Sunday 4 December 2016

Crackdown on ads for e-cigarettes aimed at under-18s

Published 18/09/2015 | 02:30

Alex White at the ASAI code
Alex White at the ASAI code

The Irish Cancer Society has welcomed new advertising rules for the makers of e-cigarettes.

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New guidelines unveiled by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) say manufacturers must not market their products at under-18-year-olds.

The use of e-cigarettes may not be promoted as a healthier alternative to smoking.

The ASAI also ruled out the use of celebrities or health care professionals in adverts.

The Irish Cancer Society's head of advocacy Eoin Bradley welcomed the change saying current campaigns from makers of e-cigarettes are "echoing those once used by the tobacco industry".

"What we are seeing at the moment is a glamorisation of the use of e-cigarettes.

"This echoes the types of marketing ploys once used by the tobacco industry that have now been banned.

"We welcome sections of the new code that requires manufacturers not undermine the message that quitting tobacco use is the best health option for good health," he added.

Fine Gael Senator and general election candiate Catherine Noone also welcomed the development following a recent report in the US which raised fears that some young people could be using e-cigarettes to disguise cannabis use.

The report, published this month in the health journal 'Pediatrics', found that one in five American students are using e-cigarettes to inhale cannabis in a vaporised form.

"This report raises fears that Irish teenagers are doing the same and is surely a concern for both parents and medical professionals alike," she said.

The Irish Vape Vendors Association has said they welcome the restrictions but have also called for caution.

"To maintain the gains to public health that these products offer in reducing the harm from smoking, it's important that advertising restrictions be proportionate," said a spokesperson.

Communications Minister Alex White said the new measures will ensure "safeguarding of minors" from a number of advertising practices.

Irish Independent

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