First-ever TV ad showing someone 'vaping' airs 50 years after on-air ad ban

VIP e-cigarette ad: features a woman 'smoking'
VIP e-cigarette ad: features a woman 'smoking'

The first TV ad featuring someone "smoking" an e-cigarette on-screen will be broadcast tonight (10 November) following changes to the Committee of Advertising Practice's advertising rules.

The ad for vaping brand VIP - which has already stirred up controversy with a raunchy set of TV ads that the Advertising Standard Authority recently ruled must air after 9pm following over 1,000 complaints - will make its broadcast debut during ITV crime drama ‘Grantchester’, which starts at 9pm.

The spot features a woman (who has starred in the previous TV work) exhaling e-cigarette vapour.

Under new CAP rules, vaping brands can now show people over 25 inhaling and exhaling vapour. But the ads must still not appeal to non-smokers, neither must they claim that e-cigarettes are healthier than smoking tobacco, nor must they target under-18s.

David Levin, VIP’s co-founder, said: "This will mark the first time in almost 50 years that TV audiences see someone exhale what appears to be ­cigarette smoke on an ad. However, it is actually vapour from an e-cigarette that they will see."

The ad is the first UK TV ad showing someone "smoking" since 1965, when a ban came into effect.

Levin said: "VIP is aimed at adults and, as such, all adverts will appear in suitable programmes after the watershed.

"E-cigarettes have been shown to be a healthier alternative to tobacco and this is about helping people who want to smoke to make a healthier choice."

Last week, Labour said that it would consider banning all e-cigarette TV advertising if it wins the next General Election.

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