New advertising rules for e-cigarettes have come into effect today (10 November) in a bid to ensure that they are promoted ’responsibly’.

Adverts are now banned from showing anything that promotes the use of a tobacco product, or that shows the use of a tobacco product in a positive light. 

The new rules, put in place by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) also state that:

  • Adverts must not appeal particularly to people under 18, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture.
  • People shown using e-cigs or playing a significant role must neither be, nor seem to be, under 25.
  • Adverts must not be directed at people under 18 through the selection of media or the context in which they appear.
  • Adverts must not encourage non-smokers or non-nicotine users to use e-cigs.
  • Adverts must make clear that the product is an e-cig and not a tobacco product.

Adverts on TV and radio will be subject to scheduling restrictions to reduce the chance of them being seen or heard by children.

Manufacturers are also banned from claiming that their e-cigs are ‘safer’ or ‘healthier’ than tobacco unless they have obtained authorisation from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

E-cig brand VIP will become one of the first manufacturers to launch a campaign under the new rules when its new advert airs later this month.

The advert, which will be shown after the watershed and run for five weeks, will show a woman exhaling vapour from an e-cig.

VIP founder Dave Levin said: “This advert will mark the first time in almost 50 years that TV audiences see someone exhale what appears to be smoke on an advert – however, it is actually vapour from an e-cigarette that they will see. Vaping has never been shown on a TV advert in the UK before, so this is a first for the country and I’m sure it will be a real conversation starter.”