New CAP code for advertising electronic cigarettes

Thursday 09 October 2014

The new CAP (Committees of Advertising Practice) advertising code for electronic cigarettes published today is sensible and comprehensive, ASH believes. From Monday 10th November 2014 the code will be enforced by the ASA.

ASH is pleased that the CAP has taken on board many of our recommendations, in particular to strengthen the prohibition on marketing communications that promote associations with tobacco and tobacco brands. We are also pleased that all radio ads will require central copy clearance, which is already in effect the case for TV ads.

We are disappointed, however, that celebrity endorsement and free samples are not prohibited as we had proposed and the impact of this decision needs to be monitored carefully.

ASH strongly supports the decision to review the rules after 12 months. Advertising regulation needs to keep pace with changes in the market. Electronic cigarettes are a relatively new product, which has seen dramatic growth in sales and rapid expansion of advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of health charity ASH said:

“ASH welcomes the new rules governing the advertising of electronic cigarettes which should bring clarity to the regulatory process and ensure that advertising will in future be in the best interests of public health. We are also pleased that in recognition of the rapid evolution of this market there will be a further review of the rules after twelve months.”



[1] New rules for the marketing of e-cigarettes. CAP and BCAP’s Joint Regulatory Statement. ASA October 2014.

[2] ASH’s response to the consultation on the marketing of e-cigarettes can be viewed here.