The UK’s Advertising Standards Agency has decided to end its restrictions on “health claims” made in adverts for vaping products following a consultation period.
A new document from CAP and BCAP announced the changes in light of new evidence released since the rules came into place four years ago. The document says:
“Since this prohibition came into force in 2014, the evidence for the relative safety of e-cigarettes has improved, alongside a regulatory regime to set product standards. In light of these sector-wide changes, CAP and BCAP consider that an absolute prohibition on health claims in lawful ads for e-cigarettes can no longer be justified.”
The now-rescinded rules prevented “any claim that a relationship exists between an e-cigarette or one of its constituents and health.” This meant advertisers could not claim that e-cigarettes were healthier than regular cigarettes.
However, the changes are not absolute and vaping product advertisements still hold clear conditions:
“Marketers will still need to hold evidence for any claims in their ads, and the requirement to carry MHRA authorisation for medicinal claims is unchanged.”
In addition to the publication of new studies, the changes are also partially motivated by the increased level of support for vaping by public health organisations, such as Public Health England, which included e-cigarettes in their advertising for the first time in the national Stoptober initiative.
Click here to read the 15 page document in full on the ASA’s website. This ruling will be subject to review in 12 months.