Today we have issued an Enforcement Notice instructing vaping companies to follow the advertising rules and remove any ads for vapes that are appearing on social media.
We’re aware that some brands are placing – or incentivising third parties to place – content on TikTok relating to vaping products and their components. We’ve put brands on notice that, if we monitor ongoing problems, we’ll be taking targeted enforcement action.
Following legislation, there are significant restrictions surrounding the advertising of vapes and e-cigarettes. This is reflected in our rules (the Advertising Codes). Ads for nicotine-containing vapes not licensed as medicines are not allowed on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and, crucially, most online media including social media. Ads must be responsible, and that includes not being targeted at or likely to appeal particularly to under-18s.
We know people are concerned about young people vaping and, by extension, ads for vaping products appearing on social media where they shouldn’t and being likely to appeal to or be targeted at under-18s. That’s why we’re taking action, banning ads that break the rules and ensuring they’re quickly removed. And our CEO Guy Parker has spoken about how we’re working with platforms, other regulators and enforcement bodies to ensure young people aren’t being exposed to vape ads on TikTok and other social media where they simply should not be appearing.
This Enforcement Notice makes crystal clear to advertisers/brands the rules that are in place and that if they are using TikTok as a platform to advertise vaping they must stop immediately. This is a high priority issue for us, and we are considering what further action to take in the near future.
Our role is to ensure that vaping ads only appear where they can legally be advertised (to a legitimate adult audience) and are responsible. Currently, they are sometimes being placed in social media and targeted at young people. We’re determined to stamp this out. One vaping ad on these channels is one too many.
- Vaping, smoking and drugs
- Children and the vulnerable
- Online, catch-up TV and radio, in-app and in-game