The UK’s Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has changed its rules so that health claims are no longer banned from advertisements for electronic cigarettes.
In a note posted on its website, the ASA said that the change had been made by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP and BCAP) following an extensive consultation.
The change was welcomed by Dan Marchant, board member of the UK Vaping Industry Association and MD of VapeClub, who said that Public Health England had been clear that vaping was at least 95 percent less harmful than smoking.
And he said that vaping’s potential to help smokers quit had been backed by public health groups from the Royal College of Physicians to Cancer Research.
“But despite this support, it has previously not been possible for us to spread the positive news to consumers, and the public perception of vaping has suffered as a result,” he said.
“Although some questions remain about how the new rules will be applied to particular products and businesses, it is right that advertising rules are now starting to catch up so we can share factual information with smokers about this potentially life changing alternative.
“Only by building confidence in the health benefits of vaping will it be possible to convince every smoker that switching to vaping could positively change their lives.
“However, it also remains the case that the ability of the industry to advertise its products is still constricted by the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive which only allows advertising in very limited forums with no apparent consistency.
“The UK’s exit from the EU provides an ideal opportunity to amend these rules to further bring advertising regulations into line with vaping’s recognised public health potential.”
CAP and BCAP’s evaluation of the responses to its consultation is here.
CAP and BCAP’s regulatory statement is here.