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From the 20th May 2020, a number of tobacco products and paraphernalia, including menthol cigarettes will be banned. These big changes come as a part of a wider four-year phasing-out scheme established as a way to discourage people from starting to smoke at a younger age. 

So, the ‘Menthol Ban’ is based on the EU Tobacco Products Directive – this bans all cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco which features a “characterising flavour” other than tobacco. Due to the popular nature of menthol cigarettes, the forthcoming regulations have been labelled as the ‘menthol ban’. Despite this being an EU directive, the ban will be going ahead in the UK, despite the current situation regarding Brexit – this is due to the plans being first put in place back in May 2016.


Which Products are Being Banned?

This new legislation covers menthol cigarettes, hand-rolling tobacco, click-dual cigarettes, skinny cigarettes and all hand-rolling accessories which alter the flavour of the cigarette. 

The charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), has revealed that the upcoming ban will result in cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco being unable to be produced or supplied if:

  • It uses a filter, paper or capsule containing nicotine or tobacco
  • It uses a filter, paper, capsule or package containing flavourings
  • It has a feature which allows the consumer to modify the smell, taste or the smoke intensity of the product

The ban doesn’t extend to cover e-cigarettes, so these can still be enjoyed in various flavours. 


What Happens When the Ban Starts?
When the ban comes into force on the 20th May 2020, it will become illegal for shops to stock or sell the tobacco products restricted in the ban. 

You are still able to use any of the menthols or flavoured tobacco you have purchased previous to the ban coming into play, but you will not be able to purchase any new flavoured tobacco products. 

You are still able to purchase flavoured tobacco products, which includes menthol hand-rolling tobacco, up until the 20th May 2020.


What About Previous Bans?

There have already been some clear changes enforced surrounding the sale of tobacco since 2016. Flavoured cigarettes, such as menthols were previously restricted to only being sold in packs of 20; and smaller packs of rolling tobacco were also taken off the shelf.

In addition to those previous changes, tobacco products have been hidden behind the counter in shops and stripped of branded packaging in recent years. 


Why are Menthols Being Banned?

The main reason behind these new bans is to deter young people from starting smoking – it is believed that menthol cigarettes relax the airways and the flavour helps to mask the harshness of the smoke, so young people are therefore finding them easier as a gateway to smoking. 

However, this will not affect hand-rolling tobacco, this will still be available for purchase after the ban – you can browse our stock here