Menthol cigarettes to be banned in 2020 as strict new laws come into place

3 January 2020, 11:33 | Updated: 3 January 2020, 11:35

New cigarette laws are coming into place in May
New cigarette laws are coming into place in May. Picture: Getty Images

Menthol cigarettes, flavoured rolling tobacco and ‘skinny’ fags will be banned from UK stores.

As part of a huge clamp down on smoking, menthol cigarettes will be banned from May 2020 this year.

Following the introduction of new EU laws, skinny cigarettes will also be banned, as well as flavoured rolling tobacco.

The ban is part four year phasing-out period put in place to deter people from taking up smoking at a young age by outlawing cigarettes with a 'characterising flavour' other than tobacco.

It stems from the EU Tobacco Product Directive laws which came into force in May 2014 and became applicable in EU countries on May 20, 2016.

Menthol cigarettes will be banned in the UK
Menthol cigarettes will be banned in the UK. Picture: Getty Images

The manufacturer of the cigarette brand Marlboro - Phillip Morris - previously tried to appeal against the latest change to the European Court of Justice, but was unsuccessful.

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Over the past four years, flavoured cigarettes have been restricted to packs of 20, while smaller packs of rolling tobacco were also banned.

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Chief of the charity ASH (Action on Smoking and Health), Deborah Arnott has said: "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."

Deborah insisted that banning menthol cigarettes could stop young people from smoking, saying: "It is naturally hard to inhale smoke and for many the first time they smoke it is repugnant, but people persevere with it and that's when they become addicted.

"There is evidence that menthol cigarettes relax the airways and the flavour masks the harshness of the smoke, therefore younger people find it easier to smoke.

"However, it is an absolute myth that menthol cigarettes are better for you.”

She added: "All cigarettes are harmful and menthol cigarettes are just as dangerous as normal cigarettes."

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