In response to the ASA’s amendment to advertising rules for e-cigarettes, Dan Marchant, board member of the UK Vaping Industry Association and Managing Director VapeClub has made the following statement:
I welcome the decision of the Advertising Standards Agency to change its rules so that health claims are no longer banned from adverts about vaping products.
Public Health England are clear that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking, and its potential to help smokers quit has been backed by public health groups from the Royal College of Physicians to Cancer Research. But despite this support, it has previously not been possible for us to spread the positive news to consumers, and the public perception of vaping has suffered as a result.
Although some questions remain about how the new rules will be applied to particular products and businesses, it is right that advertising rules are now starting to catch up so we can share factual information with smokers about this potentially life changing alternative. Only by building confidence in the health benefits of vaping will it be possible to convince every smoker that switching to vaping could positively change their lives.
However, it also remains the case that the ability of the industry to advertise its products is still constricted by the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive which only allows advertising in very limited forums with no apparent consistency. The UK’s exit from the EU provides an ideal opportunity to amend these rules to further bring advertising regulations into line with vaping’s recognised public health potential.