Clearer and Stricter Laws on e-Cigarette Marketing under Review

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has launched a public consultation into e-cigarette advertising to address "public concern" and end "uncertainty" amongst marketers.

CAP, which is the sister body of the Advertising Standards Authority responsible for defining the UK advertising code, is proposing a number of new regulations which are designed to protect the young from smoking and stop the indirect promotion of tobacco products.

E-cigarettes are currently included in the regulations for the tobacco industry which prevent the indirect promotion of tobacco products. However, certain areas remain grey. The CAP proposals would make it a requirement for advertisers to clearly communicate to consumers that the product is an e-cigarette and highlight whether it contains nicotine. A measure is also being considered which would ban e-cigarette marketers from claiming any health or medicinal purposes unless they have a license.

If they successfully pass public consultation, the new CAP proposals will usher in mandatory rules designed to protect the young, including banning marketing that depicts anyone under the age of 25 using an e-cigarette and prohibiting e-cigarette ads from appealing to under 18s.

CAP secretary Shahriar Coupal commented: "The market for e-cigarettes is fast-growing and the existing rules haven't been able to give advertisers the clarity they need. By proposing specific new rules, we're providing a clear framework for responsible advertising."

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