UK prepares to ban e-cigarettes advertising

The Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP), have put out a nebulous press release letting us know they're in the process of revising electronic cigarette legislation in the UK.

While we're reminded that nothing has yet been confirmed and that "the legislative picture is still developing and is complex", reading between the lines it looks like they're gearing up for a serious ban. While, of course, none of us can predict the future - it's reasonably safe to assume the advertising of this new technology - electronic cigarettes - is set to go the same way as old-fashioned tobacco ones.

So what is going to change? We can expect to see many media undergoing a ban - yet not all. Products subject to the new regulations will be prohibited from being advertised or promoted, directly or indirectly - via:

• TV or on-demand TV
• radio
• internet display advertising
• E-mail
• Text message
• in newspapers, magazines, periodicals – except trade publications
• sponsorship and product placement

However the following media is likely to remain legal, for now - apart from in Scotland, where regulations are stricter:

• leaflets
• outdoor posters and bus posters
• cinema
• fax
• direct hard copy mail

The real question is how long until all e-cigarette advertising is banned without exception? If this new legislation is anything to go by, it might not take long.

Member states of the Tobacco Products Directive (i.e. all EU countries) are required to bring these laws into effect by 20 May 2016 at the latest.

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Nick's picture

You'd want to be some fierce cynical type to suggest that the tobacco industry moves fast when it wants to do something. But that's devious conspiracy theorising and totally not my style.

Lollylulubes's picture

It's not just the tobacco industry .... it's dinosaur ideologues in public health who are of the quit or die mentality and who are not prepared to compromise for harm reduction in the form of ecigs, or snus for that matter, no matter how many lives it might save ... they just don't care. It's also pharmaceutical companies .... they are losing money hand over fist as people stop using their 94-98.2% failure rate Nicotine Replacement Therapies and Chantix/Champix which have caused thousands of suicides, tens of thousands of serious adverse events, with over 3000 lawsuits settled by Pfizer so far. Over time, they will also lose £billions in smoking related diseases which will also reduce thanks to ecigs.

The TPD is expressly written to protect the smoking economy which is worth many £billions to many people who get a piece of the action and therefore the tobacco companies, as well as pharma's profits. We know from several MPs and MEPs that both tobacco companies and pharma companies, as well as certain public health, have lobbied long and hard for the strictest rules to be set for ecigs. It's criminal when smokers finally have a viable and proven option to take them away from lit tobacco, not to mention thousands of small independents who will be put out of business and many more jobs that will be destroyed thoughout the EU.

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