Politics & Campaigns

CAP consultation on e-cigarettes

Ecig advertising regulations might allow retailers to continue to advertise their services but will ban almost all product marketing.

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The committee for Advertising Practice (CAP) launched a consultation at the end of September regarding proposals for changes to their Codes and guidance in response to the Tobacco Products Directive taking effect in the UK.

Although the legislative position is already set, CAP is seeking views on its proposals to reflect these prohibitions in its Code. CAP and BCAP jointly are seeking views on their proposals for guidance and on whether the content rules they put in place in 2014 remain proportionate. They also seek responses on proposals relating to the acceptability of advertisements for e-cigarette retailers, which do not feature products.

We spoke to a member of the CAP team yesterday we have been led to believe that the regulations regarding advertisements for retailers should fall under the same rules as tobacco advertising.  It is OK for a tobacconist to advertise their shop as long as no tobacco brands are mentioned.  And with the Government looking to support vaping as much as possible it is unlikely that the rules regarding electronic cigarettes would be stricter than those governing tobacco products.

This would mean that many retailers would be able to continue to market their business as a whole but they would not be able to market individual products.

The rules regarding the advertising of eliquid products are made clear in the guidance though. Where a product is available solely as a non-nicotine containing line then advertising of this product would be allowed.  If the product comprised a range where nicotine containing variants were available, then the product would fall under the advertising restrictions and any adverts for these products would fall foul of the law.

From speaking to CAP it also seems likely that mods, which many of us had believed to be outside of the regulations, will actually fall under the advertising restrictions.

Regulation 2(1) provides the following definition of products to which it applies:

“electronic cigarette” means a product that –

(a) can be used for the consumption of nicotine-containing vapour via a mouth piece, or any component of that product, including a cartridge, a tank and the device without cartridge or tank (regardless of whether the product is disposable or refillable by means of a refill container and a tank, or rechargeable with single use cartridges); and

(b) is not a medicinal product or medical device;

So with this in mind only retail brands or manufacturers would be able to advertise but the advertising would not be allowed to feature any nicotine-containing product or product that could be used as part of the system for consuming nicotine-containing products.

The consultation closes on Monday 31st October at 5pm, so if you have any feedback for the team then you can view all of the questions in the consultation in this PDF document https://www.cap.org.uk/News-reports/Media-Centre/2016/~/media/Files/CAP/Consultations/eCig%20consultation%202016/E-cigs%20-%20joint%20consultation%20document%20-%20FINAL.ashx.

Responses should be sent to [email protected] by 5pm on Monday 31st October - they are happy to receive feedback on specific questions, you do not have to respond to all of the questions in the consultation.

Dave Junglist avatar

Dave Junglist

Journalist at POTV
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Dave Junglist is co-owner of Planet of the Vapes and has been vaping since 2015.  He spent his early years with his head in a bass bin and was a very committed and experienced smoker.  He had his first cigarette at the age of 13 and just knew it was for him.  He did stop briefly with the aid of patches but reverted quickly and became a ‘secret’ smoker, working hard to keep his weak will from the attention of his family.  Vaping made an honest man of him and for this he is forever thankful. He has been involved in websites since completing a degree in Environmental Science in the late nineties.  At that time there was pretty much no contact with computers but on joining the regular workforce and deciding that the world-wide-web was the future he blagged his first job as a web designer and never looked back. As you would expect from a junglist, Dave likes his beats and is most comfortable when the bass is wobbly.

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