As the battle to stamp out the disease causing social phenomenon of smoking continues to gain in strength, it seems the Government of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland are giving passive acceptance that e-cigarettes are helping to reduce the problem and potentially providing health benefits and thereby large savings for the Department of Health.
From November 2014, e-cigarettes or vapes (vapourisers) will no longer be barred from being shown on television for advertising purposes. This is likely to result in many characters in television shows using vapes on-screen and opens the door to product placement. The Guardian newspaper explains: “Advertisers will be allowed to show products on television but cannot seek to associate them with youth culture”.
Under the new directive set out by CAP (Committee of Advertising Practice) actors must be over 25 years of age and look at least that age. Vapes should not be targeted to the youth culture. Advertising must be to current smokers and encourage switching from tobacco smoking to vaping. Adverts must not target non-smokers and only products that are licensed as medicines can claim to offer health benefits compared to smoking. The full CAP directive can be read here.
There are also calls to make the sale of vapourisers and vape liquids illegal to under 18s inline with age restrictions set out in smoking laws. Vaping has helped many people quit smoking cigarettes where gum, lozenges, prescribed drugs, patches, inhalators and hypnotherapy. Vapes still contain nicotine, even though they provide no (or a far reduced) effect on people nearby. Because the nicotine is discharged in vapour, the thousands of chemicals and tar created by smoking are not there, meaning a cleaner, less harmful way to take on the drug. The e-cigaretteliquid containing the nicotine can be flavoured and do not make clothes smell or cause bad breath amongst users. Smokers may also suffer from damaged eyesight as a consequence of smoking. Smokers that quit may notice a difference in their vision and may find they need to change their designer glasses prescription.
Many tobacco companies will launch their own e-cigarette brands to profit from a fast growing market and reduce financial loss from people switching from to e-cigarettes. This means trouble ahead for new companies that have helped launch e-cigarettes nationally. In Bristol, Britain’s eighth largest city, a higher than average number of smokers have converted from cigarettes to e-cigarettes. Companies such as Vapour Generation have built up a loyal following of vapers and may struggle to hold onto their market share. Vapour Generation started life as a market stall at Corn Street Bristol and opened their fist shop in the Kingswood area of the city earlier this year. They offer a large number of liquid nicotine strengths and dozens of flavours. Vapour Generation also sell vapourisers and vape liquid online throughout the United Kingdom. In order to remain competitive, these new start up businesses will need to promote their websites and SEO techniques to remain competitive. Keeping on the first page of Google for people searching for vapourisers, vaping and e-cigarettes.