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E-cigarette adverts: What has changed

E-cigarette adverts have been televised for some time but showing the actual device itself had been banned until changes in advertising rules.

The changes by the Committee of Advertising Practice mean e-cigarettes can be shown, including in use, in ads across UK media, on the condition that the ads comply with the strict new rules.

But it has ruled the ads must not show tobacco "in a positive light".

Tobacco advertising was banned on UK television in 1965, with the exception of rolling tobacco and cigars, which were banned in 1991.

In summary the rules state:

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