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Electronic Cigarettes: Advertising

Question for Department of Health

UIN 35179, tabled on 22 April 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what his policy is on how the Government plans to transpose the provisions of the EU Tobacco Products Directive on restrictions on e-cigarette advertising into UK law to take account of Public Health England's conclusions on the level of harm e-cigarettes cause relative to smoking.

Answered on

4 May 2016

The Government recognises that electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) help smokers quit and the evidence indicates that they are considerably less harmful to health than cigarettes. At the same time, it is essential that we do not encourage smoking and that we continue to protect children from the dangers of nicotine. For this reason, the Department welcomes the new rules set out in the revised Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) which will apply in the United Kingdom from 20 May 2016.

The Government has taken a minimal approach to transposition of the TPD provisions on e-cigarette advertising into UK law, taking into account existing European case law. The Directive requires a prohibition of e-cigarette advertising in certain media such as TV and newspapers and online, but not for example on billboards. The provisions are compatible with the right to an individual’s freedom of speech and do not prevent individuals’ independent reviews on social media or internet forums. These provisions are enacted by The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016/507 and changes to the Office of Communications Broadcast Codes.

The Department will work in close partnership with the Advertising Standards Authority and Trading Standards, including on the need for further guidance for businesses, especially in the first year of implementation to build compliance with the new requirements.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care
Named day
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