintains UK advertising rules, which are enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority.

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