E-cigarette advertising rules to be rewritten

The Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP and BCAP), the sister body of the Advertising Standards Authority responsible for writing the UK advertising code, is preparing to clamp down on the e-cigarette industry by developing a new “clear” set of advertising rules for the sector.

Ecigarette man

CAP admits the current advertising rules were not designed to regulate the relatively new product and some e-cigarette ads have been “caught” by code intended to restrict the advertising of tobacco.

The body is now exploring potential options with a view to launching a full public consultation on the advertising of e-cigarettes “as early as possible” in 2014.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has previously announced it plans to regulate e-cigarettes in the UK as medicines from 2016, which will affect the way they can be marketed to consumers. Earlier this month the European Parliament put new limits on the advertising of electronic cigarettes, restricting them from being marketed as an aide to help people quit smoking. 

However, there has been a swathe of advertising from e-cigarette companies in recent months – some of which recently fell foul of the advertising code and was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.

CAP says on its website there has been “uncertainty” amongst the industry as to what e-cigarette companies can and cannot promote in their ads, which is why it is taking “swift action” to develop new advertising rules as it is important to have a “clear and responsible” framework in place.

It adds that it will provide updates, including details of the public consultation, via e-newsletters.

Earlier this week e-cigarette brand SKYCIG signed a two-year sponsorship deal with League One football club Wolverhampton Wanderers

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