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Video: British TV to Air First Smoking Ad in 49 Years


A new ad for E-cigarettes sparks controversy over whether these devices promote smoking, or help people quit.

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A controversial new advertisement (below) for VIP brand e-cigarettes is about to break a 49-year ban from showing smoking on British television. Although there have been previous ads for the electronic nicotine devices, this will be the first to show someone actually smoking one. The US has been airing ads for e-cigs for some time, with youth exposure to these ads “exploding” in recent years, according to a recent study.

E-cig opponents have argued that exposure to these devices—which don’t contain tobacco, but do contain highly-addictive nicotine—could encourage kids to smoke. The World Health Organisation has warned that the vapor they contain may be harmful, demanding more research into potential health effects.

But VIP brand executive Dave Levin argued: “E-cigarettes have been shown to be a healthier alternative to tobacco and this is about helping people who want to smoke to make a healthier choice.” Even those who don’t stand to make money off the devices have called them effective tools for harm reduction in aiding people in quitting much more harmful tobacco smoking.