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ASA Adjudication on Vape Nation Ltd [United Kingdom] [December 24, 2014]
A television ad featured a group of adults discussing e-cigarettes, with one stating, “I used to smoke normal cigarettes but after I quit, I tried these.” The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the ad violated the country’s Advertising Code as irresponsible because it encouraged non-smokers to begin using e-cigarettes. The ASA noted that the ad implied that the man who spoke had stopped smoking for a period of time and was therefore a non-smoker who had subsequently begun using the company’s e-cigarettes. The ASA ordered that the ad should not appear again in its current form.
ASA Adjudication on Healthy & Beauty Innovations Ltd [United Kingdom] [October 29, 2014]
A website for NicoBloc said that the product could help with nicotine addiction by blocking up to 99% of nicotine and tar. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found that the ads violated the country’s Advertising Code because they claimed that the product could be used to treat nicotine addiction without being a licensed medical device. The ASA also concluded that the tests used to determine the product’s ability to block nicotine and tar were not sufficient to support the ad’s claims and the ads were therefore misleading. The ASA ordered the company not to use the ads again in their current form and required the company to provide robust documentary evidence to support smoking cessations claims in the future.
ASA Adjudication on Department of Health [United Kingdom] [July 30, 2014]
An ad for the National Health Service smoke-free campaign claimed that “every 15 cigarettes you smoke will cause a mutation,” which is how cancer starts. In response to a number of complaints, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) investigated the claim and found that it was backed by scientific evidence and was not likely to be misleading. Therefore, the ASA found that the ad did not violate the country’s advertising code.
Hawkins v. Van Heerden [Australia] [June 24, 2014]
The defendant was previously convicted of selling products designed to resemble a tobacco product in breach of s106(a) of the Tobacco Products Control Act 2006 (WA). The defendant had been selling e-cigarettes and nicotine-free 'e-Juice'. (See: Hawkins v Van Heerden  WASC 127 (10 April 2014)).
In this decision, the Supreme Court imposed a fine of $1,750 for the offence and ordered the defendant to pay the costs of the trial and the appeal. In doing so, Pritchard J observed that it was not necessary to decide whether e-cigarettes were harmful to their users, because whether or not the product sold was harmful to human health was not an element of the offence under s106 of the Act. Rather, the purpose of s106 is to discourage the promotion of tobacco products and smoking by banning the sale of products which resemble tobacco products and contribute to normalising the activity of smoking.
ASA Adjudication on CN Creative Ltd [United Kingdom] [June 11, 2014]
A television ad and a poster for e-cigarettes featured people floating through a smoke barrier with the text “Experience the Breakthrough.” The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) reviewed the ads and ruled that they did not glamorize smoking or e-cigarette use and did not irresponsibly appeal to young viewers, in part because the tv ad appeared only after 9 pm. However, the ASA found that the poster violated the Advertising Code by misleadingly implying that the product could be used as a smoking cessation device. The ASA said that the text of the ad could be interpreted to mean that smokers could achieve satisfaction from this product rather than from cigarettes. The ASA ordered the company not to use the poster again in its current form and to ensure that it does not portray its product as a smoking cessation device in the future.
Hawkins v. Van Heerden [Australia] [April 10, 2014]
The operator of a website selling electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) was convicted of violating the Tobacco Products Control Act 2006 (WA) by selling a product that is “designed to resemble a tobacco product.” The Supreme Court overturned an earlier ruling by a lower court, which had acquitted the seller.
The Supreme Court found that the e-cigarettes, which contained only “e-juice” and no nicotine, resembled a tobacco product because they are used for inhaling vapour, which is exhaled in a manner similar to smoke from a cigarette.
See further the sentencing judgment: Hawkins v. Van Heerden [No 2]  WASC 226 (24 June 2014).
ASA Adjudication on E-Cigilicious [United Kingdom] [April 02, 2014]
An ad for e-cigarettes stated: “a safer . . . alternative to smoking” and “help your loved ones change their life this Christmas.” The ad featured a woman wearing a Santa hat. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) concluded that the claim “a safer . . . alternative to smoking” had not been substantiated and was misleading because the company had not provided evidence showing that their own e-cigarettes were less harmful than traditional cigarettes. The ASA also found that ad implied that e-cigarettes could be used as a smoking cessation device but that these particular e-cigarettes had not been licensed by the government for this purpose and was likely to mislead. The ASA found that the ad was not likely to appeal to children given that it was common for ads to contain references to Christmas during that time of year and the model in the ad was over 18 years old. The ASA ordered the ad not to appear again in its current form.
ASA Adjudication on 1111 EC Services Ltd [United Kingdom] [February 12, 2014]
A print ad for e-cigarettes included the text “For Stoptober” (referencing an English tobacco cessation campaign). The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found that the ad violated the country’s advertising code because it implied that the product could be used for smoking cessation when it had not been licensed by the government for that purpose. The ASA ordered the company to ensure that its advertising does not imply that their product is suitable for smoking cessation or that it is associated with a stop smoking campaign.
ASA Adjudication on Nicocigs Ltd [United Kingdom] [February 05, 2014]
A poster for electronic cigarettes contained the phrase “KICKS BUTT”. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found the ad misleading because it implied that the product could be used for smoking cessation given the similarity with the smoking prevention campaign “Kick Butt”. The ASA noted that the product had not been licensed by the government as a smoking cessation aid. The ASA rejected the company’s claim that the phrase referred to football and was linked with their sponsorship of a local football club. The ASA noted that the ad did not feature any sports or football imagery nor was the football club specifically mentioned.
ASA Adjudication on Dardam Services Ltd [United Kingdom] [January 29, 2014]
A print ad for e-cigarettes appeared under an advertising feature about Stoptober (the English national stop smoking campaign). The e-cigarette ad was headed “Switchtober 2013” and featured a calendar page marked with the company’s logo: a match with a cross through it. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found that the ad violated the country’s advertising code because it implied that the product could be used for smoking cessation when the product had not been licensed by the government for that purpose. In the future, the ASA ordered the company not to imply that its product was suitable for smoking cessation or associated with any stop smoking campaign.