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Can you advertise electronic cigarettes or e-liquids after November 19h, 2016? Here's a short version.

Advertising E-cigarettes E-liquids Online stores TPD VAPE PEOPLE

VAPE PEOPLE's guide to e-cigarette advertising


Hi, did you notice our cute kitty cat instead of something vape-related? Well, just as many other companies in the e-cigarette industry, VAPE PEOPLE are very concerned about regulatory changes caused by the infamous TPD that was passed by EU and enforced on its Member States. Luckily for UK's vaping community, TPD doesn't only strictly tell Member sSates what they may or may not do, but also provides guidelines and leaves some wiggle room for interpretation. And, good news! UK Department of Health, organization responsible for such interpretation, actually took a very reasonable approach and prohibited as little advertising as it could! It's still a lot, but it feels great to know that they are not making us outlaws!

So here it goes!

You may find the full version of the Guidance to TPD's Article 20(5) here, and it is a very helpful, but long read, so VAPE PEOPLE provides an abbreviated version.

Advertisements you can't use to promote electronic cigarettes or electronic liquids

  • Broadcast TV advertising and sponsorship;
  • Broadcast TV product placement;
  • Radio advertising and sponsorship;
  • On-demand television advertising, sponsorship and product placement;
  • Newspapers, magazines and periodicals – except trade publications and third country publications;
  • Internet display advertising, email and text message advertising - except trade publications and third country publications;
  • Sponsorship of activity/individuals involving or taking place in severalMember States or otherwise having cross-border effects.

Advertisements you can use to promote electronic cigarettes or electronic liquids

  • Blogs/tweets/independently compiled, non paid for reviews;
  • E-cigarette trade press and trade to trade communication;
  • Cinema, fax, outdoor posters, posters on sides of buses (not travelling outside of the UK), leaflets, and direct hard copy mail.

Now the next question is - what about websites and social media? Well, it's tricky. If you are a company selling vaping products online, you CAN provide factual information about products and factual ‘how to’ videos on your website, but you CAN'T advertise or promote them. TPD considers the following promotion rather than information:

  • using additional imagery that is not of the product;
  • highlighting price promotion;
  • using celebrity endorsement;
  • using overly descriptive language that describes products in a way that can’t be objectively substantiated;
  • comparative information with other e-cigarette products or the general market, whether they can be substantiated or not.

No more hot cloud chasing girls, sorry, folks. Oh, wait, these restrictions only apply to companies, not individuals! Regular vapers can do whatever they want! Moreover, these rules do not apply to:

  • non-nicotine liquids;
  • non-nicotine disposable e-cigarettes (not able to be refilled);
  • non-disposable e-cigarettes designed to only take cartridges with non-nicotine containing fluid;
  • medicinal products (subject to separate medicines advertising legislation).

Summing up, if you are a nicotine-free liquid retailer, relax, you are safe. However, if you are a vaping enthusiast or a business owner looking to bring as much innovation to the consumer as possible, stay with us, we will be back with more news!


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  • warren on

    How does this effect if I wanted to create brand awareness on a internet radio station?

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