ASA rejects ‘vaping to quit smoking’ claims

A recent ASA ruling highlighted the risks of making smoking cessation claims for products without a relevant MHRA licence.

An ad for e-cigarettes which claimed “Quit or your money back” was banned, and the advertiser instructed to desist from making similar claims for the product in the future.

While vaping may be promoted in some media as an alternative to tobacco products for smokers, medicinal claims in marketing communications for e-cigarettes remain prohibited without the relevant MHRA licence. This can go beyond explicit references to smoking cessation; the ruling noted that the use of other claims such as the term ‘clinic’ and “make the switch today”, while not medicinal claims in themselves, contributed to the overall impression of the ad that vaping was a means to quit smoking.

Read the full ruling on the ASA website. Members who see problematic claims in advertising for e-cigarettes can follow our guidance to direct their complaint to the appropriate regulator or seek advice from the PAGB advertising team.

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