Skip to content

“Vaping Saves Smokers’ Lives” Article By IBVTA Banned


Time to read 2 min

In a strange turn of events, the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK have banned an advert taken out by the Independent British Vape Trade Association in a newspaper. The ASA ban ads all the time, but this recent ban comes as a shock since industry experts have condemned the action.

Who are the ASA?

The Advertising Standards Agency within the UK are the governing body when it comes to advertising. They closely regulated the ads that we watch, ensuring there are no illegal activities. Usually this might mean checking television adverts for subliminal advertising or trying to prevent political bias.

This new move by the ASA to ban a vaping article which does not claim to sell specific vape products has shocked the sector. It is becoming apparent that the vape industry in Britain is persistently becoming the target of negative press and legislation.

Who are the IBVTA?

The Independent British Vape Trade Association are an independent organisaion whose purpose is to give a voice to the forgotten businesses behind vape devices. The UK market for vape suppliers largely comprises of small businesses who are either independently owner, or who are part of a small franchise of three or four businesses.

Retailers sell vape devices in local stores all over the country. It is not just big named brands who these new regulations will impact. It is the small trader. The IBVTA give these traders representation in larger matters.

What Happened to the IBVTA Advert?

In October, 2023, the IBVTA wrote an article which was published in the East Lothian Courier, in Scotland. The article was entitled “Let’s clear the smoke of confusion: Vaping saves smokers’ lives.”

The purpose of the article was to challenge some of the vaping misinformation which we regularly encounter in the UK media. It sought to promote vaping as a healthier alternative to smoking, and it promised to be the first of many adverts which will challenge the villainous reputation that mainstream media attributes to vape use.

As we know, vaping is up to 95% less harmful than smoking cigarettes. Nevertheless, the Advertising Standards Agency challenged the advert. The reason given was that the ad may have breached code by promoting ‘unlicensed, nicotine-containing e-cigarettes and their components in a newspaper.’

The First of Many?

The IBVTA naturally protested the advertising ban which saw the ad pulled altogether. They also brought up that they were not advertising any specific vape product in the ad, and even encouraged the public to buy vape devices from reputable retailers.

The ASA reviewed the ban and maintained their stance. Their reasoning was that the ad breached CAP code (Edition 12) rule 22.12 (electronic cigarettes).

You can read the full case and both responses courtesy of the Advertising Standards Agency.

The real trouble with this kind of blanket ban advertising is that it is now getting in the way of providing the public with the truth. Vaping is being vilified in the same way that smoking is, and it is not as just as the smoking ban. Vapes help people quit, not vice-versa. are waiting patiently to see  whether or not this will be the first advertising ban of many.