The new “revised tobacco product directive” will make it an offense for manufacturers to produce menthol cigarettes and for retailers to sell them starting May 20.
This decision is an initiative of the European Union, which aims to discourage smoking among young people.
“Getting rid of menthol cigarettes will reduce the likelihood of young people starting to smoke and make it easier for smokers to quit,” said Deborah Arnott, executive director of public health charity Action on Smoking and Health, addressing the Liverpool Echo.
“Research shows that menthol in cigarettes makes it easier for children to try to smoke and to become addicted smokers. “
Under the new regulations, no one can produce or supply cigarettes or roll-your-own tobacco with:
(a) a filter, paper, packaging, capsule or other component containing flavorings;
b) a filter, paper or capsule containing tobacco or nicotine; or
c) a technical characteristic allowing the consumer to modify the smell, taste or intensity of the product’s smoke.
Flavored roll-your-own tobacco and “lean” cigarettes will be prohibited.
While it is generally believed that menthol cigarettes are less harmful than their usual counterparts, they are just as harmful to people’s health.
According to Cancer Research, two-thirds of smokers start before the age of 18 with smoking causing around 100,000 deaths each year in the UK.
The UK’s departure from the EU has no bearing on the introduction of the ban.