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Menthol Cigarettes Will Be Banned In The UK This Month

Menthol Cigarettes Will Be Banned In The UK This Month

The new rules, which also ban 'skinny' cigarettes, comes into action soon

Claire Reid

Claire Reid

A ban on menthol cigarettes comes into action in the UK on 20 May.

The ban, which includes the sale of all tobacco that contains flavourings, is part of an effort to stop younger people from smoking and reducing the number of people taking up smoking overall.

The ban comes from the EU Tobacco Product Directive laws and will also see skinny cigarettes banned from UK shops.


Anti-smoking charity, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has previously said the new rules will help to stop young people from taking up the habit.

A spokesperson from ASH explained to The Sun that the ban would mean retailers can no longer sell any products with 'a filter, paper, package, capsule or other component containing flavourings' or 'a technical feature allowing the consumer to modify the smell, taste, or smoke intensity of the product'.

When the law was originally announced, Philip Morris, the manufacturer of cigarette brands including Marlboro, attempted to appeal it and took his case to the European Court of Justice - but it wasn't successful and the law will land later this month.

Fruit-flavoured and sweet cigarettes, were banned back in 2017 - and at the moment you can only buy menthols in packs of 20.


ASH spokesperson Amanda Sandford told the Liverpool Echo that the new rules aim to make smoking less appealing.

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

In March, the UK Government raised the price of cigarettes above inflation, with duty rates on pre-rolled cigs increased by two percent above the rate of retail price inflation and hand-rolling tobacco increased by more than six percent above the rate of inflation this year.

Featured Image Credit: PA