Ad description

A catalogue enclosed in a national newspaper and claims on the website promoted an electronic cigarette:

a. The catalogue stated "The cigarette you can smoke anywhere you like ... Unaffected by smoking bans - so they're legal in pubs and restaurants ...".

b. The website contained the same claim.


The complainant challenged whether the claim "Unaffected by smoking bans - so they're legal in pubs and restaurants" was misleading, because he understood that many pubs and restaurants did not allow the use of electronic cigarettes.


Easylife Group Ltd, t/a Daily Mail Select, stated that the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) was not covered by the smoking ban, and that whether individual pubs and restaurants opted to ban them was their own choice, rather than being because of a government directive. They said the claim that the use of e-cigarettes was unaffected by smoking bans was accurate and did not consider it misleading.


Not upheld

The ASA noted that e-cigarettes did not fall within the scope of the laws restricting smoking in enclosed public places, but that some pubs and restaurants had nevertheless chosen not to allow their use. We considered, however, that consumers were likely to view the claim "Unaffected by smoking bans - so they're legal in pubs and restaurants" as relating specifically to the restrictions imposed on the use of tobacco cigarettes by UK law, and would understand that claim to qualify the earlier, more prominent statement "The cigarette you can smoke anywhere you like". We further considered that consumers would be aware that individual businesses, including pubs and restaurants, could generally choose to create policies not required by law, and that they would realise that that might extend to restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes. Because we considered that the claim was specific to the restrictions imposed on smoking by UK law and did not go so far as to imply that all pubs and restaurants would allow the use of e-cigarettes, we concluded that the claim was not misleading.

We investigated the ads under CAP Code (Edition 12) rule  3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.  (Misleading advertising), but did not find them in breach.


No further action necessary.

CAP Code (Edition 12)


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