UK Shows First Vaping Adverts on TV
According to the CAP the adverts must not target under 18s or non-smokers, must not make any claims that they are safer or healthier than normal cigarettes and lastly must not make any health claims without the approval from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.
Two UK e-cigarette firms have taken advantage of this relaxation in the laws. VIP Electronic Cigarettes and KIK E-Cigarettes have both shown TV ads over the last week. The VIP advert (seen above) which was featured after the watershed on ITV, depicts a good looking women using an ego type e-cigarette in what is a very sexualised advert. Since the advert has been aired the Advertising Standards Authority has received 1156 complaints. Some complained that the advert used sexual innuendos, was inappropriate for children, glamourised smoking, was degrading and sexist.
The KIK vaping advert as can be seen below, was shown on channel 5 and shows a group of friends, most of whom seem to be ex smokers, at some sort of meal all taking it turns to describe the advantages of using e-cigarettes.
Both vaping adverts are completely different, but interestingly they both use ego electronic cigarette as opposed to mini/cig-a-like e-cigs.This is perhaps marking a shift away from cig-a-likes as more and more vapers are switching to the larger ego devices that have more power and a better battery life.
Not everyone is happy that e-cigs are being allowed to be advertised on TV. Prof Martin McKee, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told the BBC he thought it was an incredibly “daft” idea to allow TV adverting of e-cigarettes. He thinks there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered concerning whether e-cigarettes can actually be used as a method to help people quit smoking.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the health charity Ash, states that there is a growing amount of evidence which backs e-cigarettes as a means to quit smoking and very little evidence showing that vaping encourages non smokers to start smoking. Having said this, she thinks that vaping adverts should solely be focused and promoted towards smokers and getting them to switch to e-cigarettes. Having viewed the VIP vaping adverts, she thought the adverts sexualised e-cigarette use. The adverts will therefore encourage e-cig use, not just to non smokers but everyone.
I have to say, as a vaper, I support the use of vaping adverts on the TV, ONLY if they are targeting smokers and not glamourising vaping. If more people switch from smoking to vaping I think this is definitely a good thing. However, I think the VIP vaping advert does sexualise and glamourise vaping in a way that could promote e-cigs to non smokers. The KIK advert in my opinion does a better job at targeting smokers as it clearly states in the advert that those using e-cigs were all former smokers. No doubt the VIP advert had a much greater shock value and I am sure lots of people will be talking about VIP, which is exactly what they would have wanted to achieve. However, I don’t think the advert should have been allowed to appear on TV in the first place. I think future adverts for e-cigarettes need to be made less sexualised and glamourised and make sure they focus on targeting smokers only. The advertising rules need to be enforced more rigorously to make sure this type of advert does not appear on TV.
As a vaper those are my thoughts and it seems that this is likely to remain a controversial topic. Let us know what you think below. Should vaping adverts be allowed on TV and what did you think of the two adverts above?
Thumbnail pic is a screenshot from the VIP Vaping advert on Youtube
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