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Headlines > Regulation

ASA: “Misleading and irresponsible"

UK stubs out nutrient cigarette health claims

By Shane Starling+

17-Jul-2014
Last updated on 17-Jul-2014 at 18:15 GMT

Still lit: NutriCigs claims continue on its website despite the ASA ruling
Still lit: NutriCigs claims continue on its website despite the ASA ruling

NutriCigs UK must quit its nutrient-fortified electronic cigarette claims that included sleep, satiety and energy benefits, the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has said.

As of today the claims remain on the company's website . Holding company, President Properties, was unavailable for comment at the time of publication and NutriCigs customer access line was inaccessible.

The ASA said the products were making unauthorised health claims under the EU nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR) along with unauthorised medical claims after it consulted with the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The firm is linked to NutriCigs US which offers similar products and makes similar claims based on US-made “all natural” ingredients that are not specified on the websites.

The ASA said:

  • Data was lacking the ingredients were natural
  • That hoodia gordonii-weight claims required a registration under the EU Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD) that did not exist in this case.
  • That sleep claims based on melatonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) required a medicinal registration.
  • Data was lacking to show nutrient inhalation was efficacious.

“Because we considered the ad implied the products were beneficial to health we concluded it was misleading and irresponsible,” the ASA said.

Claims included: Eat less while enjoying an electronic cigarette” and “Give Your Body & Weight-Loss Goals A Kick By Eating What You Like, Just Less of it!”

NutriCigs said its products should not be considered medicinal because they stated they had, “not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease."

Eat less? The claim is data-less, says ASA

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