Curb e-cigarette ads, BMA advises

The British Medical Association has called for strict curbs on ads for electronic cigarettes, warning that they are glamorising a product for which advertising is banned.

Electronic cigarettes: fears that ads may glamorise smoking
Electronic cigarettes: fears that ads may glamorise smoking

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is considering the proposal from the doctors’ organisation and is due to announce shortly whether tighter regulation of e-cigarettes is needed.

Battery-powered cigarettes, which contain nicotine but no tar, are subject only to the ad industry’s code and not to the ban on promoting tobacco products.

The BMA expressed concern that TV, radio, print and online ads have promoted e-cigarettes as "cigarette substitutes" and "a healthier alternative to smoking traditional tobacco products". It said the ads frequently made "positive associations with recreational activities" and could include celebrities.

The association admitted e-cigarettes had the potential to help smokers cut down and quit but said marketing should be restricted so it does not appeal to non-smokers.

The Trading Standards Institute warned: "We believe that the currently uncontrolled advertising of e-cigarettes sends potentially mixed messages to consumers, particularly young consumers."

The Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association insisted it makes no medicinal claims for the product.

Subscribe to Campaign from just £57 per quarter

Includes weekly and quarterly print issues, plus unrestricted online access.

SUBSCRIBE

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

MOST READ

BBH deputy ECD Caroline Pay exits
Share

1 BBH deputy ECD Caroline Pay exits

Bartle Bogle Hegarty has parted company with its deputy executive creative director Caroline Pay and has promoted Ian Heartfield, creative managing partner, and Anthony Austin, chief executive of Black Sheep Studios, to take over as joint deputy ECDs.

Just published