Ecigs have created a lot of controversy in the past year, but in the UK it seems like the tide is turning and acceptance is just around the corner. This week, the Committee of Advertising Practice gave official approval for ecig companies to start advertising on television. In the past, ecig ads were allowed, but the companies could not actual show someone vaping on screen. Now that’s changing and ecigs will begin appearing on TV next month.
In order to keep the advertising within reasonable boundaries, CAP issued some basic guidelines that ecig manufacturers will have to follow when they air new ads. As expected, the ads can’t target kids or teenagers. They can’t depict vaping as a part of youth culture or use the ads to push ecigs for use by nonsmokers. Furthermore, the ads can’t make any health or safety claims. Even with these guidelines, companies will have a lot of room to get creative with advertisements and it’s a definitely move in the right direction for UK vaping companies.
CAP did not make the decision to allow ecig advertising without a lot of thought and study. They considered whether ads might renormalize smoking or create a surge in youth vaping, but ultimately they decided that as long as companies followed the rules, there was no good reason that ads should be banned.
Shahriar Coupal, the director of CAP, explained how they decided to approve the new advertising standards. “We’ve moved quickly to put in place appropriate and clear regulation around e-cigarette advertising. 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.”
Up until now, ecig ads have been scarce, but we have seen a lot of vaping appearances in hit television shows and movies. This growing trend drew attention when the Netflix series “House of Cards” chose to show ecigs in action as Kevin Spacey’s character chose vaping as a way to quit smoking.
This week’s decision from CAP is a big win for the ecig industry. With tobacco ads banned in the UK, this will allow vaping to really shine as a better alternative and hopefully it will build new awareness of the ecig option for current smokers.