Important - The Lords and Feedback from the Department of Health on Article 20 advertising/promotions

Evening all!

Well, that's not the day I was expecting. From out of the blue a Lords session and a petition popped up that we all pitched in behind...

And pretty impressive it's been, we're currently sitting at 18,607 signatures! Sadly we need far more and I think it's fair to say we should have more. If only 10% of vapers signed up that would be nearly 280,000! That would send an undeniable message that cannot be ignored.

In some ways the rather infuriating situation that plagues political process (their running out of time for the day) works in our favour, as we have more time to spread the word and get more people, more stores, more web-traders involved. So, sign up, share and pester as if your life depends on it. Contact your Lords/MPs and keep #LordsVapeVote going.

And there's even more reason to want to get this sorted out. Earlier in the week I raised a query on behalf of someone else regarding e-advertising and e-promotion. Initially this went to the MHRA but I was told it had to go to the Department of Health:


the following type of posts have started to appear from traders who think they are not allowed to run loyalty/reward schemes;

Is this correct or have they got the wrong end of the stick?



I finally got a reply today.....

Dear John,

You ask about the e-cigarette advertising provisions of The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 which will come into force on 20 May this year. We acknowledge the difficulties that some businesses are experiencing in interpreting the law. The Department of Health will be working with Advertising Standards Authority and Local Authority Trading Standards Services over the year transition period to build compliance with the new Regulations. Departmental guidance on advertising and the Tobacco Products Directive more generally will be published on Business Companion on Friday, and our Q&A on the Regulations will be updated regularly.

The Department is unable to provide advice on compliance to individual companies, however we expect that the ASA will consult on further detailed guidance shortly and we will work with them to ensure the consistent application of the law which requires that businesses do not procure or place any advertising that promotes or indirectly promotes e-cigarettes, as defined in the legislation.



Now that's pretty awful, not knowing how it's going to be enforced or what the rules are going to be. How on earth do they expect businesses to trade, especially online businesses? What will be the definition of "advertising"? Are reviews where product is given to the reviewer included? Giveaways (probably)?

And also, that sounds as if they're thinking any advertising, which I understood from reading the legislation was not the case?

I've asked for a position and clarification statement to be made, preferably tomorrow. But this makes it clear, everyone needs to keep fighting, keep the pressure up.


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