The Advertising Association is urging government to adopt a de-regulatory outlook on advertising regulations post-Brexit, including a specific call to reverse the recent Tobacco Products Directive ban on e-cigarette advertising.
Tim Lefroy, the Advertising Association’s Chief Executive, wrote a letter to MP John Whittingale, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, to outline the importance of advertising in a consumer-led recovery and other items.
Lefroy specifically called out advertising bans related to public health issues which are not evidence-based, but “appeasement to campaign groups for ‘optical’ effects.” He further asked for de-regulation, and specifically to reverse the “recent Tobacco Products Directive ban on e-cigarette advertising.” The letter was posted on the Advertising Association’s website.
Vaping advertising would mean private-sector funds devoted to the “Quit Smoking” message
If you look at our own social media feeds and blog posts, you’ll see a very consistent message about why vaping is an excellent way to quit smoking. Given the millions of pounds dedicated to tobacco harm reduction in government campaigns at all levels, it can’t hurt to add the vaping industry’s voice - and funds - to this effort. It would give the vaping industry an opportunity to clear up misconceptions about vaping, which will help smokers quit who are thinking about quitting but don’t want to use drugs or other tobacco harm reduction methods.
Bans against advertising to children should stay in place
No responsible business involved in the ecigarette industry would support advertising to minors. Since this is the key market that regulators and campaign groups are concerned with, these bans should absolutely stay in place.
UK research should be used to form government policy, not EU lobbying
The Tobacco Products Directive was heavily lobbied in the EU by Big Tobacco - for more about their efforts see this in-depth article. The ecigarette industry is mainly comprised of small manufacturers like Vapemate, and did not have the funds to lobby the TPD, which resulted in Article 20 being somewhat punitive for small producers; a lengthy and costly approval process for new eliquids was put into place, which we can speak to as being prohibitive to our business in developing new flavours for the market.
While the TPD was being enacted, the UK’s Royal College of Physicians came out with a paper recommending vaping as a highly effective means of tobacco harm reduction, and Public Health England released data which showed it was 95% safer than smoking cigarettes. If we are entering into an era of self-determination post-Brexit, it just makes sense that we use the research gathered by the United Kingdom’s own health officials and government bodies to govern the industry - including in the area of advertising bans.