It is critical that vape brands are marketing their products responsibly and within the provisions laid out by the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations and enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority.
Current regulations ‘prohibit the advertising of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes, which are not licensed as medicines, in some media channels’ including non-trade magazines and newspapers – no vape product has been medically licensed in the UK up to now.
Some of the key rules around the promotion of e-cigarettes and vape products are:
- Marketing communications must not be likely to appeal particularly to people under 18, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture.
- Marketing communications must not be directed at people under 18 through the selection of media or the context in which they appear.
- Marketing communications must state clearly if the product contains nicotine. They may include factual information about other product ingredients.
- Marketing communications must not contain medicinal claims unless the product is authorised for those purposes by the MHRA.
The Committee of Advertising Practice – which writes the rules that the ASA enforces – issued an enforcement notice regarding vaping products on popular social media platform TikTok.
It said: “We are aware that some brands are placing – or incentivising third parties to place – content on TikTok relating to vaping products and their components which are labelled as ‘paid partnership’ or ‘#ad’.
“We consider any content tagged with a disclosure label, which has the direct or indirect effect of promoting unlicensed vaping products and their components, to be an ad and in breach of the Code.”