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First TV ad for 50 years to show someone smoking

The ads for VIP e-cigarettes, which feature a woman exhaling vapour, will debut tonight during an ad break in ITV's Grantchester following a change in the law.

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VIP co-founder defends e-cigarette TV advert

The co-founder of e-cigarette brand VIP has defended a new advert which has come under fire for "sexualising" the devices.

The advert for VIP e-cigarettes, to be broadcast tonight, will be the first TV commercial in 50 years to feature someone smoking.

Dave Levin, VIP co-founder, said: "We aren't afraid to provoke a debate about e-cigarettes. They are part of our society and we're offering our customers a healthier alternative to smoking."

He said two research papers in the UK had accused the World Health Organisation of exaggerating the dangers posed by e-cigarettes.

Mr Levin added: "One concluded that for every million smokers in the United Kingdom who turned to e-cigarettes, 6,000 premature deaths would be prevented each year - which would have a huge impact on public health, let alone NHS budgets."

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