English e-cigarette brand Nicolites, recently got one of its adverts banned, after the Advertising Standards Authority decided it was misleading for claiming their e-cig “poses no health hazard”.
The ASA launched an investigation after receiving a complaint about the health claims of an advert on the Nicolites website. They wouldn’t reveal who filed the complaint, but I guess it’s not very hard to guess. Upon looking into the situation, authorities found the ad was indeed breaking the rules, and ordered the company not to use it again in the current state without proper evidence of the claims. The advertising used by the e-cig company stated:
“Although the vapour inhaled and exhaled when using Nicolite resembles smoke, it’s simply a completely harmless vapour.
‘The vapour has no odour and does not linger the way tobacco smoke does. So there’s no danger of passive smoking posed to those around “vapers,” as e-cig users are called. It’s the tobacco that’s harmful, not the nicotine, which is mildly addictive but poses no health hazard.”
Nicolites and its parent company, Birmingham-based Nicocigs, said the claims were based on the fact that their e-liquid ingredients were tested in the United Kingdom, and on the result of a toxicology risk assessment which showed the ingredients were safe to use and the vapor wasn’t harmful. A full safety report had also been conducted on the safety of the inhaled vapor, which showed “it was very safe relative to cigarettes and also safe in absolute terms on all measurements we have applied”. Regarding the nicotine in their e-liquid, Nicolites said the long research regarding nicotine use showed that while very addictive, the substance posed no risk to human health, and that their products use the same grade nicotine as medicinal nicotine patches.
That was not enough to convince members of the ASA, which stated:
“We noted the evidence Nicolites submitted, which took the form of literature reviews or references to individual ingredients in the product and also made reference to studies involving animals.
Although we did not see any studies in their entirety, we noted one of the documents referred to a trial related to vaporising propylene glycol and children but were concerned about the small scale of the study, the fact it was not on the target audience of the claims, which we presumed to be adults, as well as about whether the ingredient tested reflected the make-up of the advertised product itself.”
While I am obviously a big supporter of electronic cigarettes, I think Nicolites could have done a better job of advertising its products, without making health claims like this. They could have just said e-cigarettes are safer that analogs, that would have been enough to attract smokers who care enough about their health. This just makes e-ciga companies look like they would use any means and claims to sell their products, and that’s just what the industry doesn’t need at this point.
via Daily Mail