The sale of menthol cigarettes is now banned in the UK and EU.
The production and sale of menthol filters, paper, packaging and capsules has now been outlawed in an attempt to dispel the myth that they are better for you. While vaping products, heated tobacco products, flavoured cigarillos may still be sold.
Retailers are also still allowed to sell cigarettes described as green, as long as the cigarettes themselves do not contain menthol.
The European Union Revised Tobacco Products Directive makes it an offence for manufacturers to produce menthol cigarettes and retailers to sell menthol cigarettes from May 20th.
Minister for Health Simon Harris has welcomed the ban, and encouraged smokers to quit during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Smoking is an addictive and lethal habit,” he said. “The pleasant taste of menthol masks the true taste of tobacco and might attract first-time smokers or keep people smoking who might wish to quit.”
“The Covid-19 pandemic has made it more important than ever to quit.
“On 11 May, the World Health Organization said that a review of studies by public health experts found that smokers are more likely to develop severe disease with Covid-19, compared to non-smokers,” he continued.
“It also warned that tobacco is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases and these conditions increase the risk of developing severe illness when affected by Covid-19.”