The British Advertising Practice Committee (CAP) recently issued a directive emphasizing the need for e-cigarette companies to adhere to advertising regulations. The UK bans e-cigarette advertisements on social media platforms.
CAP has observed certain brands promoting vaping products and their components on TikTok and even incentivizing third parties to post related content. CAP has cautioned these brands that targeted enforcement measures will be taken if the issue persists.
There are stringent restrictions on e-cigarette advertising as outlined in the Advertising Code of Conduct, in line with existing laws and regulations. Advertisements for nicotine-containing e-cigarettes, unless accompanied by a pharmaceutical license, are prohibited on television, radio, print media (newspapers, magazines), and most online platforms, including social media. Responsible advertising practices must be followed, including the prohibition of targeting individuals who are particularly attractive to those under the age of 18.
CAP acknowledges the concerns regarding the use of e-cigarettes by young people and the presence of related advertisements on social media. To address this, CAP is banning offending ads and ensuring their swift removal. Collaborative efforts with other regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies are being undertaken to prevent young people from being exposed to unwanted vaping advertisements on platforms like TikTok and other social media channels.
The enforcement directive communicates the current regulations to advertisers and brands, emphasizing the immediate cessation of e-cigarette advertising on the TikTok platform.
Lastly, CAP reaffirms its commitment to ensuring that UK bans e-cigarette advertisements are only displayed in appropriate legal contexts (targeting legal adult audiences) and are carried out responsibly. Presently, there are instances where these ads appear on social media platforms and are specifically aimed at young people.
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