Vape Shop Advertising Rules

What are the vape shop advertising rules?

The TPD requires all EU member states to impose restrictions on advertising e-cigarettes. The rules state that advertising nicotine-containing e-cigarettes that are not licensed as medicines is prohibited in the following media:

  • Newspapers, magazines and periodicals (except trade press)
  • On-demand television
  • Radio
  • Internet, email and text message advertising

But the rules allow e-cig advertising in the following media:

  • Cinema
  • Outdoor posters and on the sides of buses (not travelling outside the UK)
  • Leaflets
  • Direct hard copy mail
  • Fax

Other E-cig advertising rules to consider

The ASA (UK only)

E-cigarette advertising in the UK which is not prohibited by the TPD is subject to rules set out by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). These rules apply to any advertising for e-cigarettes and related products, including e-hookah and e-shisha products, regardless of whether they contain nicotine.

Companies advertising these products must:

  • Be aware of changes in the legislation covering the advertisement of electronic cigarettes.
  • Ensure their ads are socially responsible.

Advertisements for these products must not:

  • Target, feature or appeal to children
  • Make health or safety claims
  • Mislead about the product’s ingredients
  • Confuse e-cigarettes with tobacco products
  • Claim or imply the product can act as a smoking cessation device
  • Mislead about where the products may be used

Are vape ad rules about to change?

The ASA’s requirement that vape advertising must not make health claims reflects concerns about the efficacy, safety and extreme variability of these products that were prevalent at the time the rules were put in place.

However, public health stakeholders now widely acknowledge the potential health benefits of transitioning from tobacco to e-cigarettes, and the TPD has heralded the implementation of strict product standards.

These rules, therefore, are likely to change, allowing e-cigarette advertising to make claims about the potential health benefits of products – as long as there is robust evidence relating to the specific product being advertised in support of the claims.