The first television advert to feature the use of an electronic cigarette is to be screened post watershed tonight for a five week run as the smoking alternative passes another milestone on the road to public acceptance.
Viewers have become familiar to e-cigarette advertisements for some time now as manufacturers jostle for position in the burgeoning market but until now the device itself has never been granted any airtime.
That all changes tonight following a change in advertising rules which now stipulate that commercials must not be ‘likely to appeal particularly to people under 18, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture’ or encourage non-smokers to adopt the habit.
Advertisers must also refrain from claiming e-cigarettes are ‘healthier’ or ‘safer’ than tobacco nor make any health claims without prior approval from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.
The first to screen physical 'vaping' was an ad for KiK e-cigarettes screened on Tru TV and on Channel 5 during an episode of The Wright Stuff which has now been screened more than 22 times.
KiK chief executive, Sandy Chadha commented: "The new advertising rules are a positive step to show people how vaping can help them move away from tobacco products and we are delighted to make history on November 10."
It was soon followed by others, notably VIP Cigarettes whose co-founder David Levin, said: “This advert will mark the first time in almost 50 years that TV audiences see someone exhale what appears to be cigarette smoke on an advert. However, it is actually vapour from an e-cigarette that they will see.
"E-cigarettes have attracted a lot of controversy recently, which has largely been due to concerns over safety, so it will be interesting to see how people respond to our advert's debut."