The Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) and The UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP) are consulting on changes to their Codes to remove the current prohibition on health claims being made for e-cigarettes. This proposal follows the results of a call for evidence last year in which a majority of respondents argued that improvements in products and the positive view taken by many public health stakeholders about e-cigarettes’ relative safety compared with smoked tobacco warranted the removal of the prohibition.
If the proposal is eventually approved, advertisers will be able to make claims about the health benefits of e-cigarettes relative to tobacco, for example. However, as the consultation document explains, these claims would be limited to the limited number of media channels where ads for e-cigarettes are lawful and marketers will have hold robust substantiation that any claims made were true for the advertised product.
Also covered in the consultation is a proposal from CAP as to how it intends to regulate ads for public health campaigns which refer to e-cigarettes generally but which do not refer to a particular brand or product.
The consultation will close at 5pm on Monday 16 October. You can read the consultation document here: e-cigarette consultation paper