Menthol cigarettes will be banned in the United Kingdom from next week as part of a European Union drive to discourage young people from taking up smoking.
The prohibition — which will also see flavoured rolling tobacco and ‘skinny’ cigarettes outlawed — will come into effect on May 20, 2020.
Experts think that flavoured cigarettes make smoking more appealing to non-smokers because they relax the airways and lower the severity of the smoke.
While it is commonly believed that menthol cigarettes are less harmful than their regular counterparts, they are actually just as damaging to one’s health.
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Menthol cigarettes will be banned in the United Kingdom from next week as part of a European Union drive to discourage young people from taking up smoking
The ban comes from the EU’s new Tobacco Product Directive laws, which prohibit all menthol cigarettes.
The rules will still apply to Britain during the Brexit transition period, as the instruction was implemented into UK law in 2016.
Lobbyists had already prevented menthol cigarettes from being sold in packs of less than 20 in the United Kingdom.
In 2018, a study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that approximately 12.4 per cent of smokers in England indicated that menthol was their preferred brand, with another 2.2 per cent favouring other flavoured cigarettes.
‘Research shows that menthol in cigarettes makes it easier for children to try smoking and to go on to become addicted smokers,’ said public health charity Action on Smoking and Health’s chief executive, Deborah Arnott.
‘Getting rid of menthol cigarettes will reduce the likelihood of young people taking up smoking, and make it easier for smokers to quit.’
‘It’s disgraceful that Imperial Tobacco is trying to undermine the ban by selling cards which infuse menthol into cigarettes.’
‘This breaks both the spirit and the letter of the law, which bans the use of technical features allowing the consumer to modify the smell and taste of tobacco products.’
The prohibition — which will also see flavoured rolling tobacco and ‘skinny’ cigarettes outlawed — will come into effect on May 20, 2020
THE NEW LAWS ON MENTHOL CIGARETTES
No person may produce or supply a cigarette or hand rolling tobacco with:
‘(a) a filter, paper, package, capsule or other component containing flavourings;
‘(b) a filter, paper or capsule containing tobacco or nicotine; or
‘(c) a technical feature allowing the consumer to modify the smell, taste, or smoke intensity of the product.’
THE HISTORY OF MENTHOL CIGARETTES
Menthol was first added to cigarettes in the 1920s.
It was previously marketed as being healthier, cooler and more refreshing than unflavoured tobacco.
They were targeted towards ‘beginner’ smokers and smokers with health concerns.
Many smokers think menthol cigarettes are safer, but they are not.