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Fury over sexy smoking advert

This news post is over 9 years old

​Anti-smoking charity hits out at advert which sexualises e-cigarette use

An anti-smoking charity has hit out at a rule change which will allow someone to appear as if they are smoking in a TV advert tonight.

The advert for vaping company VIP features a woman inhaling and then exhaling one of the company’s electronic cigarettes.

Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) said the advert, which is accompanied by a sensual voiceover, sexualises the use of e-cigarettes and encourages their use by everyone, including non-smokers.

Cigarette advertising was banned from TV by the British government in 1965 but e-cigarette advertisements have been allowed since the nicotine delivery devices shot to prominence over the last few years.

Up until now though, companies were not allowed to feature e-cigarettes in use but the Advertising Standards Agency has changed its rules to allow the practice as long as, among other things, adverts don’t encourage non-smokers to use them.

The VIP adverts sexualise e-cigarette use and encourage their use by everyone, not just smokers

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Ash, said although there is very little evidence of people who have never smoked using e-cigarettes, she is concerned by the advert.

"The VIP adverts sexualise e-cigarette use and encourage their use by everyone, not just smokers," she said.

"Ash doesn't see how these adverts conform to the guidelines and if they do then we are seriously concerned that the advertising guidelines are not fit for purpose.

"There is a place for responsible advertising of e-cigarettes but this isn't it."

Dave Levin, co-founder of VIP, said: “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 this evening. We’re absolutely confident that our e-cigarettes are among the very best products available on the market today.”

The advert will be shown tonight during a break in ITV crime drama Grantchester. It will run for five weeks, post-watershed.

VIP has also made an innuendo filled too hot for TV verison of the advert which you can view here.



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